Which Metrics Matter Most?

Whether you’re looking at site analytics for SEO opportunities, PPC data for new potential keywords or stats related to any other marketing effort – understanding the numbers is key to making informed decisions for your business. These numbers can come from any number of sources and diving into this sea of information can often lead to data-paralysis – for budding website optimizers and seasoned marketing pros alike.

So how do we sift through the oceans of data to find areas of improvement or simply to calculate a return on investment? Find the metrics that make the most sense to measure success and hone in on this data. The information these KPIs provide should give you actionable insights for decision making when it comes to your next moves.

The Google Analytics team gives us a few pointers when it comes to measurement-focused marketing and can be used when calculated successes in a variety of marketing efforts:

  1. Focus on the right metrics.Set yourself up for success by identifying clear metrics that you want to affect before launching a campaign.
  2. Value your best customers.Instead of measuring transactions alone, model the lifetime value you derive from your customers.
  3. Attribute value across the journey.To find out what’s working in your marketing and what’s not, identify the role of each touchpoint along the customer’s journey.
  4. Prove marketing impact.Use controlled experimentation to understand what happened only because of a given marketing spend change (and would not have happened without it).

Again, from the Analytics team, here are a few typical KPIs and how they’re measured for different types of campaigns.

Typical KPIs and How They’re Measured


So, which metrics should you choose? Well, it depends on your marketing and business goals. Here are some general measurements for different types of goals:

  • Number of transactions (Sales focus)
  • Percentage of referral traffic from Social (Engagement focus)
  • PPC Impressions across Display Networks (Branding focus)
  • Which technology visitors use when browsing your website (Prospect profiling focus)
  • Time spent on site (Engagement focus)

Matching Metrics to Goals

Regardless of which metrics you’re monitoring it’s important to make sure your KPIs are in alignment with your goals. If your intent is to convert more first-time visitors to your website into paying clients keeping tabs on which browsers they use might not make the most sense. Tracking where in your conversion funnel they fall off will give much better insights on how you can improve your site’s visitor path.

Measure What Matters Most

Don’t wait until the end of your campaign to consider what to measure. This should be your first step before spending any money!

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