Among the most significant challenges that online businesses face is determining which of their digital marketing strategies are paying off and which ones are a waste of resources. Many business owners make the mistake of hiring a web marketing agency with no clue as to what key performance indicators (KPIs) to look out for and how to track them.
If you are running a business involved in ecommerce, then such foresight is invaluable since it helps you to pretty quickly determine which web marketing strategies are worth your while. Why should you waste your resources on a marketing tactic that’s not getting you profitable results?
Unlike traditional marketing mediums such as radio, television, magazines and newspapers, where it can be challenging to gauge things like viewer engagement and sales conversion rates, with digital marketing, there are many resources that you can use to determine the following:
- The number of times your ads were shown and the number of people who saw it
- What action people took after seeing your ads
- What device people are using to view your ads
- Demographics of users seeing your ads (age, sex, location and the like)
By keeping track of such valuable and crucial information, businesses can gain a good understanding of the behavior and preferences of their target market and fine tune their web marketing strategies accordingly.
Key Factors to Measure Digital Marketing Success
Here are a few important metrics to look out for in web marketing:
One of the first things any reputable online marketing agency looks for is website traffic. But they are not just looking at visitor and viewer counts. They are more interested in knowing how this traffic is engaging with your content and other marketing material. Many businesses think that everything is going well just because their site is getting lots of traffic. But that is not necessarily the case. What most people do not realize is that more traffic does not automatically mean more conversions or sales.
Of course, it is comforting to know that you see an increase in site traffic, but the critical question to ask is how much of that traffic is making you any money? To find the answer, you will have to comb through your traffic sources to determine which ones are sending you the kind of traffic that yields the most engagement (for example, the most subscriptions, social shares, and sales) and thus a good return on investment. That way, you know what traffic sources to concentrate your marketing resources on and cut down expenses by shutting down traffic sources that are not producing good results.
One good example of how having more traffic does not necessarily add to your bottom line is bounce rate — this is the number of people that leaves a few seconds after landing on your page. Such behavior can be attributed to many things such as slow webpage speed, low-quality content, poor navigation, and web design or targeting the wrong people with your ads. In any case, it is essential to fix whatever is causing high bounce rates for three reasons:
- People spend more time on your site which means more opportunity for conversion
- You can stop paying for clicks that do not convert
- It will improve search engine rankings — Google takes high bounce rates as a sign that a website is not offering value to users
Another factor that web marketers ought to keep a close eye on is CTR — the number of people that saw your ads and clicked on them. Maintaining a good CTR means that users find your ads relevant and interesting. More importantly, you get better ad placements and lower cost-per-click which is always a good thing.
The lifetime value of your customers
Perhaps the most challenging factor to keep tabs on but also important is customer lifetime value. This metric will tell you how much value your customers bring to your business and how much money you can afford to spend on obtaining new leads while remaining profitable.
Now let us say that you have determined that the average lifetime value of your customers is $500. This means that your SEO Company should not be spending any more than this amount in pursuing new leads on customers if your business is to remain profitable.
The ability to convert traffic into paying customers is perhaps the most crucial metric any web marketers ought to track and monitor as it tells you whether you are running a profitable business or not. To calculate the conversion rate, divide the total number of unique visits to your site with the number of sales, sign-ups, downloads or whatever action you have set as a conversion.
To monitor website conversion rate, you can use the Google Analytics tool or other traffic optimization tools like Heap and Mixpanel.
Another metric that you need to monitor is the number of email subscriptions you have for your business. Whatever niche you are into, it is prudent to take steps to grow your email list steadily as it relates directly to the number of people who have taken an interest in your product or service. More importantly, these people are most likely to be receptive to your offers which leaves you with a cost-effective medium for promoting your business.
So how do you grow your list of email subscribers? The most straightforward means is to give people a reason to sign up to your email list. Offering incentives can help you do this in the form of information, videos, PDF downloads, reports or anything else that you deem of value to your target market.
To grow an email list, you will also need the help of autoresponders like Aweber and MailChimp. These tools come with an integrated analytics tool that can help you monitor the growth of the email list and uncover vital information such as the number of people that take the time to read your emails and sign up to your list.
So there you have it — a few metrics that you should keep a close eye on when monitoring results in your digital marketing campaigns. Keep in mind that the parameters and tools mentioned above are far from comprehensive and more are introduced as the online marketing landscape continues to grow and evolve change. But, one fundamental point remains the same: if you really want to get a decent return from all the time, energy, and money that you are pouring into your web marketing efforts, then you need to monitor and measure the right results.
Nik Tordil is a results oriented Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Online Marketing Strategist with over 10 years of professional experience. Had worked alongside a team of SEO Experts in Sydney and helped numerous businesses across Australia in terms of leveraging their SEO / Internet Marketing campaigns and guiding them to success using effective and white hat methodologies. Follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TBOMarketing/