How to know which digital marketing performance metrics to use

How can you track how well a marketing campaign is going if you do not know which metrics to measure? There are a number of different digital marketing performance metrics and some will be more important than others depending on your overall goal. These could be:

  • Do you want to increase the amount of organic traffic to your website?
  • Are you looking to increase your engagement on a particular social channel?
  • Do you want to increase your email click-through rate?

Just these three examples alone have different metrics that will need to be tracked to ensure you are on track to achieve these goals. We have taken a look at some of the most important digital marketing performance metrics that should be tracked. These include; website performance metrics, social media performance metrics, email performance metrics and paid ads performance metrics.

Website Performance Metrics

In order to track what is happening on your website, you will need to have Google Analytics installed. Once it has been installed, you can then find out a vast amount of information. This can include how many users visit your site, how long they stay on your site, and the pages they visit. This information is invaluable when tracking your digital marketing campaigns.

1. Website Traffic

The reason a company has a website is because they want people to visit it. It serves as the face of your brand and will usually have a lot of useful information about your company and how people can contact you. Most digital marketing campaigns will revolve around increasing traffic to your website. That could be through advertising or organically with SEO. Being able to measure the amount of traffic going to your website is crucial in finding out how well your campaigns are doing. Thanks to Google Analytics, this is possible. You can find out which days are more popular than others and go even deeper to see which time of the day more people visit.

There are a number of ways you can increase the amount of traffic going to your website. This can include sharing links on your social media channels, optimising pages on your site with relevant keywords to increase your ranking on Google and creating ads that lead to a landing page.

2. Source of Traffic

It’s important to know where your website traffic is coming from. Google Analytics splits the sources into four default categories;

  • Organic Search – Users who have visited your website through a link from a search engine.
  • Direct – Users who have visited your website after directly inputting the URL or clicking on a bookmark link.
  • Referral – Users who have visited your website through a link on another website.
  • Social –  Users who have visited your website through a  link on a social media channel.

Depending on the companies’ activities, it is also possible to create custom channel grouping. For example, for email campaigns or paid ads campaigns.

The categories can then be further explored to learn more. This information can be very useful if you are looking to track how well your SEO is going or if you are looking to increase the amount of traffic coming from your social media channels.

3. New vs. Returning Visitors

Tracking the number of new visitors and returning visitors on your website is a great way to see how well your content is doing. Having a high return rate can tell you that the content on your website is of good quality and users find it valuable. A high rate of new visitors to your website also shows that the content you are creating is bringing traffic to your website. Having a high rate of new visitors compared to a low rate of returning visitors could show that the rest of the content on your website isn’t as good as the new pieces of content and you should focus on improving this.

5. Average Time on Page

This is another great metric to help you analyse how well your content is being received. If users are spending a lot of time on different pages on your website, it shows that the content on there is valuable and what they are looking for. It is also likely that users who spend a lot of time on your website are your most committed. Being able to see which pages have the longest average time allows you to optimise these further.

6. Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is a very important digital marketing performance metric to track. This metric is the percentage of people who visit a page but leave before doing any meaningful action. A high bounce rate could be caused by;

  • The page taking too long to load
  • An error page appearing (404)
  • The content on the page is irrelevant

Make sure that when you are sending users to your site, you lead them to a relevant page on your site. If there isn’t a relevant page, create a landing page that includes relevant calls to actions for users to take.

7. Exit Rate

Exit Rate is slightly different to Bounce Rate. It will tell you how often users exit your site from a page when they view the pages. This information can be very useful for websites which have a multi-step conversion process as you can see where users are dropping out of the process.

8. Conversion Rate

Once you have set up your goals on Google Analytics, you can then track the number of conversions that take place on your website. Conversions can range from a user signing up to your newsletter to a user completing a sale. A low conversion rate could be caused by poorly designed pages, a lack of call to actions or hard to find call to actions.

Social Media Performance Metrics

All Social media channels have their own analytics on their sites which can be used to analyse the performance of your social media content.

1. Social Engagement

Depending on your social media goal, social engagement is arguably the most important metric to track. This includes;

  • Likes/Reactions
  • Shares/Retweets
  • Comments
  • Post Clicks
  • Visits to site

By tracking this digital marketing performance metric, you are able to see your top-performing content which is resonating with your target audience. You can then use this information when you create more content in the future.

2. Social Reach

You want the posts that you create on your social media channels to reach as many people as possible. This metric will show you how many people were reached. The number of people reached is unsurprisingly always a lot higher than the people who engage with the post. However, a benchmark of what should be achieved is around 2-5% social engagement based on social reach.

Email Performance Metrics

1. Email Open Rate

Your Email Open Rate is the number of people who open your email compared to the number of people who receive it. This is a very important digital marketing performance metric you should be tracking if you are focusing a lot on email marketing campaigns. A low email open rate can tell you that you need to focus more on the subject line to make it more appealing. Make sure that the emails are relevant to the people you are sending them to and also look at the time you are sending them (this is especially important if you are sending emails to people in different timezones).

2. Email Click-Through Rate

This metric is especially important to see how well your email marketing campaigns are performing. This metric is based on how many people click on a CTA or link to your site from the email. With emails having a high conversion rate, it’s important to ensure your CTAs are clear and appealing. 

Paid Ads Performance Metrics

1. Cost per Click (CPC)

Cost per Click (CPC) should be tracked on both Pay per Click (PPC) campaigns and paid social campaigns. This metric is quite self-explanatory. It tracks how much it costs you every time a user clicks on your ad’s link. There are a number of factors that affect the Cost per Click, including the keywords you target, your bid amount and the click-through rate.

2. Cost per Conversion

Again, Cost per Conversion is also quite self-explanatory. However, it is only relevant if your ad campaign is to increase the number of conversions on your site. This metric tracks how much it costs to acquire a customer who makes a conversion on your site from the ad. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the higher your conversion rate, the lower your cost per conversion will be.

3. Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

If you are selling products or services on your website, Cost per Acquisition (CPA)  is arguably the most important digital marketing performance metric you need to track when running paid ads. This metric shows you how much you spend to acquire a paying customer on your site. It’s important to regularly check your Cost per Click and Cost per Conversion metrics. This is to ensure they are performing well. However, just because they are performing well, it doesn’t automatically mean that your Cost per Acquisition metric will also be performing well too.

Digital Marketing Performance Metrics

You should now be ready to track your digital marketing campaigns and know which performance metrics are relevant to you. If you would like to find out more about digital marketing performance metrics or would like to discuss your current or future campaigns in more detail,  get in touch with the bolt team today.

Written by: Thomas Coughlan
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