marketing KPIs and goals

How to Measure Your Marketing: 40 Digital Marketing KPIs

Kirsty Daniel 2 years ago

An issue that regularly crops up in the marketing world is measurement. Our State of Content Marketing Survey in 2018 revealed that many people did not know the best way to run and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, and that is precisely what we want to resolve. There are so many facets of marketing measurement, that it's difficult to know where to start. And those results aren't always immediate, often change comes steadily and slowly, in the form of brand awareness, influence and visibility.

So we've put together an easy to follow list of measures that can be monitored to signify success. Alongside getting your KPIs actioned, you ought to make sure you're recording those results consistently, to spot trends and other measurement goals. Every marketing department worth its salt should have Google Analytics set up and working for them, so if you don't already have this sorted, make this your first step to measuring success.

We have a simple and effective way of assisting you with monitoring your results, click to download the free reporting template below - then read on to get started with new KPIs!


So now it’s time to talk about your KPIs…

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a group of critical measures that you should monitor to record the success of your marketing efforts, or your agency should be reporting these to you. As insinuated with the ‘I’ in ‘KPI’, these metrics do not necessarily have to be a specific answer or result, but more an implication of the direction of results - are they improving, decreasing or plateaued.

They should shed light on the way your audience is responding to your marketing efforts and will maintain a regular report of how your company is performing online; providing insight and informing future marketing strategies and budget.

So, what should you measure? Here's our list:

