10 Simple and Reliable Digital Marketing Metrics
Soure: By Rahul Alim
As you draft up your campaign or strategy, always ask yourself this question:
Can I measure this?
For the most important components of your project, the answer will likely be yes. So before you begin executing, make sure you’re laying down a solid foundation for how you will measure your success.
When you’re wondering if your efforts were worth it later, or speculating over whether you’ve done a good job, these metrics will be there for you, answering your questions, providing proof, and cheering you on to greater altitudes.
The metrics you’ll want to track will actually be dependent on your most important goals for a project or campaign. Although all projects are different, here are some great, mainstream metrics that I measure as a rule of thumb:
|1-5: Digital Marketing Staples||
|6-10: Additional Proven Metrics||
Digital Marketing Staples
1. Overall Traffic
“All Traffic” (from Google Analytics) will show you how many people visited or engaged with your site in total. It can be broken up into source/medium, which describes where your traffic comes from.
Overall traffic will give you a bird’s eye view of where you stand. It’s a good idea to benchmark or keep an eye on your total traffic over time. You may begin to see similar patterns emerge—like seasonality—that can put you ahead of the game later. The rule of thumb here is that if you’re doing a good job, your overall traffic from all sources should steadily increase over time.
How to Measure:
First, enter your Google Analytics dashboard.
- Go to the Acquisition report section
- Go to Overview
- Look in the Sessions column in the table
2. Channel-Specific Traffic
These metrics depend on where people were immediately before arriving at your site. The channel is the type of door they used to enter your site.
Looking at your top mediums is important to measure for full-scale digital marketing campaigns. It allows you to see what’s causing a drop in visits (if you see dips in overall traffic) and where your campaign excels.
Channels to Watch:
- Direct: This is when people directly type in your URL to visit your site or who began to search in the omnibox but visited your site before. The omnibox automatically fills in because they’ve been there before.
- Referral: These are people who came to your site from another website. It’s external traffic. People followed a link on a different domain to get to you.
- Organic: These are people who performed a search on a search engine such as Google or Bing, and clicked on your website’s listing in the organic (non-paid) search results.
- Social: People who came to your site from a social media platform. It’s also a great indicator to gauge the general effectiveness of your SEO, social engagement, content, and integrated campaigns.
3. Total Conversions
Traditionally, a “conversion” is when someone evolves from a simple user visiting your site to a paying customer. However, in today’s digital world we want to track engagement and what our customers are doing on our website to get them deeper into our funnels. More generally, it’s when users complete any desired action, such as filling out a form, clicking a download button, sign up for a trial, download an ebook, create an account, etc. Put simply by Kapost here is another interesting way to think of a conversion:
“The number of anonymous visitors who become known records in your marketing database.”
Low conversions can speak to bad design, unappealing offerings, or a disinterested audience. Tracking conversions helps you point out exactly which components people are interacting with on your site, and which components they just aren’t.It’s also hugely informative on the quality of your UX and other less-tangible creative areas. Low conversion rates can spark a push toward updating your sales funnel, or indicate that it’s time to invest in modernizing your website.
How to View:
- Go to Conversions > Goals > Overview
- Select Source/Medium
- Click “view full report”
4. Bounce Rate
Your site’s bounce rate is the average number of visitors who left your website after only visiting one page—the page they came in on (the “entrance page”).
Each page can have its own bounce rate. You’ll find different pages tend to have different bounce rates, and not all bounce rates are equal.
Bounce rate can tell you whether your site content is relevant or if you are using the right landing page for a paid campaign. The number is very relative, however.
On one hand, a bounce rate for a specific page may be high because users leave the site after viewing the single page after finding the precise info they needed, and had no interest in going further. Perhaps they even called in and became a paying customer after bouncing off a contact page.
On the flip side, users that experience issues with usability or site design might leave the site from the entrance page and never go to a second page.
