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30 Digital Marketing Metrics and KPIs You Should Always Measure

Updated on June 18, 2021

16 Min Read

Marketing as per marketers is all about building awareness, preferences, distribution, and other factors that ultimately lead to higher sales. To establish any marketing strategy, you need to be able to quantify digital marketing metrics in order to make better decisions.

These digital marketing metrics allow you to make educated and effective decisions which is the primary objective of measuring them in the first place.

Importance of Digital Marketing Metrics

You constantly need to justify your marketing budget. Thence, quantify it. You need to ask yourself: ‘Are we adding value to the business?’

During the recession, marketers were not able to justify how their activities were contributing to the greater value of the business. It was not that the marketing wasn’t contributing to the business. It just struggled with demonstrating it.

Marketing used to be about creativity without measuring metrics. However, it’s completely the opposite where we stand today. A marketer must focus on establishing relevant KPIs, followed by techniques to measure the marketing metrics. Let’s take a deeper look at what digital marketing metrics should you focus on to scale your business.

Important SEO Metrics

You can measure your project’s success in different ways. One of the key methods is by examining your SEO metrics. Fortunately, there are a number of tools available that provide easy-to-read reports so that you can evaluate such metrics without any trouble.

Your two best friends are Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Not only they are free to use, but most of the metrics that you need to focus on are accessible with these tools.

1. SEO Traffic

Organic traffic is what you earn from appearing on the search engine result pages (SERPs). You want your website to rank for keywords relevant to your niche. It’s essential to track your organic traffic so that you can see how many more people are visiting your website as a result of your SEO efforts.

a) Measuring Landing Page

Organic traffic comes from your overall website. Nonetheless, you should also track traffic by landing pages. Why? Simply because that’s how you can determine where to improvise. If you experience some of your pages ranking on page 1 and others are on page 4, you know that you need to improvise those pages that are ranking poorly. Also, if you’re using different strategies, you’ll get an idea of which strategies are working best and which aren’t.

b) Measuring Geographical Location

It’s also essential to keep a track of where your organic traffic is coming from. This comes in handy when your SEO efforts are meant to target particular geographic locations. Additionally, it also helps if you’re planning to expand your business into new markets.

If people from certain countries like your products better than the people from where heavy traffic is coming from, you can divert more marketing resources into those countries and increase sales. That’s why it’s good practice to measure organic traffic by geographical locations.

2. Keyword Ranking

Take note of which keywords you want to rank your website on. Once you’re aware of the keywords that your website is ranking for, there are numerous ways you can use that data to improve your SEO strategy.

It’s good practice to capitalize on your existing success. If your website ranks in the top 10 for high-converting keywords, continue using them in your blogs and campaigns and ensure your position is not at risk. Your top-ranking keywords bring you the most traffic. Make sure your keywords that associate such landing pages are on the spot. It will allow you to keep your bounce rate low.

3. Unique Domains (link building)

Simply put, link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your own website. It drives referral traffic and increases domain authority.

Google’s algorithms are complex. They are always evolving. However, backlinks remain an important factor for search engines to determine which websites rank for which keywords.

Links play a vital role in SEO strategy. They are a signal to Google that your website is a quality resource and is worthy of citation. Thence, websites with more backlinks tend to earn higher rankings on SERPs.

4. Mobile Traffic

Do remember that almost 60% of all online searches comes from mobile phones, therefore, tracking your traffic coming from mobile devices can indicate the following:

  • Mobile-friendliness: Google prefers mobile-friendly websites. If the traffic coming in from mobile remains constant even if your overall traffic is increasing, you have a problem with mobile-friendliness. Optimize your website as soon as possible.
  • Usage patterns: If you are experiencing a higher traffic coming in from mobile, it may indicate shifting of usage patterns from your target audience. This tells you whether you should invest further in mobile development or not.
  • Mobile-only search terms: Searches from mobile devices are different from desktop searches. Nearly 20% of mobile searches are in the form of voice only. Mobile users also tend to use fewer keywords than desktop users. Tracking mobile traffic allows you to measure whether you’re ranking for mobile-only searches or not.

5. Source/Medium/Channels (Traffic)

Nothing good comes out of “total numbers.” The golden rule here is to never view, analyze, or assess your website by considering the total number of visits, unique sessions, or page views. Nothing good comes out of it. Break it down into segments to extract accurate data in order to improve your SEO efforts accordingly.

