Online marketers spend a great deal of time looking at data measurement features such as number of visitors to a site, but often overlook online marketing metrics that matter most. While it’s important to have site visitors, this is merely a small piece of the marketing performance metrics toolbox.
While it makes sense to measure marketing campaign effectiveness based on things like traffic or number of clickthroughs, the marketing metrics that matter most are those that can actually measure the effectiveness of a campaign based on the desired customer action. The most important online marketing metrics include those that maintain accountability, report appropriately on the ROI, and prove that a marketing campaign is truly effective.
Conversion Rates As A Marketing Metric
Conversions used to be all about sales but in the unique atmosphere of online marketing, conversions can vary rather significantly from one marketing campaign to the next. Online marketing metrics should be heavily focused on conversion rates but a marketer must first determine what the goal is and what constitutes a conversion. Knowing what you want your visitor to do can help you narrow down the activities and discover what works best. Conversions may include the following:
- Newsletter signup
- Social shares
- Likes or comments
- Account signups
- Any type of business engagement that is desired
The success of your business is directly correlated to your ability to effectively convert website visitors into paying customers, online subscribers or leads. Google Analytics and other analytic tools can be used to map and track conversions to determine what content, landing pages or other features of a campaign are working and which features are not.
Visitor Engagement As A Marketing Metric
There’s more to visitor engagement than just bounce rates, though these are important to understand too. Several variables should be closely monitored when judging the level of visitor engagement and the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. Understanding how your visitors interact on your site can provide great insight. Consider measuring visitor engagement based on the following:
Bounce rate (remember that some industries have a higher normal bounce rate than others)
- Average number of pages per visit
- Return visitors
- Average time spent on site
Various tools can help to measure visitor engagement including Google Analytics, heat mapping, or eye tracking software allowing you to actually visualize where and how your visitors engage on your website.
Online marketing metrics now focus very heavily on social sharing and interactions. Measuring how effective a social media marketing campaign is or even how effective any marketing campaign is for that matter is heavily focused on how the social media world views a product or service. How many times does your brand show up in conversations on social networks? Is all the talk good? What are you doing to combat negative feedback? As the Internet shifts to a very social atmosphere, metrics must also shift to cover things like the following:
- Social likes
- Conversations involving a brand, product, or service
All indications are that having these marketing metrics tools in your toolbox will prove highly beneficial to you, your website and your bottom line.