How to Track:
- Go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
- Choose a specific channel to see just that channel’s performance
- Check the Bounce Rate column
- Go to Behavior > Site Content
- Select either All Pages or Landing Pages
- Check the Bounce Rate column
5. Search Trends
Looking at search trends can explain a lot that you don’t have control over. For example, if you are an apartment rental company, search trends for “apartments in city X” might dip in winter and spike again in spring.
Cross-check this with your overall or organic traffic and voila, that’s why Q4 traffic looks so bad compared to previous quarters in the same year. You will want to compare Q4 in the current year to Q4 the previous year to track your true progress.
This can be a great way to tell whether you’re targeting the right keywords for your campaign. If you’re targeting a word that was quite popular five years ago but has since fallen in interest, you may be spending your efforts chasing a highly competitive phrase that really shouldn’t be so competitive anymore.
Google Trends is a good place to start. Dig around and get a feel for how people engage with your industry on a global, chronological scale, or narrow your focus to your own region for even tighter insights.
Additional Proven Metrics
6. New Vs. Returning Visitors
Come in, and come back often!
An increase in new users could be a response to getting mentioned on a popular website where you earned a guest blog, a freshly published press release, or increased budget for a paid campaign (Facebook, PPC or Banner Advertisement).
This metric tells you whether your site is sticky enough to encourage repeat customers, and tells how effective your outreach efforts are. For example, if you launch a new email marketing campaign to your database, you might see an increase in returning visitors to your website. That reveals your email campaign was well received.
Check out the % New Sessions column in most reports.
The good news is, there are other ways to get some insight. Start by connecting your Webmaster Tools property with Analytics. (Note: Google Webmaster Tools is now known as Google Search Console.)
You can see keyword query data start pulling into Analytics, including organic impressions and clicks.
- Go to Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries
- Click “Set up Search Console data sharing”
- Scroll down to the bottom and click “Adjust Search Console”
- Click “Edit” (small link, hard to see) – this opens a new tab (Search Console)
- Select your website using the radio button; click save, then click “Yes” to save the association
- In the previous tab (Google Analytics), click “Done” and return to the Reporting section
- Go to Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries – your Search Console data appears (including search terms)
8. Top 10 Organic Landing Pages
Also known as “entrance pages,” these are the individual pages where visitors enter your site after performing a search on a search engine. This metric tells you which pages on your website are the most visible in search engines.
Your top organic landing pages will show you what the missing keywords might have been. If the #1 page visited from organic results is a really specific article, you can glean what people were popularly searching. (This also highlights the importance of specificity in your content strategy!)
Your top organic pages can also tell you how well they’re optimized, and whether you need to refocus your SEO strategy.
- Go to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
- Click the “Secondary Dimension” drop-down and choose Acquisition > Medium
- Near the search bar, click “Advanced” and create an advanced filter – select the option to show only “Medium” and type “Organic” into the containing-only field
9. User Demographics
Google Analytics will give you a little demographic information, with easy views to age, gender, location, and even some interest information. What’s important here is the location information.
See where your users are coming from, and whether it’s relevant to your goals.
- Go to Audience > Geo
- Select Location
- Scroll down to get actual number values for location by country, city, continent, or sub-continent
10. Brand Sentiment
Hey, not all publicity is good publicity. You should be gauging sentiment of online conversations regarding your company.
Set up a Google or Talkwalker Alert for your brand’s name, employees and other related topic areas where opinion leaders actively mention you. You’ll be notified when Google finds new content on whatever topic or keyword you select. (This is not actually a specific metric, but it’s definitely a good way to keep a pulse on your digital reputation.)
It’s also important to have a response plan in place. This ensures timely, well-planned handling of unsavory voices while staying in line with the brand tone and voice. You will also be able to track the positive side of your mentions.
- Go to Google Alerts while signed in: https://www.google.com/alerts or check out http://www.talkwalker.com/alerts
- Create alerts about your brand name, your products, whatever you think you ought to monitor
A Final Word on Metrics (For Now…)
While it’s helpful to learn from example, no two companies are the same. The metrics you measure should matter to you and answer questions that are important to your business.
Some people call them Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), others simply call them metrics. No matter how you want to define it, these data points are the vehicles that make your goals real and concrete, and make your attempts at reaching them observable and quantifiable.