The compilation of your total visitors should be diverse. Both in how they discovered your website and what do they know about your brand. They may have found you via your online marketing or offline marketing efforts, even via the word of mouth. They may as well be a lead that has persisted in your funnel for a good few months. To understand and to take real action, you need to classify your traffic.

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Important Content Marketing Metrics

High traffic is great. However, it’s nothing but the tip of the iceberg when you measure the success of your content marketing strategy. Metrics are what marketers use to determine how effective their strategies are. Breaking the data down and coming up with a better content marketing strategy is one of the keys to growth. Measure the following metrics to develop a successful content marketing strategy.

1. Retention Rate (New vs Old users)

Have you ever heard an entrepreneur say, “I’m okay with losing a few customers”?

Despite your opinion, measuring customer retention is critical. Unfortunately, building an effective customer retention strategy isn’t usually a high priority for marketers. Stepping aside from concerns of profitability, customer retention is one of the best ways to measure how reliably your business is delivering.

Simply put, businesses with high retention rates tend to succeed. Strong customer retention rates are a great driver of customer acquisition. You can additionally provide referrals and case studies to potential clients.

Free Retention Rate Calculator For Your Ecommerce & Dropshipping Store

When it comes to revenue, customer retention is critically important. It is also important for consistent growth and financial planning. The more committed customers you have for the next quarter, the easier it would be to make budgetary decisions. Also, retained customers generally require lesser maintenance as compared to acquired customers.

2. Average Session Duration

Basically, it refers to how much time visitors are spending on your website. It’s helpful for analyzing patterns and trends. In terms of content, you can see what blogs people are spending most of their time on. What case studies people find most interesting. What job openings are getting the most views. This information can help you shape your content strategy effectively.

As far as your marketing channels are concerned, you can monitor where users who provide valuable engagement are coming from. It helps to identify potential issues as well as opportunities. You might be facing issues with targeting or personas if you are investing heavily in social advertising but seeing a low average session duration.

Do remember, this metric is subject to limitations. It will only tell you one part of the story. When deciding where to invest your budget and what content strategy to push forward, you must combine this data with a complete analysis of your other KPIs.

3. Bounce Rate

The bounce rate refers to how many visitors stop engaging with your website after one interaction. That interaction can be a page view or a social media share. RocketFuel says the average bounce rate for any website ranges from 41% – 55%. Your bounce rate may not seem a noteworthy metric to you, but it’s essential to understand that none of these metrics exist in a vacuum.

Calculating your website’s bounce rate can be tricky at times. Industry professionals are still constantly debating over the definition of bounce rate. Essentially, as long as you use your common sense when looking at Google Analytics, pay attention to changing rates over time, you should be okay.

Having an unnaturally high bounce rate will make it much harder for you to convert your audience, which will consequently cause a reduction in customer retention. You can effectively use your bounce rate metric to find out the flaws within your website. Find a way to improve engagement in these weaker areas. Remember, the longer time someone spends on your website, the more likely they are to convert. It’s all connected.

4. Organic backlinks

It compares the total number of referring domains to your website’s external links. The best way to measure this metric is by looking at the ratios.

Google “spies” are on a lookout for the ratios of high backlinks and low referring domains. Why? Because it suggests that you are in charge of the referrals. Many have a few other websites set up just so that they can provide some link love to their main website.

A good ratio would be 500 incoming links from 300 referring domains. This suggests that everything is legit. Additionally, it’s not just the number of referring domains you need to keep an eye on. You should also monitor the types of domains. If content from domains is irrelevant to your own website, your rankings may fluctuate.

Also, measure the total number of backlinks. If the number of your total backlinks drops, it suggests Google that your website is not worth crawling anymore.

Furthermore, you should also make sure the number of referring IPs is as high as possible. If they’re not, then you may find yourself in hot waters with Google.

Google prefers backlinks to be as organic and as natural as possible. Thence, monitor your organic backlinks carefully.

5. Lead Generation / ROI

When it comes to measuring your content’s ROI, you basically need to measure how much revenue you’re earning from your content in contrast to what you’re spending on creating and distributing it.

To calculate the ROI of content marketing. we prefer to use the simple formula by Convince and Convert. “Return minus investment, divided by investment, expressed as a percentage”.

For instance, if you’re spending $1000 on creating content and get leads worth $3000 in return, then your ROI is 200%.

  • $3000-$1000 = $2000
  • $2000/$1000 = 2
  • 2 x 100% = 200%

The bottom line here is that if you spend less on creating content and earn more in sales, then it’s all worth it!

