When was the last time you conducted a thorough marketing analysis for your business? If your answer is, "I can't remember," don't feel bad. Many business owners deprioritize marketing analyses in the face of more pressing needs.
The good news: There's never a bad time to conduct a detailed marketing analysis that lays the groundwork for a comprehensive online marketing strategy.
As part of your analysis, you'll need to pay attention to key online marketing metrics and digital marketing measurements that offer insight into how your online presence performs relative to the competition and what you can do to improve its performance.
If you want to learn how to improve your online marketing performance without breaking the bank, start with these 10 metrics.
1. Traffic Sources
While it's important to keep track of your total visitor counts and other high-level traffic metrics, these data points don't always provide the level of fine-grained insight necessary to adjust and shape your online marketing plan effectively.
For a closer look at your website traffic, pay attention to traffic sources. In Google Analytics, you can find this information in the Acquisitions tab.
Traffic sources can be broken down into four main categories: direct, referrals, search and social.
- Direct traffic consists of visitors who typed your main URL into the search bar and navigated directly to your site.
- Referral traffic comprises visitors who clicked external links to get to your site.
- Search traffic consists of traffic generated by organic and paid search results.
- Social visitors arrived through links embedded in your social media profiles and feeds.
Once you have a sense of where your traffic is coming from and how traffic figures change over time, you'll have an easier time determining which areas of your online marketing strategy are working and which need tweaking.
2. Bounce Rate
Your website's bounce rate is calculated by dividing the total number of visitors by the number of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing just one page.
Bounce rate is a great proxy for overall interest in your website's content and messaging. In most cases, lower bounce rates are better.
3. Time on Site
Time on site is another useful proxy for visitor interest. The longer your visitors spend exploring your website, the more likely they are to absorb information about your company and take meaningful action to enter your sales funnel.
Sophisticated digital marketing strategies focus on simultaneously reducing bounce rates and increasing time on site readings.
Your website's conversion rate is an absolutely critical measure of your online marketing plan's overall effectiveness.
It's important to note that website visitors can "convert" in many different ways including filling out a form with personal and financial information, signing up for a recurring membership, submitting an email address, completing an online transaction and more.
It's your responsibility to define what "conversion" means for your business, measuring said conversions in Google Analytics or another marketing automation program such as HubSpot, and taking steps to boost your conversion rate.
5. Lead to Close Ratio
Lead to close ratio is another important metric that determines how effective your website and your online marketing ecosystem as a whole is to shepherd prospective customers through the buyer's journey. It's expressed as the total number of leads you generate divided by the number of sales.
6. Repeat Sales Ratio
Most businesses thrive on repeat sales. In fact, many service providers now focus on recurring sales models defined by weekly or monthly payments. If this describes your business, you're no doubt focused on getting your repeat sales ratio as high as possible.
Even if you follow a more traditional retail sales model that emphasizes individual, one-off transactions, repeat customers are critical to your profitability.
7. Cost per Lead
Your cost per lead is expressed as your total marketing outlay divided by the number of leads generated in a given period.
Lower costs per lead are generally better than higher costs per lead, but it's okay to deviate from this rule during periods of heightened marketing investment.
8. Cost per Sale
Cost per sale is expressed as your total marketing outlay divided by the number of sales in a given period. It's a great measure of the average cost of a single sale.
However, keep in mind that cost per sale measures discrete sales costs and thus isn't equivalent to return on investment.
9. Average Customer Value
Customer value is a relatively complex measure of the total amount of value a given customer produces during their relationship with your company.
By extension, average customer value is the measure of the average customer's value contribution. This metric is determined by a number of different factors, including transaction size, transaction frequency and the average duration of customer relationships.
10. Return on Investment
In many ways, your return on investment is the "ultimate" measure of your marketing plan's effectiveness. It's a measure of your total marketing investment relative to your total revenue.
Virtually every tweak, adjustment and new initiative you launch with respect to your online marketing strategy should have one overarching goal in mind, which is to boost your return on investment.
Therein lies the key to profitability and growth.
Learn How to Improve Online Marketing from the Experts
These 10 online marketing metrics aren't the only digital marketing measurements that you need to keep in mind as you plan and deploy your digital outreach strategy. They're critical to a comprehensive marketing plan.
If you can effectively track and measure your traffic sources, bounce rate, time on site, total conversions, lead to close ratio, repeat sales ratio, cost per lead, cost per sale, average customer value and total return on investment, you'll find yourself well ahead of the curve.
To learn more about how you can improve your online marketing metrics, download a free case study on one of our clients who increased their conversion rate by 210%.