Modern digital marketing strategies provide you with a treasure trove of data that helps you to grow your business more effectively. You can use these metrics to maintain greater discipline in your marketing campaigns, assess the effectiveness of your key initiatives, and identify adjustments that can help improve the outcomes you achieve.
Having an abundance of marketing metrics at your disposal is certainly a major benefit for your business, but it can often be challenging to identify the right metrics to focus on. While there are a variety of common metrics that all businesses typically evaluate, there are many others that fly under the radar. In many instances, focusing on some of these overlooked metrics can pay huge dividends and provide valuable information to help grow your business.
Tips for Identifying the Right Marketing Metrics to Track
It’s often helpful to look beyond the basic metrics associated with your marketing goals in order to gain a more holistic picture of how your marketing efforts are impacting the overall success of your business. The following tips will help you figure out which additional metrics to focus on:
- Track both marketing and sales metrics – Your marketing and sales departments must work in conjunction with each other to effectively grow your business. Evaluating data for both departments will provide you with a more comprehensive view of how your efforts are impacting the success of both teams and help you identify areas for improvement that will complement both teams.
- Consider metrics that provide deeper insights – Lead generation and revenue metrics are always critical to track, but it’s also important to evaluate items that provide deeper insights into the long-term value and success of your marketing efforts.
- Evaluate metrics at every stage of the buyer’s journey – Tracking metrics at every stage of the buyer’s journey, from awareness to conversion, allows you to optimize your ability to guide prospects through your funnel. This will help you maximize conversions.
Overlooked SEO Metrics
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component to any digital marketing strategy. Without effective SEO, it will be extremely challenging to rank well on search engines and ensure your target audience is able to find you. If you’re unable to drive traffic to your website, it will be much harder to hit your lead generation goals.
The following overlooked metrics can help you understand the impact of your SEO efforts.
Average position can be used to determine how your overall search rankings are performing over time. This metric is calculated by taking the sum of all your keyword rankings and dividing this figure by the total number of keywords you’re tracking on your website.
Branded searches refer to search queries that contain your brand name or a variation of your name. Branded search terms should always be segmented out and evaluated separately from the other keywords you track since they typically have a higher click through rate, convert at higher levels, and allow you to understand the impact of your brand awareness among your target audience more clearly.
Not all website traffic is created equal. A certain keyword may drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your website, but this traffic doesn’t help you grow your business if it doesn’t covert. Knowing conversion rates helps you understand which keywords are bringing in the highest quality visitors – in other words, the visitors that are most likely to turn into a sale or contact you for a consultation. Often, a keyword bringing in fewer monthly visitors but converting at a much higher rate may be more valuable to target than a keyword driving a ton of traffic but not delivering many conversions.
Overlooked Content Marketing Metrics
Content is a critical component of your marketing strategy. It supports SEO, helps convey your brand messaging, establishes your business as an authoritative expert, and lets your audience know why they should choose you over your competitors. The following content marketing metrics are frequently overlooked, but provide great insight into how well your content is addressing the needs of your audience.
While it’s possible to generate leads from one-time viewers of your content, these people are often simply reading your blog posts or web pages as part of their research process. However, when the same user returns to your blog or a specific piece of content over and over again, it is a sign that they find the information you provide to be very useful. This will significantly increase the likelihood that they will eventually choose you when they’re ready to make a purchase.
For this reason, returning visitors is an important content marketing metric to track. Google Analytics not only tracks the total number of website visitors you have, but they also let you know how many of these visitors are new vs. returning users. By tracking this metric month over month, you can determine whether your number of returning visitors is growing, shrinking or remaining constant. This is an effectively way to understand how well you’re cultivating an upper tier of audience members who:
- Are highly engaged in your business
- View you as a trusted leader
- Regularly share your content with their social networks
- Are more likely to eventually become a customer/client
While the average time spent on a page is a commonly used metric to track the engagement level of your readers, it doesn’t always provide a full picture to the true engagement level of your viewers. For example, if you have a video embedded near the top of a page, someone who views the entire video will increase the average time spent on this page. But if that person never goes below the video to read the rest of the page, they aren’t necessarily engaging with your content.
A more effective way to assess the engagement of your readers is to set up event tracking goals in Google Analytics which tell you how far a reader scrolls down the page. There are two useful goals to set:
- Readers – Someone will be considered a “reader” of your page or blog if they engage with the majority of content on the page. You can set whatever scrolling point you feel demonstrates this level of engagement, and anyone who reaches this point in the page will be considered a reader.
- Finishers – You can set a scroll point to the average length of your blog posts to determine who many of these people are actually reading the entire post.
