Key Metrics to Track
Whether you are a business owner wearing every hat in the company or an employee overseeing all of your company’s marketing efforts, you likely feel that you don’t have the resources to complete all of your goals. You make do with what you have, but you may wonder if you’re being as efficient with your resources as possible.
One way to increase efficiency is to stop tracking data that isn’t helping you make strategic, purposeful choices. Some data might be entirely unique to your niche and for that reason more important. However, it’s a good idea to pick a limited number so that 1) you don’t get overwhelmed, and 2) your charts are meaningful over time.
Listed below are seven of the most meaningful metrics to track.
1. Website bounce rate
When potential customers hit a landing page on your website and they aren’t immediately drawn in by what they see, they bounce. Not spending sufficient time reviewing website data analytics is a huge mistake. A high bounce rate is the strongest signal that something on your site or a specific landing page isn’t working. Any landing page with a bounce rate of 50% or higher needs an overhaul.
2. Click-through rate
Whenever an ad is displayed, this is counted as an impression. For marketing purposes, the number of impressions means something, but what really matters is your click-through rate (CTR). This means that not only was your ad displayed, but someone decided to click on it to see what you had to offer. If your digital ad makes 100 impressions and four of those yield a click-through to your site, you’re doing great. Most marketers dream of a 4% CTR.
3. Percentage of completion
How many people landed on your site, immediately saw a relevant call to action (CTA), clicked on it, and completed the action? That number is the percentage of users who were actually able to set up an account, sign up for your email newsletter, or whatever your goal was. Various digital platforms offer conversion statistics baked-in, others may require your company to invest in various forms of digital marketing tools. If people are unable to complete a task online, this is something you’ll need to address.
4. Cost per acquisition
What does it cost your business to acquire one new customer? To find out, you’ll need to gather all of the costs associated with marketing for a specific amount of time. You might decide to do this by month, quarter, or year, whatever makes the most sense for you. You will also need to develop a method for tracking how many new customers your business gained during the same period. Dividing your total costs by the number of new customers gives you the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). Since the CPA can vary widely by niche, only you can determine what’s acceptable.
5. Customer lifetime value
What is the average amount of time a customer stays with you? If you don’t know, it’s time to start tracking sales by unique customer IDs such as a “rewards member” card or similar device. Once you know how long the average customer spends frequenting your store, you can multiply that number by the average amount spent over the lifetime of a customer to arrive at customer lifetime value (CLV). This metric will help you decide if you want to work harder to retain existing customers.
6. Number and type of comments/questions
If the digital space you’ve chosen offers the ability to like, share, and comment, pay careful attention to these features. You can learn a lot simply by reading and responding to comments. This sends a positive message, namely that you care what people think. You may also be surprised to pick up solid tips from people who don’t think as you do. Things about your products and services that seem “obvious” to you may not be to others.
7. Your time
If you have yet to adopt the practice of time-blocking, start today. Many business owners make the unconscious mistake of viewing their time as “free” in terms of monetary value. With respect to marketing, you might think you’re spending five or fewer hours per week on those tasks. Blocking off your time may reveal that you spend less than that or (more often) that you actually spend a lot more. Either way, tracking your marketing-related time on the job will help you know when the time is at hand to hire another staff member or outsource.