5 Key Metrics to Track When Analyzing Your Digital Marketing
Marketers, strategists, and advertisers everywhere could spend hours planning and executing campaign after campaign for brands, but without tracking viable data, no scale, budget or level of promotion could be considered “successful” to a business owner. While the graphs and charts are the least appealing part of the job, they are the most essential. Whether you love it or hate it, the answers to any new or ongoing campaign lie within the data.
Because of this, there are a plethora of numbers and variables to measure your performance online, all with varying degrees of relevance to your business, industry, or objectives. By measuring critical metrics of your efforts, you can control, improve, and scale new ideas and initiatives that help you meet your goals and take your business to the next level. On the contrary, by not keeping the data in check you risk losing tremendous opportunities for your brand’s growth both online and offline.
Metrics, or trackable data points, provide deep insights into how your campaigns are measuring up from start to end. They tell us how your content is being received if your audience is listening and engaging if your customers are finding you and most importantly if your prospects and leads are taking the desired actions. Metrics alert us to what we need to keep, what we need to improve on, what we need to scale, or what we need to scrap all together from your digital strategy.
Think of measuring data as a health check-up for your business. Metrics become the vitals that are important to monitor for your brand’s overall health. A healthy brand is a profitable and thriving brand. An unhealthy brand means we need to identify the illness before it affects the essential functions and lifeforce of the brand itself. So, as you can see, measuring, monitoring, and knowing your data is a powerful and worthwhile investment.
But, what should you be monitoring? To measure and, ultimately, improve your content marketing efforts, you need to know which metrics to track and analyze, and how to do so. The best place to start is to examine your needs and goals for business online. There are dozens of data points you could focus on, but you don’t want to overwhelm your team or stretch your resources thin by focusing on too many things at once.
There are five key categories that you should outline that matter most when diving into the data of your campaigns. Those categories are:
When analyzing your data, either through analytics or insights, there are several key metrics that all marketers should include and understand, the following are the most important metrics to gather:
1. Traffic sources
Where and how are you being discovered by prospects? Look at your traffic sources, examine which platforms are responsible for the majority of your traffic. This data is useful for segmenting your traffic sources to pinpoint which ones are performing or underperforming in your overall marketing campaigns. Determine where are you showing up and getting seen by your targeted users the most. Knowing this information helps you streamline your marketing efforts focus on the sources that produce the most significant new leads and prospects for your business. This number will also give you a clear indication of how effective of a job you are doing at optimizing your content for discovery and attraction.
2. Onsite engagements
As traffic funnels to your site and users are landing on your webpages, how engaged are they with your content? Gauging an accurate level of interest lets you know where your site’s performance stacks up. If they view a lot of pages or return frequently, they are highly interested. But if they bounce at a high rate, don’t stay for very long, or view only a few pages before exiting, they are not engaged or interested, and you will lose impression share. The length of time on the site gives you a pretty clear indication of the level of intent for your prospects. This is important for strategies that maximize your conversion opportunities. You can gauge website audience interest by looking at:
– The total number of site visits in a time span
– Number of page views per visitors per session
– Avg bounce rate
– Avg time spent on the site daily
– Total number of unique visitors
– Number of external links to your site
– Number of new visitors vs. the number of return visitors
You want to keep people on your site, browsing through content learning more about who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. So knowing where your audience lands and how long you keep them there is important to determine if your site’s content needs to be improved, or your destinations need to be altered for improved session times and higher conversion rates.
3. Paid vs. Organic
Most, if not all, brands at this point are using a mix of organic and paid efforts to attract and convert new customers. Organic traffic is traffic that comes from users who come across your business from non-paid content or search results. Paid traffic is traffic that comes from users who click on sponsored or advertised content online. You purchase space on various platforms to get your content seen by individuals meeting specific, targeted characteristics.
Organic metrics, like the total number of impressions, reach and clicks help to track the effectiveness of your non-paid strategies and campaigns, while paid metrics like click-through rates, or reach and impressions, indicate the effectiveness of your ads. Measuring this data helps determine how well your content is received and performs on that particular platform.
4. User experience
Breaking down your data points also provides more insight into who your audience is, what interests they have, and how your business can better serve them through your online campaigns. You can examine exactly what your prospects are doing once they land on your website. What pages have the most visits? What content has the most views? How long do they stay? Which content do they share? Metrics like:
– Number of content shares
– Number of email opens
– Number of content saves
– Number of customer reviews
– Number of product page views
– Total number of engagements on content
This information helps to improve the overall user experience a prospect has, which affects retention and engagement.
5. User Actions
Every campaign strategy starts with a goal. These goals are specific interactions intended to fulfill a defined objective for the brand. Typical goals for an online campaign include a purchase or user information registration. Although smaller goals, which are also important to measuring success, is defining the number of users who visit a certain number of pages, or when a user downloads a piece of content. The percentage of visitors to your site who take a specific action that your content encourages them to, are considered conversions.
Conversion rates vary considerably based on the industry but tend to hover around 2 and 3 percent on average. That said, aim for a conversion rate of approximately 5 percent, or even higher if you are creating specific landing pages for specific audiences. You also need to consider tracking:
– The cost per conversion (or cost per lead)
– New visitor conversions vs. return customer conversions
– Cost per acquisition
– Return on investment
By tracking conversion rates over time, you can determine how well marketing efforts lead to goal conversions and use other user metrics to understand what factors affect their successes or failures. You will also be able to easily identify trends and make adjustments to ensure a steady stream of leads and paying customers per campaign.
Now that you know what you should track, you should also know how to track the aforementioned data. One of the best ways to track your metrics is with Google Analytics. Google Analytics allows you to monitor your website and analyze a huge amount of data at various levels. That way you can find out how specific pieces of content are performing, as well as the overall performance of your marketing efforts. There is also analytical data you can pull for each digital marketing channel your brand is on, like social media analytics, which varies by channel, or email insights, which also vary by CRM. To streamline all this data, there are several third-party platforms with dashboards to keep your data housed and visible in one location, which makes it easier to track and monitor at a glance.
Analyzing your digital marketing data begins with determining which metrics are important to your business, then using the right tools to collect and examine that data to measure your marketing efforts. You can’t accurately manage or market what you can’t measure. Reporting and analyzing competitive metrics is an important part of strategic digital marketing planning.
As you put together a list of data to collect and review, be sure to include the data points listed in this post to get a well-rounded view of your growth, impression share, and results. If you need support on collecting or analyzing your data in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, give us a call.