  1. Traffic (organic and all) - The amount of traffic your site is getting should be one of the first things you look to, when analysing marketing efforts. Organic Traffic and All Traffic are slightly different measures, but worth keeping an eye on and recording both, to see if there are increases after certain campaigns, or certain pieces of content that could have caused an influx of traffic. Is it because your service offering is seasonal? Or did one blog post go a bit viral, and draw lots of traffic to your site?
  2. Users (new and returning) - The users on your site should play a big part in monitoring the performance of your site. Are you getting a lot of returning visitors? Or do your users convert better on their first visit, and never come back? Monitoring this is key to understanding the journey of your users.
  3. Referral traffic - Where are your users coming from? Are they coming from another site that links to you? Which external websites are sending the most traffic your way? Keeping an eye on this will allow you to create a strategy to increase your referral traffic and get your content in front of a new, relevant audience.
  4. All traffic sources - This should indicate which area is driving the most traffic for you. Do you want to grow your site traffic through your email activity? Or increase the percentage of organic, direct or referral traffic? This should be watched if you want to see progression in specific sources.
  5. Branded traffic vs non branded traffic - Branded traffic includes your brand name in the search. Though these two numbers could be very different, as your brand awareness grows, or if you use retargeting measures, the branded traffic figure should increase.
  6. Goal completions on site - It’s crucial to have GA goals set up and working for you. This could be a certain path your user takes, and they will complete a goal on purchase, or on point of contact with your business. But making sure your goals are set up properly is key to understanding the user journey, and in turn, making it more seamless, to improve your completion rate.
  7. Enquiries - How many enquiries are you getting a week? A month? Is your business batting off enquiries left, right and centre, and if so, what has caused the influx? Is it seasonal? Mapping this out over a year should show you any seasonal peaks and dips, and give you a standard to improve upon.
  8. Conversion rate - How often are your users converting? Take your total of visitors, and divide by the number of conversions, to find out your conversion rate. CRO activity (conversion rate optimisation) can help you improve this KPI.
  9. Session duration - How long are users spending on your site? Enough to read a blog post and leave? Or are they clicking into a category with products and leaving immediately, because it’s not relevant to their search? This length of time should indicate if you need to improve the structure of your site, or if you need to bulk up the content.
  10. Pages per session - So how many pages are your users looking at while on the site. Again, this will help you map the customers journey, and ideally you want the customer to read a few pages before converting, literally moving down your funnel with content to nurture them through this process.
  11. Bounce rate - If your users are leaving a page immediately, then they are bouncing from your site. This could indicate that your site content is not explaining enough, or that the user isn’t finding what they need quickly enough, and so they leave. This should be as low as possible, between 25-40% is amazing, and average is between 40-55%.
  12. Pageviews - The number of times a particular page has been viewed, including repeat views. This is worth keeping an eye on, perhaps you want to promote a certain range of products, or a particular service, it would be useful to see specific campaigns impact on this figure.
  13. Device comparisons - What devices are you most likely to be found on? The mobile market is huge, but where does your traffic come from? Are you missing an opportunity by not maximising your customers mobile experience? An increase of mobile traffic is a great way to start targeting this market. Identifying this at strategy stage will allow you to focus your efforts on the most important channel - though both mobile and desktop are key for all businesses.
  14. Average keyword ranking - Good SEO alongside relevant and engaging content will increase the ranking of your business for its key terms. It also makes for a clear performance comparison between you and your competitors. Your marketing activity shouldn’t just impact one particular keyword, but an entire keyword set. Yes, a focus can be placed on one keyword, perhaps for a campaign or a short time period, but it would be naïve to ignore others – long tail keywords and micro-moments are great opportunities to target users and get them into that all important funnel.
  15. Top 5 SERP ranks - You’ll have a range of keywords you want to rank for. It can be a good idea to pick a group of important keywords that you want to grow, and monitor their progression in the SERPs. Creating content for these words will help form a strategy for your brand, and is worth checking up on these words to see any impact. Ideally to get traction from your keywords, you want to be ranking in the top five positions on a search. These positions should be your aim.
  16. Inbound links and authority - Through creating great content, your brand might have been picked up by another website, and they’ve linked back to you as the source. You’ll want to monitor the number of links you’re getting back to your site, and also the quality of these links needs to be vetted. Trust and citation flow is very important for Google in determining if your website is authoritative. Lots of quality links pointing to your content shows that it is authoritative and therefore your site is important in your industry.
  17. Drop off rate - The measure of drop off rate shows you where potential customers drop off of the sales process. This is a great way of highlighting weaknesses in your strategy and thereafter, setting KPIs to strengthen these areas and reduce drop off rate.
  18. Lead volume - Pretty self explanatory, this is the volume of leads that come through your site. A KPI in this measures how effective your site is as a whole – this covers content and SEO success. The data will shed light into what is effective in terms of marketing for your audience and will be useful in informing future strategic decisions.
  19. Cost per lead - Cost per lead is the total cost of obtaining a lead either generally, or from a specific campaign. Simply – this cost needs to be as efficient as possible to improve ROI figures.
  20. Google Search Console: clicks and impressions - Based on your organic performance, clicks are (surprise surprise) the number of click you’ll get, and impressions are the reach of the content - how many times has your content been seen. You want these both to be as high as possible, so high impressions and low clicks might mean you have to make some changes to entice the reader to click.
  21. MQLs - So you're getting all these leads into your site, but how many of them are ready to buy? As part of a marketing automation strategy, you should be setting scoring against your user's activity. This will allow you to separate those who are perhaps doing research, from those who have engaged with a lot of your content, and are sufficiently far enough down the funnel that they could be ready to buy. Setting a monthly MQL figure could be a good way to see how many ‘quality’ leads you get, and spot any seasonal trends.
  22. Funnel visualisation - Monitoring funnel visualisation tracks the movement of potential customers through different stages of the purchasing funnel – new, engaged, marketing qualified etc. This will highlight strengths and weakness in certain areas of the process as customers stall/leave the site, and indicate where you might need to create more content to streamline this process.