Free ROI Calculator – Calculate Your Return on Investment

Important Social Media Marketing Metrics

Besides a few universal social media marketing metrics, you should also focus on platform-specific digital marketing metrics. Data calculation is different depending on platforms, and the social media tools you’re using to measure those metrics.

Needless to worry, as we have got you covered. Following is a break down of all-important social media marketing metrics you need to measure.

1. Engagement Rate

Engagement rate defines the level of interaction a piece of content typically receives. Simply put, it is the percentage of the audience that responds to your content. Here are some examples of what is considered as social media engagements:

  • Post Likes or Reactions
  • Shares
  • Views
  • Comments

Engagement rate helps in determining which type of content you should work based on how it performs across different social media platforms. It indicates how responsive your audience is to your content.

To tell you the truth, engagement is MORE important than reach. Why? Let’s say you decide to run a campaign and prepare a brief for a range of influencers. An influencer with 300,000 followers may charge you USD$3,000 per post. This influencer has an engagement rate of 1.5%. This means you will receive approximately 4,500 interactions per post at a cost of $0.67 per engagement.

Whereas, an influencer with only 100,000 followers may charge you USD$1000 per post but has a high level of engagement at 15%. This means you should expect to receive approximately 15,000 interactions at an average cost of only $0.07 per engagement.

This is why engagement rate matters more than reach.

2. Followers/Fans Growth

Unless you have a super-hero memory, you’ll probably need some insights on how the number of your followers is changing over time.

You can keep track of the numbers in two ways. One, you can manually fetch those numbers every day, week or month. Prepare a spreadsheet and keep updating it regularly and watch the numbers grow. Or you can use different tools that keep track of followers for you.

Measuring the number of your followers is essential. It will allow you to scale your business. Take note of where most of your followers are from, what kind of content they engage with the most, what time of the day they are most active etc.

3. Social Media Brand Mentions

Your reviews, customer feedback and any type of post referring to you on social can be counted as your social media brand mention.

Start building a list of anybody who writes about you, and also the publication it appears in. When you write interesting pieces of content, you have an opportunity of letting others become aware of you.

For instance, if you have a huge event coming up or a big promotion, you can begin that promotion a few days in advance. Publications then release your content the day that your promotion goes live. It gives them a scoop on the story and provides you significant exposure.

Don’t forget about your competitors. Keep an eye on where they’re being mentioned. If any website mentions them, they are likely to open to mention you as well.

4. Post Reach

This is the total number of unique people who saw your posts. This could be fans, friends or even family. If they see your post multiple times, it will only be counted as one. For Facebook, analyze all the posts or view at least five recent ones for reach and engagement. If you click the link for the post, you can get your hands on fine-tuned details as well as negative feedback. For example, if somebody decided to hide your posts. Furthermore, monitor any post which people mark as spam closely.

For Twitter, you can expand your tweet details and get an on-spot graph alongside specific measurements. Monitor the monthly impressions to figure out your monthly reach. Also, analyze your top tweets and compare it with other tweets in order to see who replies and engages.

5. Likes vs Unlikes

Your Facebook “Likes” tab allows you to measure detailed metrics of your net likes. It combines the following metrics:

  • Unlikes: People who unliked your page.
  • Organic Likes: People who liked your page, not as a result of your Facebook Ad campaigns.
  • Paid Likes: People who liked your page as a result of your Facebook Ad campaigns.
  • Net Likes: The total number of new likes minus the number of unlikes from your page.

Learn to Effectively Use Social Media to Generate Leads

Important Email Marketing Metrics

There are a number of metrics to measure when it comes to email marketing. From the most critical components of an optimized email to the common email marketing mistakes, also examples of brilliant email marketing tips that will allow you to. However, by the end of the day, if you can’t see the results of your efforts, it doesn’t matter how optimized your emails are.

1. Open Rate

In simple words, open rate means how many people actually opened your email. If the open rates of your email campaigns during the last quarter were 20%, and they’re 30% now, you’re doing just fine. Look back over the emails that you’ve sent in the last quarter. Which of those emails had the highest open rates? Practice those methodologies more often.

The most common question about open rates is “What’s a good open rate?” The answer depends on your industry. But generally, an open rate of 20% to 30% or more is good. Don’t panic if your open rates are below 20%. For some niches that’s average.