By Elissa Hudson | HubSpot
Measuring the effectiveness of digital marketing is one of the greatest challenges facing organizations. According to HubSpot’s 2018 State of Inbound report, 42% of marketers cited “proving the ROI of our marketing activities” as one of the biggest challenge they face within their company.
The trouble is, when most marketers hear ‘digital analytics,’ they tend to think of the metrics you’d typically associate with a web analytics tool like Google Analytics — traffic, bounce rate, unique visitors, etc.
While web analytics can provide you with a wealth of insight and data into the performance of your website, marketers really need much richer data to understand the impact of their marketing campaigns on conversion rates and a person’s journey through the marketing and sales funnel. Looking at top-level web analytics metrics like traffic is only part of the puzzle.
Enter digital marketing analytics which offers a much more comprehensive view of what’s working when it comes to your marketing strategy, and what isn’t.
Why Digital Marketing Analytics Matter More Than Web Analytics
So why exactly do digital marketing analytics matter? Quite simply, because web analytics (like traffic and website performance) just isn’t enough. The data web analytics provides just don’t cut it for marketers who need to understand how their work makes an impact throughout the entire marketing and sales funnel.
Let’s face it: Today’s marketing goes well beyond the bounds of your website. It’s the intersection of what happens between your marketing channels and the outcome on the other side that provides the most marketing insight, and your reporting needs to reflect this.
Web analytics measure things a webmaster or technical SEO specialist cares about, like page load speed, page views per visit, and time on site. Digital marketing analytics, on the other hand, measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and which online events influence whether leads become customers. Digital marketing analytics includes data not only from your website, but also from other sources like email, social media, and online PR.
With digital marketing analytics, marketers can understand the effectiveness of their marketing, not just the effectiveness of their website. Using marketing analytics allows marketers to identify how each of their marketing initiatives (e.g., social media vs. blogging vs. email marketing, etc.) stack up against one another, determine the true ROI of their activities, and understand how well they’re achieving their business goals.
As a result of the information they can gather from full-stack digital marketing analytics, marketers can also diagnose deficiencies in specific channels in their marketing mix, and make adjustments to strategies and tactics to improve their overall marketing activity.
You can spend hours and hours slicing and dicing data in web analytics tools, comparing new vs. repeat visitors month over month, but when it comes down to it, you’ll never have a comprehensive understanding of how your marketing is doing. Marketers have known this for a long time – Check out the explosion of people searching for the term ‘digital marketing analytics’ taken from Analytics Trends here:
- Trend #1: Deeper Digital Transformation (DX)
- Trend #2: Importance of Data Curation (Self-Service Analytics)
- Trend #3: Custom Data Integrations (ETL/Data Warehouse)
- Trend #4: Rise of the Customer Data Platform (CDP)
- Trend #5: Focus on Data Ownership (Clickstream Solutions)
- Trend #6: Continued Data Privacy Attention
- Trend #7: Migration to Server-Side Tagging
- Trend #8: Leveraging Server-Side Testing / Optimization
There’s no doubt that marketers are aware there’s a deficiency in how they’re able to measure the effectiveness of what they do; here’s how full-stack digital marketing analytics makes up for that deficiency.
Why Digital Marketing Analytics Gives You the ‘Full Picture’
There are lots of things that digital marketing analytics achieves where basic website analytics falls short. Let’s highlight three of the main differentiators:
1. Integration across different marketing channels.
With digital marketing analytics, you have a good, solid look into the direct relationships between your marketing channels. It’s great to be able to see how each of your individual channels (e.g., social media, blogging, email marketing, SEO, etc.) are performing, but the true power of analytics comes into play when you can easily tie the effect of multiple channels’ performances together.
For instance, let’s say you did an email send to a segment of your database. Digital marketing analytics not only tells you how many people clicked through from your email to your website, but also how many of those people actually converted into leads for your business when they got there. Furthermore, you can compare the impact of that individual email send with other marketing initiatives. Did that email generate more leads than the blog post you published yesterday? Or was the content you shared via Twitter more effective?
