Before you start any new type of marketing initiatives you should already be thinking about how you can track your success. Going back to Marketing 101 in school, you should be following the rules of SMART for goal setting. You remember; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time. I always hated that last one, not making a time frame, but just how “Time” just sticks out like a sore thumb. Anyways, all marketing initiatives you start should follow this rule. And without measuring your success, how would you know if you should continue down this path or start a new one? This is where identifying the marketing metrics you are to be tracking are so helpful.
Marketing metrics help you analyze the effort, time, money, etc. you have invested and allow you to see your ROI. And if you are not seeing an ROI that benefits your business there is no reason to continue with this effort. Without these metrics, it would be much more difficult to understand what is working and what is not working.
The marketing metrics you’ll want to track will depend on the most important goals for this initiative. Even though all projects, campaigns, etc. are different, there are some baseline marketing metrics that are important to track. These marketing metrics are a great rule of thumb to keep track of to understand how your campaigns and other initiatives are doing.
Top Marketing Metrics to Track
1. Overall Traffic
Looking at your Google Analytics you are able to see all the traffic to your site and how they engaged with your site. It can be broken down further to source/medium to show where they came from and other marketing metrics. Overall traffic will give you a great perspective on your general website performance and is a good benchmark to keep over time. This way you may start to see patterns emerge, such as seasonality, that you can use to your advantage later. Generally speaking, if you are doing everything right you should see traffic from all sources increase over time. If this is not the case you will have a map to which source is not performing and address the potential issue.
In some cases, you can take this a step further. Seeing everyone who visited your site is great information, but it would be better if you knew who it was that was visiting your site. In the case of B2B businesses, this is possible. Thanks to anonymous website visitor identification software you can identify the companies that visit your site. Visitor Queue shows you the companies that visit your site. Then provides you with visit details, company, and contact information of them. This allows you to see how your initiatives are working. And who is interested in your offerings but may not have contacted you or left contact information.
2. Channel-Specific Traffic
These marketing metrics depend on where people are coming from to get to your site. This is a great way to see if your initiatives, social, organic, etc. are performing well. You can also see what is causing any dips in traffic (if you are experiencing this) and what medium is causing the dip to occur.
- Direct: This is when someone types in your URL and goes directly to your site or if they have been to your site previously and it was auto-filled.
- Referral: These are visitors that came to your site from another website. This is typically from a link on another site’s page.
- Organic: These are visitors who performed a search in their search engine and visited your site by selecting your site from the search results.
- Social: Visitors who came to your site through your social media platform will show here. This is a great way to gauge your social media effectiveness.
3. Total Conversions
Traditionally speaking, a “conversion” is when someone goes from being a simple visitor of your site to a paying customer. However, in today’s world, this is not necessarily the case. A conversion for your business could be someone filling out a form, signing up for a free trial, creating an account, etc. If you are experiencing low conversions it could speak to a number of things. Such as poor design, unappealing offering (product/service or pricing). Tracking your conversions can help point you to see exactly where your visitors are interacting with your site, and subsequently where they are not interacting with it. This can be very important to the quality of your UX and other less tangible areas based around creativity.
4. Bounce Rate
Your site’s bounce rate is the average number of visitors who visited one page of your site and then left. This is typically measured on the home page, however, other pages can have their own bounce rate. But not all bounce rates are equal. Your bounce rate can tell you whether your site is relevant or if you are using the right landing page. This number is very relative and it may take a bit of time to understand what is a good bounce rate based on your site.
Bounce rates for some pages may not be a bad thing compared to a high bounce rate on your home page. As mentioned above, not all bounce rates are equal. It may be that someone came to that page for a specific piece of information (price, feature, contact information, etc.) and then left. For instance, if they came on your site to contact you and became a paying customer after that interaction, that would not be a bad bounce.
5. Search Trends
Looking at search trends can explain things you have no control over and help give further insights. For instance, if you are a landscaping company, you may see a dip in landscaping during the winter months but see it rise again in the spring. Now, this was a very general and obvious trend, but you get the point. You can cross-reference these trends with your organic traffic and see why you are experiencing a poor Q4. Moving forward you will want to compare your Q4 to the previous year to get a true understanding of your progress.
This is a great way to understand if you are targeting the correct keywords for the campaign you have created. For instance, you may be targeting a keyword that was very popular 5 years ago but since has fallen off and now is not performing well.
6. New Vs. Returning
An increase in new users could be for multiple different reasons. You could have been mentioned on a popular site, podcast, show, etc. or, you could have increased your ad spend on a paid campaign. This metric tells you how effective your outreach is and how sticky your site is (bringing back returning users). You can use your returning users to measure how effective the email campaign you just sent out was. This will reveal how successful your campaign was.
7. Top Organic Landing Pages
These are also referred to as “entrance pages”. These individual pages are where your visitors enter your site when they use a search engine and come across your result. This metric tells you which pages on your site are the most visible in the search engine and which performs the best. You can see which page is most popular organically and see what people are searching for. This also highlights the importance of being specific in your posts.
Google Analytics will give you demographic information on your website visitor with a section on age, gender, location, and some other interest information. The location information is what is of most importance in this section (typically). As, if you are receiving views from around your region, country, world, etc. it could be fantastic, or it could be bad. It all depends on where and who you typically do business with. If you specifically only do business within your home country. Or even more narrow, your region, but are receiving visits from a different continent, that is of no help to you. This could indicate that your initiatives are not reaching the correct people.
9. Site Speed
In 2021, Google made an update to their SEO policies, which made site speed a crucial part of how well your website ranks. If your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, Google will favour others over yours. Anything above 4 seconds will dramatically reduce the amount of traffic your site sees. If you consistently see your site’s speed above 4 seconds, Google has a few resources that can help you figure out what is affecting the speed. Even if you don’t consider how Google will rank your site based on it’s speed, users will typically abandon their search if your site takes too long to load. In fact, 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site.
10. Time On Page
Time on page is another metric that is very easy to understand, and it can help you understand what users are doing on your website. You might see that certain pages have an average time on page of over 5 minutes. Some might think that this is great, but, high time on page isn’t always good. Often, a high time on page can mean that your visitors are having a hard time finding what they’re looking for, or the call-to-action isn’t as relevant as it could be. If you are worried about this, using a tool like Hotjar could give you a lot of insight on your website visitors. Hotjar’s heatmap tool can show you what your visitors are looking at, what they’re clicking on, and if you have any errors on your site that could be driving up their time on site.
There is a lot of information here that is important to track. Further, there is even more data that you can be tracked that is not in this article. Every business is different and may be interested in different data and have different goals. But, the data listed above are some of the standards you should be tracking to get a general sense of how your site is performing. Through these standards of tracking, you can develop your own custom tracking schedule. And learn what is important to your business and what is not as important. Moreover, it is beyond important to ensure you remain consistent with your tracking. If you want to ensure your initiatives remain relevant you need to track them on a consistent basis. As the industry is constantly changing and you could be underperforming and not know it until it is too late.