Every business needs a good digital marketing strategy, whether you run it in-house or outsource to a digital marketing contractor or agency. But like any plan, there’s no real point to it, unless you are continuously measuring it against your desired outcomes.
That’s why your strategy should include a series of marketing metrics that you will regularly measure to track progress.
Why track your digital marketing metrics?
1. It helps you see how your strategy is working in terms of your overall plan
Part of your digital marketing strategy should be the short and long-term goals that you want to meet and the key performance indicators that you need to achieve to get there. Monitoring your metrics helps you see how far you are along that journey.
2. You can see in detail what’s working and what’s not
As well as giving you an overall picture, your metrics can give you a clearer idea of specific things that are working, or perhaps not working. For example you’ll be able to see which channel is bringing most traffic to your website, or which pages on your website convert most customers.
3. It helps you keep track of budgets
If you are investing in paid advertising like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, then tracking metrics helps you keep track of your spend and whether your budget is going to the right areas.
Key digital marketing metrics to check regularly
So now you know why you should keep an eye on your metrics, here are some of the things you should be checking.
Return on investment (ROI):
This key metric tells you the profit generated from your products or services relative to your marketing expenses. A low ROI indicates the need for adjustments. You can also calculate the cost per lead – the total cost of a marketing campaign divided by the number of leads it has generated, which shows how cost-effective it was.
This metric simply shows how many visitors your website gets. It gives you a high level picture of how successful your digital marketing is at attracting people to your website. As well as overall traffic, it’s also handy to keep an eye on bounce rate (the percentage of people who look at one page and then leave) and which pages people are looking at.
This metric takes your traffic and breaks it down into where it comes from. It helps to show you which of your digital marketing efforts are having the best effect and which you might need to make some tweaks to. For example high organic traffic shows your SEO efforts are working well, whereas high social traffic shows you have an engaged audience on social media.
Channels usually include:
- Organic: people who come to your website through results on a search engine like Google or Bing.
- Social: people who come to your website via links on your social media channels, either a general website link or a link to a specific page or blog post.
- Email: people who come to your website via links in an email newsletter or other email that you’ve sent out.
- Paid: people who come to your website via links in paid ads either on Google or on social media.
- Referred: people who come to your website via a link on another website or source.
You might also get direct traffic. These are people who have typed your website’s URL directly into their browser and are usually regular customers or users of your site.
The first two metrics are helpful, but getting traffic to your website, your Facebook page, your e-commerce store or wherever you do business is only the first part. Conversions are when you start getting the benefits. So tracking conversions is important because it tells you how successful your content is at making people buy your products or services or achieving your stated goal such as increasing subscriber numbers.
This is a metric to track if email marketing is part of your strategy. It tells you how many people have opened the email you sent them. Open rates are often affected by email subject lines so it can be a useful way to see if your emails are hitting the mark.
Click through rate (CTR):
CTR can be measured for email content and for social media content. It shows you how many times a link has been clicked on. It can also be used to measure the success of your paid advertising – low CTR on paid ads suggests it isn’t engaging the audience enough.
Social media engagement:
If a lot of your digital marketing is geared towards social media platforms, then you need to keep track of the engagement levels. This can include audience growth and the number of people who interact with your content by clicking, liking, sharing or commenting.
Once you start tracking your metrics, don’t forget to actually analyse them and act upon your findings. Otherwise you are just collecting a bunch of numbers for no reason. Use your findings to tweak your strategy or better allocate your marketing spend, and then review the metrics again after the changes have taken effect to see if you’ve improved things. Collecting the metrics into a regular report is also a good way to show other staff members or business owners the effect that the digital marketing strategy is having.
If you’d like to know more about crafting a winning digital marketing strategy, from planning to implementing and monitoring, dive into one of our short courses or enrol in our Diploma of Digital Marketing for more extensive training.