2. Click Through Rate (CTR)

If anybody clicks on one of the links in your email, you’ve got a click. The click-through rate refers to how many people out of hundred clicked somewhere on your email. If 40 out of 100 people clicked, you’ll have a 40% click-through rate.

So what’s a good click-through rate? Once again it depends on your industry. But anything over a 10% click-through rate is decent enough. If you clear 20 percent, you should be proud.

You can improve your click-through rates in a number of ways. The most obvious one is to make your email messages mobile responsive. Don’t kill your click-through rates by generating emails that are unclickable. Another way to increase click-through rates is by making the buttons or links visually larger.

There is a variation on open rates and click-through rates. It is fairly common and is quite helpful. It’s called the “click-to-open rate.” It refers to how many people who opened your email also clicked on it. If you’ve got a weak open rate, but a strong click-to-open rate, it suggests your email’s subject line should have been stronger.

3. Unsubscribe Rate

How many people out of 100 unsubscribed from your email subscriptions? Keep in check, each email has its own unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribe rates are best kept at 0.2%. Although marketers who email frequently may see unsubscribe rates reaching up to 0.5%. When you look at a spike in unsubscribers, it’s clear that you sent an email that your readers didn’t like.

4. Email Bounce Management

An email bounce means the non-delivery of your email to the recipient. When this course takes action, the emailer receives an automatic notification of the delivery failure which originates from the recipient’s mail server.

Take a look at the following two different types of email bounces.

a) Soft Bounce / Block

It means that the email address was valid. Also, the email message did reach the recipient. Yet it bounced back because either:

  • The recipient’s mailbox was full
  • The recipient’s server was down or
  • Your email message was too large for the recipient’s inbox

b) Hard bounce

Hard bounces occur when the email message has permanently been rejected because either:

  • The email address is invalid or
  • The email address doesn’t exist

Consider your soft bounces as blocks that are nothing but a short-term issue. You don’t have to permanently remove these email addresses off from your list. But, hard bounces signifies invalidity or non-existent email addresses and should be removed then and there.

5. Complaint / Spam Rate

In order to maintain the best deliverability rate and ensure email marketing best practices are being used, you need to make sure your email account maintains a low complaint/spam rate. If it is high and you’re unable to lower it, your account may shut down in order to prevent further unwanted emails from being sent.

At any given point, your marketing campaign’s email complaints rate should be below 0.1%. The email message deliverability is greatly dependent on the sender’s reputation. If your email complaint rate is high for a period of time, it may affect not only the deliverability of your own email messages but also those of the service you use to send them.

When you are making decisions based on metrics, you need to be certain that you are collecting and measuring the right data. Unfortunately, many marketers are not.

In order to find out which digital marketing metrics to measure for online paid campaigns, you must first have a clear understanding of your goals. Without SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely), you will end up measuring irrelevant metrics. It will ultimately lead you to lose money.

1. Cost Per Click (CPC)

CPC measures how much an advertiser has paid exactly. To measure CPC, divide the total cost of your campaign by the number of times your ad was clicked. To manually check the cost of your campaign, you can multiply CPC by the number of clicks your campaign received.

2. Conversion Rate

It is the number of conversions your ad receives divided by the number of clicks your ad receives. The conversion rate of your ads lets you know the relevancy of your offer. It helps you to know whether your customers are in the right stage of their buyer journey. Generally, the higher your conversion is for the visitor’s stage in the buyer journey, the higher your conversion rate will be.

3. Quality Score – Adwords

Google offers a Quality Score to your keywords. It’s visible in the AdWords interface. A keyword’s Quality Score is based on a scale of 1 to 10. Your keywords’ performance on Google calculates the score unless they achieve a significant number of impressions. That’s called impression threshold.

With enough impressions, the Quality Score of your keyword will begin to reflect on how it has performed. This is important if you use a lot of keywords with low impressions. The keywords will not be evaluated on their own unless they reach the impression threshold.

At the time of reviewing keywords you are able to see:

  • Quality Score – How relevant your keywords, ads or landing pages are to the viewers of your ad.
  • Ad Relevance – How related are your keywords to ad copies.
  • Landing page experience – How useful is the landing page for users who are viewing your page.
  • Expected CTR – Based on previous performances, the chances your ad will be clicked when displayed.

4. Click Through Rate (CTR)

Click-Through-Rate (CTR) is the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of impressions. The CTR of your ad tells you the relevancy of your ad in terms of what viewers want and when they want it. Usually, the more relevant your ad the higher will be the CTR.

