As a digital marketer, measuring the success of your campaigns is crucial to ensure you get the best return on investment. Campaigns should include many channels, and your investment is typically measured in paid exposure (impressions and reach), engagement and conversions. But with so many metrics available, knowing which should guide you and where to start can be overwhelming. In this article, we will explore the key metrics that matter most when measuring the success of a digital marketing strategy.
Key metrics are used to build a dashboard or report that gives you a clear view of your digital marketing performance. While there are many metrics to measure, some can be used to sum up overall success or the critical markers of success you want to see. Key metrics are determined both by the efficiency of the metric and your own marketing goals.
You can also determine a single “Northstar” metric to indicate whether your campaign is moving in the right direction and how quickly.
Traffic metrics will tell you about the exposure of your digital marketing campaign and specific assets. They will show which landing pages were viewed and for how long. Traffic metrics in digital marketing are much like measuring the foot traffic for a local business. You can determine how many people have the potential to engage with your content and whether they engage or pass it on.
Session metrics measure the average time visitors spend on your landing page or exploring your entire website. A session is measured from app-open to app-closed. Sessions are measured across the site, through multiple pages, and through the conversion process. Successfully engaged leads will have longer and more complete sessions.
You can track session data by average, segmented traffic, or scatter graphs to see how some users stay longer or shorter.
Pageviews indicate how often pages are requested from your website. This simple metric will tell you that users are exploring the site but need to offer more insight into what they are doing or how effectively they are engaged. Pageviews are measured simply by how many times a page, any page, is requested from your server.
Bounce rate is a negative metric that you want to minimise. A “bounce” is when someone clicks through your advertisement and promptly decides to leave. The bounce rate is measured when a visitor leaves your site without taking further action. A bounce happens when a visitor realises that your page doesn’t have what they are looking for, often due to poor targeting or ad design.
Engagement metrics tell you how users interact with your content. They can give you insights into improving your design or what elements of your campaign are gaining the most traction with leads or sales.
Time on page
Time-on-page metrics can tell you the length of time visitors spend on each page interacting with your content. This can give you an idea about how long it takes to consume (read or view) your content and whether some users move more quickly or break off early. A long article or engaging video will typically produce more extended session periods, while shorter, more flyer-like landing pages may have shorter sessions and still be considered successful.
Tools may allow users to spend longer on a page exploring the options, while “snackable” content can result in shorter time-on-page but greater engagement than lengthy articles.
Pages per session
Pages per session are the pages visitors explore on your website with each visit or session. If your landing page engages with compelling calls to action or accessible navigation that intrigues the viewer, they may request multiple pages within a session. Pages per session provide a valuable metric when your goal is to engage viewers and build a brand relationship. Multiple pages per session can mean visitors exploring more content in your blog, checking out products, or investigating your company.
Click-through rate (CTR)
CTR, or click-through rate, indicates which pieces of your advertising campaign are most appealing to click on. In a PPC (pay-per-click) marketing environment, your click-through rate determines both your ad spend and the appeal of the ads you post. Click-through rate is typically measured when a paid ad generates a click, and the user is taken to your landing page. However, you can also measure CTR internally when gauging elements of your on-site conversion funnel.
Conversion metrics determine how well your marketing campaign turns curious website visitors into leads and leads into customers. The conversion process is a matter of engagement, information, and decision-making. With these metrics, you can hone your conversion funnel by revealing which elements effectively guide (or fail to guide) users through the conversion process.
Each company and campaign’s conversion process is unique, so you must hone these metrics to your specific goals. We recommend starting with high-value customer journey touchpoints and measuring these points.
Conversion rate is measured at a specific point in website engagement which can vary from brand to brand. In eCommerce, conversion is a purchase. In professional services, conversion is booking an appointment. In many B2B industries, conversion shares an email address for future contact. Whatever that point is, your conversion rate is measured by how many click-through visitors reach this point.
Tracking conversion rates allow you to measure the performance of your web pages and apps. Understanding what percentage of your users are completing the goals that drive your business helps gauge the success of your site or app and identify areas for improvement.
