We live in an age where it’s become common practice to track everything — your sleep, your steps, your macros. And this method of keeping an eye on details is then used to make data driven decisions: Going to bed an hour earlier, taking a walk during your lunch break, adding more quinoa into your diet. Why? Because to know where we’re going, it’s good to know exactly where we are.
That same sentiment applies to any business. You likely know what are your profits and losses, the cost of payroll, overhead, and which items are tax deductible. But how well versed are you on your marketing metrics? After all, you could provide the best goods or services since the invention of the internet, but if no one knows about it, success may be slow to come.
Marketing metrics are the way to measure the progress in your marketing efforts. This is because success doesn’t happen overnight, and you can’t just expect clients to come bursting through your door the second you launch a new campaign. However, this doesn’t mean that you should just cross your fingers and hope for the best. Tracking metrics will show you whether that needle is moving slowly but surely to your end goal, or whether you need to revisit some aspects of your marketing strategy.
Marketing metrics let you know whether you’re on the right path to get a good ROI on your marketing efforts — or whether you’re wasting your time and money. For example, If your goal is to increase revenue by 30% by the end of the quarter, the only way to know if you’re on track is to look at the numbers as the weeks go by: How many additional website visitors are you getting? How many leads are contacting you? How many sales are you closing?
Having a list of relevant metrics to track has several benefits:
- Ensures efficiency of campaigns
- Identifies trends and insights you may otherwise miss
- Gives you plenty of time to pivot and try something else before you waste money
- Lets you know whether you’re right on track to meet your objectives
- Provides your team with data driven ideas for next steps
- Maximizes your return on investment
- Creates a roadmap for future campaigns
The answer to this question is that it depends. Obnoxious response, we know. But the reality is that not all metrics are created equal. Some of them will start showing changes almost immediately, while others require time to gain some traction. And if you look at the slower ones daily, you’re going to feel like you might as well give up.
Metrics to Track Daily
You may want to track how many visitors are reaching your website daily. By the same token, you’ll want to know their source — organic Google searches, social media posts, PPC ads, marketing emails, or backlinks.
Metrics to Track Weekly
Every week, verify the click through rate on all of your calls to action — in marketing emails, blogs, and promotional material. This will give you a sense of whether they’re strong enough to pique your target audience’s interest. If they aren’t, change a couple of them with alternative text to see if they perform better.
Metrics to Track Monthly
Every month, you should check your ranking on Google search results pages (SERPs) for any new marketing content. This includes blogs, eBooks, webinars, and anything else relating to your most recent campaign.
That said, these metrics are only the tip of the iceberg. As you’ll see below, depending on your campaigns and your specific goals, you’ll want to look at other elements so that you can see a full picture.
Once you know which metrics to track, these are your key performance indicators (KPIs). And with the right reporting tool — such as the one in HubSpot’s Marketing Hub — you can build customizable dashboards. This is crucial, since (a) you want only to track what’s relevant to you, and (b) you want something that’s easy to understand.
To set up marketing analytics tracking using HubSpot’s Marketing Hub, you’ll have to install a tracking code on your website so that you can monitor traffic. To do so, follow these steps:
- Click on the Settings icon on the navigation bar
- Click on Tracking & Analytics
- Click on Tracking Code
- Copy and paste the embed code
- Follow the instructions on HubSpot’s Knowledge base for how to install the code on your website depending on its platform — WordPress, Drupal, Shopify, Magento, Joomla, Squarespace all require different steps to follow. But not to worry. They’re all listed in detail (along with helpful screen shots) to walk you through the process.
Alright. Now let’s get to all the KPIs you should be keeping tabs on. Do remember that if you notice things aren’t working quite as you’d like, it’s ok. A lot of this involves content strategies, but they also involve trial and error. As long as you’re catching unfavorable trends early enough, you can use it as a road sign to take another route.
1. Keyword Rankings
Before getting started, track your website’s current ranking. Use tools such as ahrefs, moz, semrush to see what are the top ranking keywords for each webpage — then do the same to check how your competitors are performing. Then use the words that are performing well and combine them with additional related keyword research so that you can measure how this change improves your rankings.