CTRs vary greatly between industries, channels (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email), and types of offers. Some successful campaigns may have a CTR of 0.2% while other unsuccessful campaigns may have a CTR of 5% or even higher.

5. Wasted Spend

Not all those who will click your ad are going to buy your offer so that hurts your ROI, hence you must be sure about who are your ideal customers.

In Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing click costs are going to get huge if you are targeting a wide range of audience. The wasted spend report tells you if you are wasting your budget on irrelevant campaigns.

If any of your campaigns cross your defined ‘Budget Limit’, then it’s urgent for you to get rid of those under-performing campaigns.

Important CRO Metrics to Measure

To those who are unfamiliar with the world of conversion rate optimization, more commonly known as CRO, the end goal of conversion rate optimization varies widely depending on the purpose of an organization’s website or, on a more granular level, a web page itself. Before you select the website metrics that you should be focusing your efforts on, and using to report on your success, it’s imperative you determine the end goal of the web page.

1. Exit Rate

It is the percentage of people who left your website from a particular page. Check your funnel to analyze the exit rate. Track the customers who are leaving your page. Find out what type of customers give you maximum conversion. Work to optimize that segment. Once you’re done with optimizing traffic, focus on optimizing pages of your website.

Ways to Reduce Exit Rate

  • Create exit surveys
  • Trigger exit pop-ups with a different persuasive message
  • Optimize Call-to-Action buttons
  • Do A/B Testing

You can also start testing from the bottom of your funnel and keep testing towards the upper levels. Undoubtedly, higher conversions means your testing was successful.

2. Click Through Rate (CTR)

We’ve seen the relationship between click-through rates and conversion rates over and over. The higher your click-through rate, the higher your conversion rate will be. Really, it doesn’t matter how you drive those clicks. It can be through paid search ads, retargeting, social media, video, email, or any other channel. This is why improving your CTR is so crucial. If you can multiply your CTR, then you can effectively boost your conversion rate up to 50%. CTR varies wildly by channel and industry.

3. Conversion Rate

A conversion rate will tell you is the percentage of total conversions, mostly by the people who have previously expressed interest in your offer.

A typical website conversion rate is about 2.35%. However, the top 10% of companies are experiencing 3 to 5 times higher conversion rates. How are they achieving such high conversion rates? Certainly not because they’ve changed a button color on their website.

CRO is all about analyzing, evaluating, and tweaking various touch points of your website. Your customers should be able to experience a smooth, intuitive, and highly effective buyer’s journey. By making CRO one of your top priorities along with CTR, you will greatly increase the effectiveness of your campaigns, and garner higher conversion rates for your business.

4. Interactions per visit

Even if your visitors aren’t converting, it is essential to monitor their behavior on your website. Keep an eye out on what exactly are they doing, how you can get them to do more out of it, and how can you influence this behavior into conversions?

For instance: What are your page view rates per unique visitors? What is the time spent on comments or reviews? Each of such interactions is important. Your goal should not only be to increase these interactions but also to figure out how you can leverage these increased interactions into increased conversions. It may be in the form of downloads, subscriptions, purchases, etc.

5. Value per Visit

Measure the value of a user’s visit directly with the interactions during his / her visit. To calculate it, divide the number of visits by total value created. Calculating value per visit is not that easy because there are many intangibles involved that create value and are hard to define.

For instance, your blog visitors create value every time they add a page view to your traffic but they also create an intangible value when they comment on your website. Similarly, visitors on ecommerce websites create value every time they purchase a product from them. But they also create an incalculable value when they leave a product review or by spreading it through word of mouth.

To sum up,

The average online consumer is becoming more sophisticated by the day. If your marketing methods aren’t evolving with them, you’ll lag behind the progressive curve. We discussed all the key digital marketing metrics that you should not neglect. In a nutshell, the aforementioned metrics of digital marketing will allow you to evaluate the position and success of your marketing strategy in terms of SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Paid Marketing, and Conversion Rate Optimization.

Hopefully, this article will allow you to see why your efforts are lacking growth. Take these steps to overcome hurdles and achieve profitable results. If there are any other metrics that you consider should also be covered, let us know in the comments below.

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Owais Khan

Owais works as a Marketing Manager at Cloudways (managed hosting platform) where he focuses on growth, demand generation, and strategic partnerships. With more than a decade of experience in digital marketing and B2B, Owais prefers to build systems that help teams achieve their full potential.


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