Measuring the results of your digital marketing efforts can make the difference between taking shots in the dark and actually seeing a return on your marketing investment. There are hundreds of statistics and analytical combinations that might be tracked. The key is to understand which of these metrics will provide insight into customer behavior and the performance of your marketing campaigns. We’ll take a look at a handful of key metrics that are universally applicable to any brand in any industry.
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Data regarding traffic to your website and on your social media profiles can tell you a lot about consumers’ reaction to your marketing campaigns. Information about the flow and direction between your marketing sources can also inform your future strategy.
Total Site Visits
The total number of visitors to your site provides a big picture understanding of things. This figure should be monitored and tracked over time to provide a general idea of how effective your marketing campaigns are at driving traffic to your website. The total number of site visits should, theoretically, grow steadily over time. If this number decreases from month to month, it is an indicator that you need to take an in-depth look at your marketing channels to identify potential problem areas.
Traffic by Sources or Channels
Separating the overall traffic data into subcategories that delineate the performance of specific traffic sources or channels will help you understand which channels are under and overperforming in your campaigns. There are four typical subcategories to investigate:
Direct Visitors – to identify people who come to your website by typing your specific URL into their browser search bar.
Organic/Search – to identify visitors who access your site as a result of a search query.
Referrals – to identify visitors who arrived at your site as a result of clicking on a link located on another website or blog.
Social Media – to measure the visitors who access your site directly from your social media platforms. Social traffic is an effective indicator of engagement and awareness. It also provides insight into the overall effectiveness of your content marketing and other digital campaigns.
Return Visitors Versus New Visitors
The distinction between these two subgroups is important to track. New visitors are typically the result of new marketing working well to drive traffic to your website. Return visitors provide an indication of the value and quality of the content on your site.
Interactions Per Visit
While interactions often lead to conversions, they should not be confused with conversions and should be tracked separately. An analysis of the number of interactions per visit provides information about which activities and behaviors are keeping visitors on your site. This metric offers actionable insight into what might be done to encourage more interactions. Within the overall metric of interaction, you will also want to understand variables such as the number of pages a user visits, the length of time they spend on individual pages, whether they leave a review, and so on.
Time Spent on Site
The time visitors spend on your site is directly related to the number of interactions per visit. This metric provides insight into the level of interest and engagement of your website visitors. It is a universal indicator of how well your site is performing and how useful visitors are finding the content. Understanding where, specifically, visitors spend time interacting with your site can help you optimize content for those customers to increase their lifetime value.
LEAVING SO SOON?
We don’t like to think about visitors leaving our site without converting but such data can provide insight into which portions of your campaigns or website are potentially causing people to leave. This sort of understanding can help you make tweaks and minor changes to problem areas in order to improve your end results instead of scrapping an entire effort and starting once again from scratch.
The bounce rate tracks the number of people who visit your site but leave without taking any meaningful action. Higher bounce rates are indicative of flaws in your digital marketing such as weak landing pages, poor campaign targeting, or irrelevant traffic sources.
The exit rate measures the number of people who leave the site from a particular page as a percentage of all people who viewed that page. This metric helps identify problem areas in the conversion process and is especially helpful for websites that have multiple pages involved in the conversion process.
COME ON, DO IT!
Conversions are, obviously, the bread and butter for any brand. Keep in mind that a purchase is not the only type of conversion to keep an eye on. The more information you can gather about the other types of conversions that happen along the way, the better you can design your marketing to funnel consumers more quickly to that ultimate goal of purchase.
Click Through Rates
Measuring click-through rates is important to better understand email marketing and paid ad campaigns. Higher click-through rates decrease your cost per click. Conversely, lower click-through rates increase those costs.
Your organization may define conversions in a number of ways. They might include not only purchases but also downloading of something, subscribing to a mailing list, asking for more information, etc. The total number of conversions is best monitored and tracked over large periods of times. A dip in your conversion rates merits further investigation to understand where the problems are occurring.
Return Visitor Conversions Versus New Visitor Conversions
Similar to the metric that measures the number of return visitors versus new visitors, differentiating the conversions between these two groups also provides insight into the performance of your website. New visitors will interact with your site differently than a regular visitor. Tracking these numbers offers information that may be used to reduce bounce rates and increase return visitor rates, conversions, and so on.
Conversion Funnel Rates
Rand Fishkin, the “wizard of Moz,” considers these metrics one of the three most important overall for digital marketers. He defines them as “knowing the percent of potential customers that make it through each step of a given conversion process, and which channels or behaviors predict that they’ll make it further.” Inherent in this is a deeper understanding of how each stage of the funnel affects your ultimate ROI and where to direct your resources.
Cost Per Visitor and Revenue Per Visitor
These broad measurements provide a simple formula for the profitability of individual marketing channels, the goal being for your Revenue Per Visitor to exceed your Cost Per Visitor. These numbers can also help shape your budgets for certain types of paid campaigns. These numbers should be calculated for each of your traffic sources (search, social, email, etc.) to provide a rough basis on which you can measure the performance of each channel.
Value Per Visit
The Value Per Visit is more interrelated to interaction numbers than revenue metrics. It can be difficult to quantify because a visitor adds value each time that he visits any portion of your website. Tracking this metric over time provides insight into how successful your site is at getting customers to interact with the site or perform a certain value-added action, such as writing a review, leaving a comment, or socially sharing something.
Return on Investment
The Return on Investment is the definitive measure of whether or not your marketing technologies and efforts are profitable and delivering results to your bottom line.
WRAP IT UP
Traffic, conversion, and revenue data are not the only statistics that can inform your marketing strategy, but they are an excellent place to start. Depending on the needs of your organization, you may or may not want to formally track each of the metrics we’ve discussed. The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing understand how important it is to identify trends and inconsistencies to best understand how your marketing efforts are performing, which channels are most effective, and where your efforts require change. We’d love to help you through the process of identifying which metrics will help your brand to ensure a steady stream of leads and paying customers. Contact us today to get started!