2. People-centric data on the buyer’s journey
As we mentioned earlier, a key differentiator between web analytics and digital marketing analytics is that the latter uses the person — not the page view — as the focal point.
This enables you to track how your individual prospects and leads are interacting with your various marketing initiatives and channels over time. How did an individual lead first come to find your website? From Google? Via Facebook? From direct traffic? Is that lead an active part of your email subscriber base, often clicking and converting on marketing offers presented via email? Do they read your blog?
Full-stack digital marketing analytics can tell you all of this and more, providing you with extremely valuable lead intelligence that can help inform the direction of your future campaigns.
Looking at all of this information in aggregate can help you understand trends among your prospects and leads and which marketing activities are valuable at different stages in the buyer’s journey
Perhaps you find that many customers’ last point of conversion was on a certain ebook or whitepaper. Having this data makes it possible to implement an effective lead management process, enabling you to score and prioritize your leads and identify which activities contribute to a marketing qualified lead for your business.
3. Closed-loop data.
One of the most useful functions of marketing analytics is its ability to tie marketing activities to sales. Sure, your blog may be effective in generating leads, but are those leads actually turning into customers and making your business money? Closed-loop marketing analytics can tell you.
The only dependency here is that your digital marketing analytics system is hooked up with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform like the free HubSpot CRM for example.
Having this closed-loop data can help you determine whether your individual marketing initiatives are actually contributing to your business’ bottom line. Through it, you can determine which channels are most critical for driving sales. Perhaps you find that your blog is your most effective channel for generating customers, or conversely, you find that social media is really only powerful as an engagement mechanism, not a source of sales.
The Digital Analytics Challenge
Most marketers know they need to be looking at more than just traffic and website performance to get the insights we’ve talked about so far, but why do so many of us still struggle to measure the impact and prove the ROI of our online marketing activities?
- A) We don’t have solid goals in place for our campaigns.
- B) We don’t have the means to successfully measure our success.
Quite often, you’ll find it’s a combination of the two.
The fact is, most marketers need to have a number of different digital analytics platforms in place in order to get all the insights they need to understand their marketing performance and make sound decisions. They gather data about their email marketing through the analytics provided by their email service provider, information about their social media performance through their social media monitoring tool, blog analytics from their blogging platform, and the list goes on.
This fragmented approach to reporting makes it really difficult to connect the dots and make informed decisions about the future of your digital strategy. The ideal solution is to implement an all-in-one marketing and reporting platform that offers end-to-end visibility on your marketing activities, allowing you to measure everything in one place.
How Digital Analytics Impacts Your Business
All of the insights, information, and data you can gather from your digital marketing analytics tool(s) is really only useful if you do something with it. The true value of analytics isn’t just to prove the value of marketing to your boss; it’s also to help you improve and optimize your marketing performance — on both an individual channel-by-channel basis as well as an overall, cross-channel machine.
As mentioned above, you’ll also be able to implement closed-loop reporting, making it easier to prove how your marketing efforts are positively impacting your sales team, who are being fed much higher quality leads.
The important thing to realize here is, if you’re relying solely on top-level web analytics, you’re missing out on a lot of powerful data that can help inform your marketing strategy. So when evaluating digital analytics tools for your business, be sure you’re looking for evidence of digital marketing analytics, not just website analytics.
8 Cool Marketing Analysis Tools for Data Junkies l Dan Shewan
There are dozens (if not hundreds) of marketing analysis tools available to marketers of all disciplines. Some are free and do one thing really well, whereas others are subscription-based and offer a broad range of functionality. All of them promise the sweet, sweet data you need to run more effective campaigns, but which ones are worth your time?
In today’s post, we’ll be taking a look at eight marketing analysis tools to see what they do, who they’re for, and what they can offer you.
1. Mixpanel – Advanced Web and Mobile Analytics
Image via Mixpanel
What Does It Do?
