How to Measure Success in Digital Marketing

Now that you’ve taken the step to transform the way you advertise your products and services, it’s common to feel overwhelmed or confused when faced with a slew of new terms and phrases. 

Not to worry –– this post will walk you through key terms and phrases used in the digital marketing landscape, so you can feel confident understanding them and make informed decisions to grow your business going forward.

What is a KPI?

A KPI, or key performance indicator, is a fancy term for measuring how well an ad, campaign, website or anything else you want to track is performing. There are many types of KPIs and analytic metrics used throughout digital marketing to help you best understand what’s working well and what could be performing better.

Commonly Used Metrics/ KPIs in Digital Marketing

Best Metrics to Measure Website Performance

KPI metrics for websites
  1. Page Views: how many times a particular page on a website has been viewed (includes multiple views by the same person). 
  2. Users: The number of people who visited your website. As soon as someone lands on any page on your site, they are considered either a new or returning user.  
  3. New vs Returning Users: New users are visiting your site for the first time whereas returning users have visited it before. Returning users are identified based on browser cookies. If someone clears their cookies after visiting your site and then visits it again, they will be identified as a new user.  
  4. Sessions: A group of user interactions (clicking on other pages on your site, browsing items to buy, etc) on your website that occur within a particular period of time. Google analytics will end a session after 30 minutes of inactivity from a user, or at midnight. 
  5. Bounce Rate: A bounce is a single-page session on your site, so the bounce rate is the frequency at which this occurs. Calculated by dividing the number of single-page sessions by total number of sessions. If your site has 200 sessions and 37 of them are single-page sessions, your bounce rate would be 18.5%. 
  6. Time on Site: The average amount of time a user spends on your site. 
  7. Contact Form Fills: the number of users who filled out the “contact” form on your site.

Most Important KPIs for Measuring Google Ads Performance

KPI metrics for google ads
  1. Impressions: The number of times your ad is shown on a search results page or other site in the Google network (like YouTube). Each time your ad is shown counts as one impression. 
  2. Clicks: The number of times a person clicks on your ad. 
  3. Conversions: The number of times a visitor completes a desired action on your website. These could be actions like purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, or booking an appointment. 
  4. Impression Share: Shows you the visibility you’ve achieved with your ads. The percentage of times a campaign was eligible to display an ad compared to when the ad was actually displayed. If your ad was eligible to appear 100 times but only appeared 80 times, then you have 80% impression share. 
  5. CTR: Click-through-rate is the percentage of impressions that result in a user clicking on your ad. If an ad has 200 impressions and 20 clicks, it would have a CTR of 10%. 
  6. Avg. CPC: Cost-per-click is the average amount you’ve been charged for a click on your ad.

Use These Metrics to Track Facebook Ads Results

KPI metrics for facebook ads
  1. Impressions: The total number of times an ad is displayed on a user’s screen (includes potential multiple viewings of ad by same people). 
  2. Clicks: The number of clicks on your ads. Includes likes, hearts, and website visits. 
  3. Landing Page Views: The total number of times a person clicked on an ad link and then successfully loaded the destination webpage. 
  4. Messages: The number of times a user clicks on an add that leads them to Facebook Messenger and they send a message. 
  5. Video Views: A view is counted when a video is viewed for at least three seconds. 
  6. Follows: The number of users who have followed your business’s page on Facebook. 
  7. Shares: The number of times your ad or post has been shared by other users. 
  8. Conversions: When a visitor completes a desired action on your webpage. These could be actions like purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, or booking an appointment.

Valuable KPIs to Track Your Business’ Success

KPI metrics for general business

These metrics can be attributed to multiple digital marketing channels.

  1. Leads: An indication that a person has expressed some level of interest in your product or service. Visiting a website, clicking on an ad, liking a post are all actions that turn someone into a lead. 
  2. Sales: The number of times a product or service is purchased. 
  3. Phone Calls: The number of times your business receives phone calls. 
  4. Emails: The number of times your business receives an email.

Which Measurements Should You Focus On?

There are clearly a lot of terms to familiarize yourself with, but the big question is: which ones are the most relevant to your business? Start by analyzing your business model: are you most keen on tracking how many people see your content or how many people sign up for your newsletter? By figuring out what your priorities are and determining which interactions are most valuable to you, you can tailor your analysis to the KPIs that matter most.

Once you’ve established the primary KPIs you’re interested in analyzing, focus on them! Allow the data to inform decisions about where you go next. With that said, don’t ignore the other metrics outright; all the KPIs are still important and can give you valuable insights because they all work together. Prioritizing certain metrics will help you focus your efforts, but the other metrics will still be there if you need them. 

Finally, don’t fall for the vanity metrics some companies will try to push on you. While the numbers may look really promising, they’re not the best indication of your return on investment (ROI) nor substantive, quality engagement metrics. They might inflate your ego in the short term, but they’ll also misguide you down the road.