As the digital age has made it possible to track practically every bit of information your customers generate along their journey to purchase, it can be tempting to analyze it all. However, sifting through this mountain of data is a daunting task. As the number of potential key performance indicators (KPIs) grows parallel to your business, it becomes more important to focus on your performance’s most relevant indicators.
Here are eight KPIs that warrant the attention of savvy communicators and marketers:
1. Website traffic. Perhaps the most basic of all KPIs, measuring your website traffic helps you discover whether your website serves its primary purpose as a 24/7/365 ambassador for your brand. View trends in your site’s monthly traffic volume to determine how effective your overall marketing efforts are. Then, focus on noteworthy details like “visitors per page,” “visitors per product category,” or “visitors by price” to identify areas for improvement.
2. Inbound link building. As a critical part of your SEO efforts, inbound link building drives traffic to your website from other websites. Regularly use tools to determine how many inbound links currently exist, and engage in ethical campaigns to increase your numbers. Actively improving both the number and quality level of your inbound links not only serves to direct users back to your site but boosts your site’s authority in the process.
3. Visits per channel. Your inbound link building efforts, social media outreach, and PPC campaigns share one overarching goal—to drive consumer traffic to your site. That’s why inbound visits per channel are such an important KPI. You need to know where your traffic is coming from, so you can determine which campaigns are most effective, worth further investment, and which could use more attention. Track your traffic as it arrives from organic search and referral links (most link building campaigns), social, email, display ads, paid search and more.
4. Average time on page. Of course, simply driving traffic to your site isn’t enough. You also need to keep visitors there long enough to navigate to your most important pages and eventually take your desired actions.
If most of your users spend a very short time on your page, Google may assume your page doesn’t provide its users the information or services they expect and downgrade your page rank. Take the time to analyze this KPI for your homepage and your blog posts, product categories and other landing pages.
5. Conversion rate. One of the most defining KPIs of any sales-based digital marketing campaign, the conversion rate is calculated by dividing your conversions by the number of overall visitors to your site. While heavy page traffic can make your campaign appear successful on the surface, a large number of website visitors doesn’t mean much if relatively few of them ever convert into paying customers. Calculating conversion rate can help you focus on the audience most likely to convert and target more users just like them.
6. Cost per action (CPA). Cost per action helps you determine the overall cost of driving a customer to take a predefined action, such as completing a sale, clicking on an email link, registering for a newsletter, and more. Put simply, your CPA is the average amount of money you’re charged to attain each conversion from an ad.
If achieving conversions is one of your company’s primary goals, regularly tracking CPA can help you focus on the tactics and channels most likely to deliver a healthy conversion return for your marketing dollar. Tracking CPA can help pinpoint the amount you’re willing to spend to attract quality users who will become paying customers.
7. Cost per lead. This KPI focuses on the cost of gaining a new potential customer. Once you know how much you’re spending for each lead, you can determine if this budget aligns with the eventual actions your new contact takes. You’ll then need to evaluate whether the amount of effort and money spent to get the lead is worthwhile.
8. Return on ad spend (ROAS). As a measure of the revenue gained for each dollar you spend on digital marketing, ROAS is the KPI that is potentially the most telling regarding your digital marketing campaign’s overall efficacy. Simply put, if you aren’t achieving the sales goals you set forth for your marketing effort, something needs to change.
Tracking the other KPIs mentioned above can help you determine where to focus your attention and marketing dollars.
Though some of your most relevant KPIs can—and will—shift as your brand and goals change over time, these eight are central to most digital marketing campaigns and are nearly always helpful to help map your progress.
Alyssa Anderson is the Content Manager at Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM), a digital marketing agency in Madison, CT.