Mixpanel offers users a wealth of information about how people use websites and mobile apps You can monitor user interaction with your app or site as a whole, or drill down to individual buttons and features to see exactly how your users are interacting with your product. All of this functionality is possible without requiring a single line of code, meaning that even non-technical personnel can access important data about your site or app.
Who Is It For?
Mixpanel has some impressive clients, including Autodesk, Salesforce, and Twitch, but its competitive pricing (see below) puts it well within reach of even small businesses. Users with complex websites or mobile apps could potentially benefit greatly from the insights offered by Mixpanel.
How Much Does It Cost?
For analysis of up to 25,000 data points per month (a data point is any defined user action, such as clicking a button or taking a specific action on your site or app), Mixpanel is free. The monthly subscription changes depending on the volume of data being analyzed. Check the official pricing page for more details.
2. The AdWords Performance Grader – A Complete PPC Audit in 60 Seconds
PPC is a great way to reach new customers and grow your business, but to say there are a lot of variables that can determine your success would be an understatement. For those new to the world of paid search, even identifying the right areas to focus on can be overwhelming, which is why thousands of small-business owners and advertisers have turned to the AdWords Performance Grader for help.
What Does It Do?
The AdWords Performance Grader quickly and securely evaluates the strength of your Google Ads account (formerly known as AdWords) in 60 seconds or less. Once the Grader has performed its audit of your account, you’ll be presented with a detailed report showing the strengths and weaknesses of your account according to 10 key metrics, including mobile optimization, ad text optimization, and impression share.
This information allows you to zero in on the elements of your account that need the most work, offering a strong potential lift in immediate account performance.
Who Is It For?
Anyone with an active Google Ads account can benefit from the insights provided by the AdWords Performance Grader, from small businesses to mid-sized agencies.
How Much Does It Cost?
The AdWords Performance Grader is completely free to use. Grade your account for free today!
3. Formisimo – Insight into Web Form Abandonment
Web forms are an integral part of using the web, but their prevalence doesn’t make them any less of a challenge from a conversion perspective. That’s what makes Formisimo so potentially valuable to marketers.
What Does It Do?
Formisimo provides users with actionable data about why people fail to complete web forms. The software analyzes real-time data from your site and compiles intuitive reports according to analysis of your forms against 54 individual metrics. This level of insight can tell you which parts of your forms are deterring prospects from converting, among many other things.
Who Is It For?
Anyone whose website or app uses web forms can benefit from Formisimo. Similarly to Mixpanel, Formisimo is used by some of the web’s leading brands and sites, such as Toyota and Uber, but small businesses may benefit even more from the kind of actionable data promised by the software.
How Much Does It Cost?
Formisimo costs $50 per month for the “Startup” package, to $180 per month for agencies.
4. CrazyEgg – Heat Maps Done Right
There are few marketing analytics insights more valuable than heat map data. Seeing precisely where your users are focusing their attention on your site (among other uses) can provide marketers with remarkable insights into their audience’s behavior.
What Does It Do?
CrazyEgg tracks and analyzes user behavior on websites. It tracks which elements of a page users are interacting with, which creates a heat map visualization of this behavior over time. CrazyEgg can also measure the scroll depth of web pages, revealing at what point you begin to lose visitors’ attention. (This is one of the so-called “attention metrics”).
Another really cool feature of CrazyEgg is that it can tell you a great deal about where your clicks came from in the first place. In addition, you can augment your existing audience profile data with information from CrazyEgg, which can offer amazingly granular data and reporting, depending on the plan you opt for (more on this below).
Who Is It For?
If you want to stop guessing what your users are doing and start seeing actual data on what they’re doing, CrazyEgg is for you. Heat maps – and the decisions you can make based upon them – can have an immense impact on your conversion rates, as you can literally see what people are doing on your site, as well as revealing areas that are being ignored.
How Much Does It Cost?
Notably, all CrazyEgg plans are completely free for the first 30 days, which is pretty awesome. Beyond that point, CrazyEgg plans start at $9 per month (paid annually for an up-front one-time yearly payment of $108) for the Basic plan, which includes data for 10,000 visits per month across 10 active pages with daily reporting.