Cost per aquisition (CPA)
Cost per acquisition, or CPA, is determined by dividing your total marketing spend by your total acquisitions within a campaign, channel and period. This calculates the cost of attracting dozens, hundreds, or thousands of visitors per converted lead.
Often, marketers seek to reduce CPA through better targeting, reducing bounce rate, and increasing the potential of engagement for each visitor. CPA is a vital measurement of digital marketing success for eCommerce and Education clients.
Revenue is one of the most specific metrics to measure, as it is represented by eCommerce income or income provided by converted leads. Revenue is weighed against the total cost of your marketing campaign, and the revenue of individual leads can be tracked through the total conversion journey.
It’s important to remember that earning a lead or customer is more expensive than retaining the customers you have. But retention is not a given, and marketing is often essential in repeatedly returning previously satisfied customers. Retention metrics will show you the value of these return customers, how long they last, and how often they return.
Customer lifetime value (CLV)
Customer Lifetime Value, or CLV, measures the total revenue a customer brings throughout their lifespan. This metric is usually measured in averages, dating the average revenue of an active customer multiplied by the average customer lifespan.
CLV is not just about how valuable each customer is to the company but also what earning that customer is worth in terms of marketing spend. It is a balancing point compared to the cost per conversion, as each conversion contributes to the average customer lifetime value score.
The churn rate is the balancing point to CLV, indicating how quickly customers disengage from the company and are no longer considered active customers. The churn rate does not focus on individual account longevity but rather the percentage of customers who disengage in a period. The churn rate is typically presented in percentage per month, such that a 2% churn rate would mean 2% of your customers leave the brand, cancel their accounts, or otherwise disengage every 28-30 days.
Because marketing can be responsible for re-engaging customers to keep accounts alive, the churn rate can indicate the success of your campaign’s customer retention. If a campaign lowers the churn rate, you effectively re-engage customers who may otherwise have left.
Repeat purchase rate
The repeat purchase rate or RPR indicates the ratio of customers who return for a second purchase compared to the total number of customers. This can show you the effectiveness of long-term engagement and your marketing campaign’s successful re-engagement of past customers. When your repeat purchase rate rises, this indicates a more significant percentage of loyal customers within your total customer body. Inevitably, your customer lifetime value will also rise as more accounts return to generate additional revenue.
Marketing that targets returning customers is called remarketing. It is used to increase repeat purchase rate, as can marketing highlighting the qualities of owning multiples of a product, building a set, and yet-unexplored brand experiences.
Tracking and benchmarking
Set up tracking and establish benchmarks for insights and a performance-driven approach to your digital marketing. Tracking and benchmarking provide a frame of reference so that you can see your progress and hone the results of each digital marketing campaign. We use Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as the tracking platform for most of our clients and Looker dashboards. This provides critical insights into paid ads and on-site customer activity to inform digital strategy.
Set up tracking and events
To gain helpful information from your digital marketing campaign, you will need to set up tracking for activity and events. Tracking allows you to follow each user in their journey through your website, collecting valuable data like time on page and pages per session. At the same time, events are specific interactions with your website, like clicking a button or downloading gated content.
Benefits of Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics, or GA4, is the platform of choice for most digital marketers when entering the realm of metrics tracking. Google can give you measurements on the success of your sponsored content and then track users through their interactions with your website to provide valuable data – including all the metrics mentioned above.
GA4 also includes invaluable dashboards and reports that you can tailor to show the key metrics. This makes monitoring changes easy for a more informed digital strategy.
Importance of benchmarking
Lastly, benchmarking gives you points of reference based on what is considered successful and what is being achieved by your competition. Benchmarking allows you to measure your metrics in an objective sense, giving meaning to individual numbers. Some examples of benchmarks include comparing your current metrics to results in the prior quarter, in the prior year, or against industry averages.
When building a digital marketing strategy, key metrics are used to ensure you meet your business objectives. By tracking and analysing data, you can optimise your results, demonstrate the channel’s success, and determine cost per acquisition for budgeting purposes. You can tell how an audience engages with your content for insights on what is working and what needs to be changed.
Remember to get the best results by focusing on metrics aligning with your business’s specific goals and objectives, whether collecting leads, making eCommerce purchases, or re-engaging an existing audience.
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