Making sense of marketing metrics – the five crucial KPIs to focus on

One of the biggest challenges for digital marketers is not so much the running of campaigns, or even the creative element of marketing online, but the reams and reams of data that needs to be analysed. However, you don’t actually need to analyse absolute everything, as it’s a massive drain on resources and might not even tell you anything important about the success of your campaigns.

Let’s just focus on the important stats and ignore everything else – here are the 5 key performance indicators (KPIs) that you should be prioritising:

  1. Return on investment. No matter what else you may be achieving, your digital marketing efforts need to be worth the money you’re spending on them. This is why measuring ROI is so important, and it’s easier than you think. All you need to know is how much revenue a particular campaign is generating – it’s far more manageable to calculate ROI on a campaign-by-campaign basis – compared to the cost of running it. You may encounter complications, as some marketing efforts may have less direct results in terms of revenue, but it’s an exercise that’s well worth doing.
  1. Traffic sources. To put it simply, you need to know where your customers are coming from in order to find you. Use an analytics tool to measure the numbers of visitors finding your website through either direct, referral or search, or other sources. Each of these figures tells you something about the health of your website – for example, high referral figures mean your website is being talked about and generating positive online conversation, while high search figures show that your SEO efforts are working.
  1. Goal completion. This is a really crucial one – you need to set goals and measure completion rates. For example, set a goal for the number of people clicking through to the website from a marketing email, or a percentage of those people for whom clicks convert to sales, and track the achievement of the goal and how long it takes. This gives you a clear idea of progress, and can help to inform future campaigns.
  1. Keyword performance. If you’ve been putting a lot of effort into content, you’ll want to know if it’s working and if you’ve been targeting the right keywords. Don’t get obsessed with it – remember that digital marketing is all about the ‘bigger picture’ – but it can be useful to know which keywords are ranking and driving organic traffic to your website.
  1. Cost per lead. Similarly to tracking ROI figures, you need to analyse the cost-effectiveness of your marketing efforts by working out how much you’re spending on acquiring new leads. You will then have a tangible figure to put on the cost of generating and nurturing leads, as well as how much you’re getting out of it.

Do you monitor these five crucial stats, or are there others you think that digital marketers should focus on as well? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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