Once you start seeing some improvement in this area, your click through rates should improve — by as much as 30% if you’re already ranking well.
2. Page Traffic
In order to know whether you have a good website, people have to visit it first. And once they do, you’ll be able to study their interactions with it, so that ultimately, you can increase your number of leads. Do keep in mind that once you develop a new content strategy/marketing campaign, it may take a while to start seeing these numbers rise.
3. Traffic Sources
Knowing which sources are providing traffic to your website helps you better target your audience. For example, if you notice that a lot of your visitors are coming from Facebook, you’ll know to prioritize that channel in your future campaigns. By the same token, if a small number is coming in from your marketing emails, you’ll want to optimize that form of communication.
4. User Behavior
Knowing how visitors interact with your website lets you identify common hurdles they find along the way. This includes actions such as how far down each page they scroll, which links they click on, and which pages usually result in them just leaving your site and never coming back. You can then address these obstacles to optimize the user experience (UX).
5. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of website visitors who leave soon after entering your website. This information is essential to help you determine whether you’re offering a UX and whether they’re finding your content useful and relevant to them. And when taking this metric into account, you want to also consider whether it’s happening most across all devices or mostly from mobile phones. If it’s the latter, you’ll definitely want to optimize your website for a mobile experience.
High website traffic is meaningless if visitors aren’t engaging with your content. You want to know their average time on your site, how they’re navigating it, whether they return, the top exit pages, how many people are reading (and subscribing to) your blog, and how many are reaching out to you for additional information or to make a purchase. All these factors are a goldmine to help you tailor your content strategy — and to do so specifically designed to increase engagement. But you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that complete a desired action. This can be people filling out and submitting an inquiry form, downloading content offers, enrolling in webinars, RSVP for an event, scheduling a meeting, making a purchase… The higher your rate, the more effective your marketing strategy. And if it’s low, then it’s time to take a look at the content you’re using to entice them to act.
8. Open Rates
Email marketing is an ideal way to build a relationship with prospects and existing customers. It’s also a good way to establish trust. You get to nurture those leads. Water the plants. Show them some love. And it provides a way of doing so at a time that is convenient for them. They open it when they have time… The operative word being open. If they’re just deleting your communications, that’s another sign that your email marketing strategy needs some work. And it may not be the content itself. It could very well be the subject line. But you have to track these numbers first before finding out whether you need to address it in the first place.
9. Click Through Rates
Your click through rate is the percentage of people who click on the link to your website (or CTA button) in your marketing emails in comparison with your open rate. This helps you better understand your target audience. A low clickthrough rate is an indication that you’re either targeting the wrong crowd, or that you’re not tailoring your content to their wants and needs.
The common denominator in all these metrics is that they show you whether your content strategy is working. This takes a lot more than writing well. There are many things that come into play when optimizing what you share online. Therefore, once you gather these metrics, use this data to do the following:
Prioritize Your Next Steps
Don’t try to fix everything at once. If your website traffic is low and you change your marketing emails’ subject lines, content, and CTAs; then change the content on every page at the same time, you won’t be able to accurately gauge the source of improvement.
Find the Right Tools
There is plenty of software to help you segment your contacts, nurture your leads, serve as a content management system, create attractive marketing emails, design gorgeous websites… Once you identify what needs to be done, you can start researching your options.
Plan Your Strategy
Once you have clearly designed your goals, you want a roadmap of how to get from point A to point B. Maybe you need to do additional market research, develop a buyer persona, conduct a website audit, come up with a consistent editorial calendar, or increase your social media presence… Whatever it is, set forth specific steps on how you’re planning on accomplishing it.
Keep Tracking Your Metrics
Continue tracking your marketing metrics — paying even closer attention to those that relate to elements where you have recently implemented changes. Compare the new numbers to the old ones. This is the only way to know whether your data driven decisions were effective. If you keep trying and are still not seeing the results you want, it may be time to speak with a business consultant or look into digital marketing services.
Assigning everything a numerical value is here to stay. And frankly, it’s the best way to guide your business to success.