Choosing Marketing Metrics that Count
This post was originally published on July 18, 2012. It has been updated to reflect the most current marketing metrics to track and republished here.
"Digital marketers today are drowning, but they don’t know...how to connect the dots in a meaningful way that will drive marketing performance.” Geoff Ramsey, eMarketer CEO
There are no secrets on the internet. Every Google search and click generates a data trail. How do you know which data really matters to gauging the success of your inbound marketing campaign?
10 Marketing Metrics That Matter
Put on your nerd hat and join us for a quick overview of the marketing metrics that you should be measuring regularly:
Smart marketers know how many people are looking at their website, and where they came from. Web traffic is more than a single number, but a series of data sets that illustrate where you're getting noticed. If social media is driving your traffic, pat yourself on the back for drafting engaging content that leads visitors to your site and get to work on your SEO strategy. In addition to initial site visits, track repeat visitors as a great indicator at how successful you are at drawing people back.
2. Time on Site
Website traffic doesn't mean much if a visitor immediately leaves the moment they arrive, a phenomenon known as bounce rate. The patterns of behavior once a visitors arrives on your site can reveal a lot of information on how you're doing. Try for a high crawl rate, tracked by the number of subsequent pages visited.
3. Lead Conversion
The percentage of people who click your call-to-action button and complete the form is your lead conversion rate. The lead conversion rate is a great indicator of how effective your landing pages are. Track where your leads are coming from for information on the keywords and social media networks that really work for your business.
4. Inbound Links
Build inbound links the right way, which is writing smart content full of great data and ideas. The Google algorithm is a well-kept secret, but quality inbound links probably matter about 70% more than on-page SEO strategy.
You could have a million fans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+, but if no one is talking, asking questions or giving feedback, it doesn't matter. Engagement offers insight into the pain points and priorities of your customers. Re-tweets and shares are another important indicator of success. Personal recommendations count big, and each social share will get your company message into the feed of hundreds of people. Remember, social media is about more than just posting content--you've got to actually be social to engage with your audiences.
6. Click-Through Rate
Website traffic is a gauge of the success of your marketing automation emails. The number of people who head to your website reveals the appeal of your lead nurturing campaigns. Maximize this metric by structuring emails to your lead lists much like landing pages, with value-driven text and a clear call-to-action.
7. Unsubscribe Rate
You can't afford a high unsubscribe rate. According to an email marketing study conducted by Silverpop, the average email unsubscribe rate across all industries is 0.25%. Leads unsubscribe because the emails are too frequent or not relevant. Make sure to employ email best practices every time you send an meail to your list.
8. Close Ratio
The percentage of leads who make a contribution to your bottom line (that is, become a customer) is the close rate. This percentage is a great indicator of the success of your lead nurturing efforts.
9. Net Promoter Score
Track your customer happiness index, or CHI, by offering a simple survey following each sale scored on a scale of 1 to 10. Try and maximize customer satisfaction and your net promoter score by increasing the number of people who rate their experience as totally satisfying, or numbers 9 through 10. If practical, reach out personally to people who expressed dissatisfaction.
Return on investment drives traditional marketing campaigns, and the marketing metric still matters for inbound efforts. Use ROI to gauge where your time is best spent. You could find that LinkedIn leads to more sales than Pinterest, or paid remarketing campaigns aren't working. Adjust your efforts accordingly to maximize your marketing dollars.
Use Data to Evolve
The internet gives marketers access to real information on the needs, pain points and behavior of their market. The real trick is knowing which methods can help you improve. Don't drown in data by identifying and using the marketing metrics that matter. Celebrate your wins and determine how to improve in areas where you aren't realizing your desired results.