There are a whole host of articles proliferating across the internet guiding business owners on how to conduct the perfect online marketing campaign, how to keep your website up to date and how best to create user friendly SEO content. As wonderful and useful such advice is, it could be argued that the most important advice of all centres on how to measure the success of such a campaign. There is less information on this, so let’s get cracking.

When measuring success in the online sphere you need to make an important distinction between superficial and actual success. There is too often no distinction between KPIs that are the candles on the cake – pretty decoration as opposed to actual return on investment. Some of these candles are edible and contribute, but others are vain decorations, serving only to read as an impressive statistics. These are the superficial metrics. Let’s look at a list.

Superficial metrics

Traffic

Social media followers

Time spent on site

Keyword rankings

Impressions

Page views

Real value metrics

Conversion rates

Sales-qualified leads

Online sales

Bounce rates

Of course, for some businesses and to some extent some of the superficial KPIs have a strong relationship to ROI and measurable value, but not directly. To measure actual success you need to look at the type of business you have and come up with suitable KPIs.

So you need to find a way to create a baseline for a change to your online approach, such as the introduction of a new Google Ads campaign and then measure changes in real value metrics.

Conversion rates

Conversion rates should be measured in relation to visitors and customers taking specific courses of action as a result of digital marketing. For instance, if you have introduced distinct CTAs (Calls To Action) on your site, you can check how many customers who clicked converted into paying customers. This is arguably the most important of all measurements as it directly relates to improvements in revenue.

You can get the conversion rate for direct online sales, using Google Analytics and introducing a section of code on your site to enable you to check which of your online strategies, if any, is driving customer behaviour. In addition you can measure online to store sales, leads from web forms, leads from telephone calls and live chats.

From here things become a little more indirect as not all online marketing leads to direct conversion. Visitors can mull things over and later become converted leads. This is where measuring visitor behaviour comes in and metrics that might have been erroneously assumed to be superficial, can be changed into real value metrics. You can measure the change in bounce rates. This is incredibly important as it shows you how many visitors have changed their behaviour on your site from instantly clicking off, to visiting any number of pages and showing a level of interest. This can be added to by measuring the actual time spent on your website.

All of these KPIs will help give you an idea how your online marketing campaign is performing and how you could, perhaps improve your performance.

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