Twenty years ago, digital marketing success meant having a website which served as an online source of information about your organization. Today, a website is only one of many digital tactics that must work together to deliver a consistent message and drive the common goal of generating measurable results. One of the many challenges of today’s marketing professionals is being able to sort through available digital marketing metrics to make smart business decisions.
Because the sheer volume of digital marketing metrics is expansive and continuing to grow, it’s natural to be overwhelmed. It can be difficult to decipher what’s important to evaluate and what is just extraneous information that won’t provide any valuable insights. Yet, with management teams increasingly wanting clear ROI on all digital marketing efforts, it’s no longer possible to get away with not tracking and analyzing results. Choosing the right metrics to assess your digital media effectiveness is now a necessary task. Yet, it shouldn’t be considered drudgery. In fact, by making it a priority, you gain access to vital information to make informed decisions. With this, you can gain a competitive advantage by being able to fine-tune messaging and strategies based on hard facts and not assumptions.
What Are the Important Metrics?
With every digital marketing channel, there is a dizzying array of available metrics. The key is being able to narrow down your focus to those aligned with your specific goals. When it comes to websites and other digital channels, you will want to familiarize yourself with these metrics.
This provides you with a “big picture” of how much traffic your website is receiving. If you see a substantial increase or decrease of visits from one of your digital marketing channels, it’s important to evaluate the reason. This could be a “quick fix” problem like a broken link. Or, it could be a deeper issue that requires rethinking messaging or developing a more compelling call to action.
Google Analytics offers real-time data about who is on your site at any given time. This includes their geographic location and sites that referred them and which pages they’re viewing. This is one of the most valuable sources of information for determining what channels and messages are most effective.
Are the bulk of your website visitors new or recurring? These two types of visitors signal two different things. The recurrent visitor indicates that you have a reason for visitors to return. New visitors mean your outreach efforts are working.
It’s also important to keep track of the percentage of website visitors that leave your website before clicking on any links. These are referred to as having “bounced.” You want to monitor this to ensure the rate stays low because the more time someone spends on your website and the more pages they see, the more likely they will convert and perform a desired action.
How profitable are your digital marketing efforts? Your total conversions show the quantifiable victories you’re receiving. Remember – there’s not just one way to define a conversion. A conversion can be everything from a site visitor filling out a lead form to someone completing a checkout on your ecommerce website.
Top Conversion Paths
Look at the unique conversion paths or sequences of channel interactions that led to conversions, as well as the number of conversions from each path, and the value of those conversions. This allows you to see how channels interact along your conversion paths. As you look through the list of paths, you may find repeated patterns that give you insights into how to most effectively cross market across channels.
Lead to Close Ratio
This metric is a simple calculation – divide your total number of sales by your total number of leads. If the close rate is low, it’s a clear indicator that you need to rethink your landing page design and copy.
Breaking It Down
Not sure where to begin? Start by determining what your business goals are and what your website needs to do to keep it’s job. Once you are clear on what you want to have happen, make note of the relevant metrics you can control called lead measures and the metrics that show the end result called lag measures.
Most importantly, don’t get overwhelmed by the number of metrics you can now access. Stay focused on what actually provides important information that can help you make better decisions.