BEST 12 DIGITAL MARKETING METRICS YOU SHOULD TRACK IN 2018
The best digital marketing metrics depends on your exact business objectives. Once you define which business objectives digital marketing can help with, marketers need to align their digital marketing goals and track progress accordingly. The reality is that many companies are not quite there yet, using digital marketing metrics at odds with their overall business goals.
Some recent surveys demonstrate that marketers lean on metrics and data that are easily available, rather than those aligned with business strategy. In Australia, over half (52 percent) said they used these metrics because they “are included in the Digital Marketing technologies we use”, or because they are “standard metrics for measuring Digital Marketing”.
As the customer journey becomes increasingly digital and social, it’s vital for businesses to measure metrics that map to goals along the customer journey—either by using different measurement tools and platforms, or collaborating with teams across the business.
So, you need to stop thinking there are specific Digital Marketing Metrics you should track. It all depends what your exact business objectives are and how you tie your digital marketing to those exact business objectives.
With so many digital marketing and social media marketing information available, it can get quiet easy to get distracted with fluffy metrics that do not really add up to the bottom line of your brand/business.
Marketers can use Digital and Social to extract customer insights, ensure their data is shared across teams and departments, and make it actionable in multiple areas of the business including:
- Sales team
- “C’ level
- Product Development/ Innovation teams
- Purchase departments
- Customer Service
BEFORE THINKING METRICS
Below is a checklist for you before you define your key digital marketing metrics:
- Start by identifying what the top 3-4 most important objectives/goals are for your business. Are they aligned to the customer purchase journey ( category awareness > brand awareness > comparison > preference > trail, purchase > customer support > loyalty > advocacy) ? if not why not? Generally they should.
- Connect Digital/social media marketing activities to your specific business outcomes
- Define your exact Digital Marketing/Social data needs that will only help you measure your specific Digital/Social Marketing objectives.
- Do not get distracted with other data your digital/social platforms/tools/vendors are offering you.
In saying that, we would like to introduce you to some of the most popular metrics your CEO will likely cares about.
The rest is distraction!
TOP BEST 12 DIGITAL MARKETING METRICS YOU SHOULD TRACK
NUMBER 1: CPL – COST PER LEAD
CPL formula = Digital Marketing Costs / Total Leads.
Why: My favourite. I think every Digital Marketer should be accountable for it. This what Digital Marketing should do for your business, create interest for your services or products.
Tip: Calculate this per Digital Marketing Channel: SEO, SEM (Adwords), Social Media, Affiliates, Email Marketing, Display Advertising, etc.
NUMBER 2: CPA – COST PER ACQUISITION
CPA formula = Total Digital Marketing Channel Costs / Total New Sales from that Channel
Why: If you are in B2B your sales team play a big role in converting the leads marketing brings. Sales might say: “Marketing does not bring good leads” but you – the marketer – might say: Sales team are crap at converting our leads”. It is important to ensure your sales team are happy with the support marketing is generating.
If you are in B2C, your level of acquisition might not only depend on your marketing but also on:
- Purchase facility: is it easy, user friendly to buy from you, do you offer fast delivery, easy returns?
- Product quality: is the quality of your product good enough for people to buy?
- Price: is your price too cheap or too expensive that people are running away?
- Top of mind: are you re-marketing or reminding people to buy from you? you need to be top of mind when they are ready to buy.
The above factors might be affecting your cost per acquisition per channel.
Tip: As per CPL, you should calculate this per Digital Marketing Channel: SEO, SEM (Adwords), Social Media, Affiliates, Email Marketing, Display Advertising, etc.
Note: CPA can also be called: Cost to Acquire a Customer (CAC)
NUMBER 3: ROAS – RETURN ON AD SPEND
ROAS formula = Revenue from Advertising Source / Cost of Advertising Source.
Why: It is important to have clear what channels return the most of your Digital Advertising dollars. So you can re-calibrate your budget split per channel
Tip: Digital Media Attribution is key, otherwise you end up shifting your budget to high returining channels and few bucks on the top of the purchase funnel: Category Need, Awareness, comparison.
NUMBER 4: ROI – RETURN ON INVESTMENT
ROI formula = Total profit generated from Digital Marketing / Total Digital Marketing investment.
Why: Is it worth having your Digital Marketing Department in your business? ROI will tell you.
Tip: You will need strong Digital Marketing Tracking in all areas to ensure you are accounting for all revenue, expenses and costs.
NUMBER 5: CR – CONVERSION RATE
CR formula = Total Visits to your website / Total website sales.
You should also calculate conversion rate for your top lead generation landing pages. In this case the formula will be:
CR = Total leads from that specific landing page/ Total Visits to your landing page
Why: You want to know this metric is getting better with improvements to your website usability, navigation, content, better product information. etc.
Tip: Conversion Rate might also spot seasonalities in your business or days and times people tend to convert the most. You can adjust your digital marketing dollars accordingly.
If you or your boss is a control freak and really want to dig in to your Digital Marketing Performance, she might be happy to see how you are progressing with the below metrics…
NUMBER 6: ACPV – AVERAGE COST PER VIEW
ACPV formula = Total Advertising Spend to a Specific Landing Page / Number of Unique Page Views.
Why: You need to know how much – on average – is costing your business to get unique eye balls on your key landing pages. So you can review and compare different alternatives to generate traffic to that landing page.
Tip: I like to measure ACPV by specific page and by specific channel so you have a clear idea on how much is costing you to drive traffic to a specific page and compare it with the cost of driving traffic to other landing pages.