  23. Subscribers to email - Most sites will have a sign up feature, where users can subscribe to email content. How big is your database of willing users, and consider how much do you want to grow this list by the end of the campaign/year.
  24. Email open rate - Setting a KPI to measure the open rate of your email campaigns (whether this is a newsletter or part of a more targeted nurture plan) is a great way to monitor relevance and the success of the emails’ subject line. The metric set in an email open rate KPI would be a percentage – x% of emails to be opened or an increase of x% above the last email campaign.
  25. Email click rate - As above, you’ll need to measure the impact of the email content. While open rate indicates the subject line impact, click rate is a measure of the percentage of users who have clicked a link or image in the email. This is reliant on the content, and can be improved with A/B testing, for example.
  26. Unsubscribe rate and un-engaged level - If we as users feel an email is a nuisance, or not giving us anything of value, then it is natural for users to unsubscribe. You’ll want to find out how many people are unsubscribing per email, and get an average. You will then be able to see if particular emails are causing more unsubscribes than others, and you can rectify the content, or do more of what works! Similarly with un-engaged contacts, you want to segment your audience to see how many people have not engaged (either opened or clicked) with your emails for a certain period of time. A good place to start might be to group those who have not engaged with your emails in the last ten sends. You could therefore create content personalised to this segment, and re-engage them, reminding your user about who your company are and why our emails are worth opening.
  27. Customer lifetime value - An insight into customer lifetime value allows you to see what is necessary in order for you to maintain online customer volume. Do you need a constant flow of new customers or do your current customers come back for more? Often, an increase in customer lifetime value works out better for companies from a financial perspective. This should increase.
  28. Market share - Increasing market share is a great but tough KPI to manage. It is all about how you compare to competitors in the industry, through your SEO and content. The more of the market your content dominates and ranks for, the more your brand awareness will grow, resulting in more of a presence online, an increase in leads, sales and ultimately, revenue.
  29. Social presence - How many Facebook likes does your business have? How many Twitter and Instagram followers? How do these figures compare to those of your competitors? The size of your social footprint is essential for brand awareness and engagement – it is simple but effective. Set your brand a target number or percentage increase and watch it grow through focused activity. If you have more traffic from one platform in particular, put some focussed activity into growing that particular audience.
  30. Follower growth direct from campaign activity - A great KPI for a singular campaign. By how much do you expect your social following to have increased by the end of the campaign? Again, set this as a percentage increase.
  31. Social interactions (likes, shares, comments) - So looking at your social presence, you might have a great number of followers and likers – but they are quiet. For them to matter you need to increase their interaction on your social media platforms. To do this, look into some interest and demographic/persona insights and set about creating content and campaigns that will appeal to these people and get them talking, liking, sharing and commenting.
  32. Publishing volume - Getting the balance between your audience hearing from you enough, but not too much, is really difficult. It is essential to set a publishing calendar and not to break the chain – measuring your publishing volume and examining engagement data alongside is crucial in detecting trends on days when you do and don’t post and amending your publishing volume to maximise opportunity revealed.
  33. Average interaction per post - A KPI may push for 25 interactions per social media post, or a 5% increase on interactions as a whole. An increase in interaction means more engagement and further reach.
  34. Social Reach - How many times has your post has popped up on other timelines.
  35. Social Clicks - How many clicks your post has got (compare this to reach to get a good idea of how relevant and ‘click-bait’y your post is).
  36. PPC Impressions - The number of times your ad has been visible to a searcher.
  37. Click through rate - Click-through rate is one of the most important KPIs to measure in a paid campaign. It measures the amount of people that see your ad and the amount of people that it entices to click. It is calculated simply using the sum total clicks / total ad impressions. This insight can be found on Google Analytics.
  38. Cost per click, and cost per conversion - Cost per click (CPC) measures the amount that each click on your ad costs by doing the simple calculation of total cost of advertising/total number of ads clicked. A KPI on CPC is basically a measure of how many clicks an ad can generate but because the ad is paid, it puts a financial worth on it. Of course, the more clicks, the lower the cost, which is the result your brand need to be aiming to achieve. Similarly cost per conversion is in relation to how much each conversion is worth related to total spend. Just because a user clicks an ad, doesn’t mean they will convert on the site, so use these KPIs to improve each stage for the user.
  39. Trust/Quality score - Adwords will rate your landing pages out of 10 for their trust (ie: is the content relevant to what the user will be searching for, is the page secure, how likely it is to meet their requirements). You want to have good trust scores across the board for your ad to show up, or else it won’t, regardless of how much you are spending - it isn’t always based on highest bid wins.
  40. Overall cost - How much overall are you spending on PPC? You’ll want to keep eyes on this, not only for budget purposes, but to work out if your PPC efforts are worth the spend.
  41. ROI - All marketing comes back building revenue. That’s why we do it, to build our brand profile and result in more sales. You want to be able to justify to your superiors that you are getting your money's worth from your marketing campaigns. This can be done on a campaign basis, and is basically the revenue generated by marketing divided by the cost of the campaign.

Once you have set your KPIs for your strategy, there are three main ways to make the most of them and monopolise them to inform further strategic decisions:

  • Use them to highlight what is going well – and then ensure this high performing activity continues.
  • Detect what has been successful, but still shows room for improvement. Assess whether this is an area worth investing in.
  • Identify areas of failure, and rethink them.

More than anything, remember that when creating KPIs it is important not to make an extensive list. The K in KPI is so important – key, critical, most influential and insightful. A few per campaign is ideal; any more and they become unfocussed and lose a sense of direction. Always set your KPI's alongside the aims of the campaign - do you want to build brand awareness with this campaign? Then set KPIs that most suit this aim. If it's solely SEO improvements you want to see, then make sure your KPIs are technical measures.

Make sure they are clear, measurable and created off the back of a strong and relevant objective that is shared both with you, and your agency (if you have one). This way, everyone is working from the same page in order to remain in line with your digital marketing strategy and objectives. If you measure it, you can improve it…

Make sure your KPIs are being recorded and measured in the right way to track growth. Use our free Reporting Template:

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