Gated content pieces are an effective strategy to grow your list of contacts. These are downloadable pieces of content such as guides, eBooks, white papers, or brochures that are offered in exchange for a user providing their email address. Gated content allows you to retarget these users with other aspects of your marketing strategy, such as via email marketing campaigns, to help nurture them through your funnel.
Tracking content downloads helps you understand which of these larger content pieces resonate most with your audience, and it helps you identify individuals who are eager to consume your content. If you create several gated content pieces to support different points in the marketing funnel, this metric will also help you to measure the success of content at each of these points in your funnel.
Overlooked Email Marketing Metrics
Email marketing is an effective way to leverage your contact list to grow your business. By engaging with your audience through regular email newsletters, you can establish yourself as an authoritative expert, grow your brand, and stay top of mind for when they are ready to purchase. While open and click-through rates are commonly tracked, the following overlooked metrics will provide you with a deeper insight into the success of your email marketing efforts.
Opens by Device
If you know how your audience likes to read your emails, it will help you identify the optimal design to provide the best user experience. While you should always choose a design that provides a good experience on mobile and desktop, you should take additional steps to prioritize the experience on the type of device the majority of your audience is using. This is especially true if your audience typically reads your emails on their phone.
Adding new readers to your email list is critical to the success of your efforts. Even if you maintain a low unsubscribe rate, the size of your lists will gradually decrease over time if you fail to grow your audience.
Tracking list growth will help you understand when you need to invest more energy and resources into adding more readers. This can be accomplished by encouraging existing readers to share your content, adding more CTAs to your website prompting visitors to subscribe, or creating new gated content pieces to encourage website visitors to give you their email contact information.
It’s important to know which links in your email are actually driving traffic back to your website or blog posts. You can set up UTM tracking codes in Google Analytics that will allow you to track which links in your emails are delivering the most viewers back to your desired location. This helps you determine which email content is the most and least engaging, which content drives the most and least traffic, and which content generates the most and least sales.
Overlooked Social Media Metrics
Social media has become an increasingly important component of marketing strategies over the last decade. These platforms allow you to connect with your audience in vastly different ways than you do on your website and blog. You can interact with your audience in an authentic way that helps you grow your brand and expand your reach. The following overlooked metrics can help you gain important insights into the performance of your social media efforts.
Audience Growth Rate
Audience growth rate refers to the change in your audience size on a specific social media platform over time. This metric is helpful in understanding how well a specific post or an entire social media campaign is performing. You can determine how your efforts are impacting your growth rate by measuring the number of new followers you gained for a specific period of time immediately following your new social media activity. To turn this growth rate into a percentage, divide the number of new followers you gained by your total audience number and multiply by 100.
As with email marketing, this is an important metric that will help you understand which of your social media platforms are sending the most viewers to your website. Knowing your leading social media traffic drivers will help you make informed decisions regarding which platforms to invest the most time and resources on when developing future social media campaigns.
When your organic social media posts or paid social ads receive a large number of comments, it’s a good indication that you’re doing a good job connecting with your audience. This can inform your approach to future posts and ads. By crafting new posts and ads that are similar in tone and content to the prior ones that received the most comments, you’re more likely to experience similar success.
Posts and ads with a lot of comments also provide an additional benefit. If you take the time to read through the comments, you can learn a lot about your audience, including:
- How the feel about your company and your products
- How they speak about your products and services
- Common themes that arise among your audience
These insights can be turned into actionable data that helps you more effectively connect with your audience in the future.
Webolutions Can Help You Grow Your Business
At Webolutions, we understand that a data-driven approach is necessary to ensure your marketing efforts achieve maximum impact. As part of our comprehensive digital marketing services, we’ll create a Performance Intelligence Roadmap™ that identifies the right metrics to track in order to accurately measure the performance of your campaign, allowing us to make adjustments over time that will maximize your marketing ROI.
We follow a meticulous process when developing your Performance Intelligence Roadmap™. It includes the following steps:
- Collaborating with your team to clearly define your marketing goals for the coming year
- Creating a model, based on industry numbers or your past performance (if available), that clearly defines your different marketing channels, the related contributions to leads/sales, and the key funnel data points you need for success in achieving your annual marketing goals
- Outlining the data points needed and ensure these data points are accessible from your existing systems
- Outlining what actionable information you need to see quickly and easily to understand your performance and make the adjustments necessary to improve this performance
- Developing the tracking systems or dashboards to aggregate the data into useful information
- Applying your performance intelligence solutions through active monitoring, smart reviews and adjustments to continuously improve your results
You’ll benefit from our Real-Time Performance Intelligence Dashboards™ which give you access to your most up-to-date data in graphical models that are easy to visualize and understand. This will allow you to see the critical information and trends associated with your marketing campaign.
With our proven method for gathering performance intelligence data, you’ll be able to grow your business smarter, faster and easier.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Webolutions serves clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.