NUMBER 7: RVR – RETURN VISITORS RATE
RVR formula = Total Return Visitors / Total Visits
Why: I love this metric. It says how interesting your website is for people to come back and hopefully buy from you again. Remember return visits can also mean people are still trying to figure out or stuck at solving something. (specially if you do not offer email or call centre support).
Tip: Your loyalty program, email marketing (e-newsletter subscribers) and unique offers to previous visitors are a great way to bring return visits back to your website.
NUMBER 8: CTR – CLICK THROUGH RATE
CTR formula = Total Clicks / Total Impressions.
Why: I like this metric to be tracked and be presented by my web designers and Adwords Specialists who are responsible for all the Display Banner Ad creatives and Text Ads.
Tip: Is your creative team A/B testing different options? If not they should!
NUMBER 9: CPC
CPC formula = Dollar amount $ paid per click
Why: Some many companies Adwords CPC’s are already to high to even make a decent trial. If this is not your case, you might want to compare your CPC values across different channels inlcuding: Adwords, SEO (I will explain how to calculate CPC on SEO), Social Media Ads, Display Banner Ads (paid on CPC instead of CPM).
Tip: You might want to cap max CPC for ads that have low CPL or CPA, this way you can bid higher on the ones that are actually bringing you either leads or tangible sales $$.
METRICS ONLY GOOD FOR SPECIFIC BUSINESSES
NUMBER 10: APV – AVERAGE PAGE VIEWS PER VISIT
APV formula = Total Page Views / Total Visits
Why: This is a great metric only if you want people to stay the longest consuming content on your website or app: online newspaper, online magazine, online radio station, online TV channel, dating app, etc.
Tip: Improvements on website usability and “call to actions” that drive users to read related or other popular content is key to drive this metric up. Too much advertising on your website or app might not help with this metric.
NUMBER 11: ATS – AVERAGE TIME ON SITE
ATS formula = Total Time Spent / (Visits – Single Page Visits)
Why: Same as APV this is a great metric only if you want people to stay the longest consuming content on your website or app: online newspaper, online magazine, online radio station, online TV channel, dating app, etc.
Tip: Same as APV, improvements on website usability and call you actions to drive people to read related or other popular content is key to drive this metric up. Too much advertising on your website or app might not help with this metric.
NUMBER 12: BR – BOUNCE RATE
BR formula = One Page Visitors / Total Visits
Why: Same as APV or ATS you want to reduce bounce rates only if you want people to stay the longest consuming different content pieces on your website or app: online newspaper, online magazine, online radio station, online TV channel, dating app, etc.
Tip: If 30% or more or your traffic is coming from Adwords, you might want to check your landing pages are relevant to the searches you are bidding for. Same as APV, improvements on website usability and call you actions to drive people to read related or other popular content is key to drive this metric up. Too much advertising on your website or app might not help with this metric.
METRICS ACROSS THE PATH TO PURCHASE
There are some other metrics your CEO might want you to measure and keep track and they represent customers getting closer to purchase or loyalty:
- Email sign-ups
- Content downloads (guides, pdf’s, white-papers, reports, infographics, etc)
- Mobile app downloads.
With limited time, resources and human talent, you might not be able to focus on all metrics and/or be able to measure them all as some metrics are more difficult to measure than others.
OTHER METRICS KEY TO YOUR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing can surely help on other key aspects of your business that you might need to define key metrics for, including:
- Customer Churn
- Customer Satisfaction (turning customers into brand advocates by improving customer service) Some popular metrics here are “First response time”, “Deflection rate”
- Brand Recall
- Employee Engagement
- Mitigating risk (protecting your brand from from threats or bad commentary)
I will talk about these key objectives on a different article soon and will link it from here.
- CONDUCT A LOW-RISK PILOT TEST. Use a pilot test to demonstrate how Digital Marketing and Social Media can help your organisation achieve a particular business objective. Propose a low-risk, time- limited program to experiment with a new initiative and track how that campaign performs. The pilot program creates a business case for further investment—such as increasing digital ad spend or investing in a social media platform—or it can provide lessons to improve current Digital Marketing efforts.
- START WITH FEW METRICS. Digital Marketing and Social data can provide insights that drive business value, but it can’t do everything. Be clear from the outset about what you can—and cannot—do when it comes to measuring the ROI of Digital Marketing. Demonstrate what is possible with the data you have, or data you can easily access, to prove the value of Digital Marketing in areas that impact the bottom line.
- ACTION! You set metrics to be able to take informed decisions. Use past performance to improve future campaigns and actions, do not forget finding out interesting trends and/or insights from your data collection (for example, you may notice that Instagram Stories Ads with more than two photos result in 3x conversions). Gather more data to determine if your analysis is correct, and come up with tactics that are easy for other teams to replicate.
- Get your Digital Marketing Strategy Plan ready with our Top Tips + Google Sheets Collaborative Template 🙂
THE ONLY 12 DIGITAL MARKETING METRICS YOUR BOSS CARES ABOUT
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MAU. is an Award Winner Digital Marketing Specialist (Masters in Marketing), Certified Facebook/Adwords Professional, Certified SEO Consultant, Top Linkedin Influencer (6k connections), StartUp Investor, Writer, International Speaker. 15+ years experience optimising Digital Marketing Campaigns. Worked for top brands such as Realestate.com.au, News Limited, The Athletes Foot, Thrifty, NSW Government. MAU.also trains marketers via Strategy Workshops & Training Sessions. His popular Digital Marketing Plan & Social Media Plan templates downloaded by thousands. MAU. travels the world (37 countries visited) while teaching Digital Marketing or completing creative photography briefs and conceptual photography assignments. Mauricio speaks three languages, football fan, latin dancer. Subscribe to MAU’s e-newsletter connect on LinkedIn Instagram Facebook
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