How do we know that we’re successful with our digital marketing campaigns? That’s a question that should come up rather sooner than later when planning a digital campaign but it’s rather hard to give straight forward answer, as so many times in life, it always ‘depends’. In this article we’re trying to break down what it depends on and also give a few pointers to find the right KPIs for your digital marketing campaigns.
In order to satisfy those who ‘just want a quick check list’ though I’ll give you the ‘Top 7 of easy to implement KPIs” before we dive deeper into the digital marketing matrix in the next post.
Quick Math – Top 7 KPIs to get started
1. Website Engagement
Even in times of TikTok and IG Stories, websites are obviously still incredibly important. It’s your storefront, the way you actually make money and what makes your customers trust you (if you need a better website get in touch with us!) – so it just makes sense to track how well your website performs. How? Well for example with those KPIs:
Number of unique site visitors. If your campaign is doing well and focuses on getting new (potential) customers to your side, this KPI could be an interesting one.
Opt-in registrations. Ideally your campaign wouldn’t only focus on driving traffic to your website but also focus on some kind of conversion. This KPI will show you how many of your website visitors actually followed your CTAs and converted (signed up).
Return visits to website. Are people coming back to your site? This could indicate that you deliver great experiences / content or that you lack exactly that if they ghost you after their first visit.
Time spent on website. The longer the they stay (because they want to, not because your side loads super slow), the better as that would mean that you’re providing interesting content.
Popular pages and navigation paths. By now you are obviously using Google Analytics (or a similar product) to track KPIs. GA (and those others) can show you which sites of your website have been visited frequently, which sites have been abandoned and how users reached those sites. Use this information to make data-driven decisions in regards to how you optimize your content / website layout and design.
2. Traffic Sources
It can be very beneficial to your campaign to understand where the traffic that comes to your website originates so you can see in which areas you are doing well and which need improvement. As discussed in previous SEO posts we usually talk about three types of traffic namely direct traffic, referral traffic, and search traffic. Further traffic sources could be display advertising campaigns, paid search campaigns, and alike.
We recommend to not only look at the sole number of visitors from each traffic source but to also look into whether or not those visitors complete the goals (downloads, subscriptions, etc.) that you defined prior to your campaign start.
A few interesting terms in regards to understanding traffic are as follows
Direct traffic: Traffic from visitors that directly type your URL into their browser. They either know your website or just see the URL and type it down.
Referral traffic: Traffic from visitors that see a link to your site somewhere and thought it’s a great day to click on it.
Organic traffic: Traffic from visitors that searched for keywords related to your content and hence found you in the SERPs.
Campaign traffic: Traffic that is being generated via specific campaigns and that is trackable and identifiable in this regard.
Bounce Rate : The bounce rate indicates how many visitors to your website ‘bounced’ off. Meaning they came, looked at your homepage, thought it’s not what they were looking for, and leave again rather fast without completing any other action.
Total Conversions: In the end this is what we came for. Conversions. So measuring your overall conversions is obviously a good indicator to see whether or not your campaign(s) are working.
3. CPM, CPC, CTR, CPA
Here now a few acronyms that will follow you around when creating online marketing campaigns and when trying to understand their performance.
Digital Marketing Campaign Performance Measurement
CPM (Cost Per Mille) is also called cost per thousand (CPT) (in Latin mille means thousand). It is a pretty common measurement used across basically all forms of advertising. Even in traditional advertising (where it originated): Radio, television, newspaper, magazine, out-of-home advertising, and, of course, online advertising. You buy your ad space and will be billed for impressions by the thousands.
So you pay for being seen. This could be a good idea for campaigns focusing on ‘brand awareness’ but other than that it’s obviously hard to track as there’s not much direct interaction happening – initially. If your CTA is great, then maybe that could still be worth it but more often than not digital campaigns now focus on the acronym below.
This approach is the predominately used approach in digital ads placements (Google Ads, etc.). We will have another post focusing on Google Ads (link will be here soon) to elaborate in more detail on the works of the biggest ad network out there.
CTR (Click Through Rate) indicates how many clicks you received. Being that in the organic ranking or paid ads. The higher the CTR, the more engagement you get and hence the better your ad is seen to perform. Some more quick math: Clicks/Impressions x100
CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) – one of my favorites as it’s also known as Cost per Action, Pay Per Action, or Cost Per Conversion. So many acronyms, I wouldn’t be surprised if it also shot the Sheriff. The meaning behind it simply is that the ad buyer pays for pre-defined actions, not just impressions. As the payment only takes place upon interaction though the costs can be rather high compared to CPM or PPC campaigns.
Cost per Lead (CPL): This indicates how much you pay to generate one lead with your digital campaign. Knowing this will help you to understand which campaigns lead to the ‘cheapest’ or best leads and hence is crucial to understand where to keep focusing your efforts on. Quick math: (Total Spent on Campaign)/(Total number of Leads)
4. Social Interactions
We obviously can’t ignore social media and yes, we can also track success that originates on all those social platforms.
While Google tries to downplay the importance of social media (sour much, Google?) it is rather obvious that social interactions play a huge role in reaching ones digital marketing goals. Hence it is important to also measure social media success to see whether or not you’re doing a good job or if you’re doing TikTok dances just for yourself.
What to look into on Social Media
Interaction: That’s basically a communication between someone from your audience and your brand. This could be comments, shares, likes, etc – really depends on the platform.
Success indicators on Social Media
- High engagement levels related to the completion of your marketing objectives
- ‘Viral’ (more on that in another post on why your plan of going viral won’t work) posts that perform well on their own and that don’t need too much artificial ‘boosting’
- Recurring engagement of a loyal fanbase
- More in the second post of this series (I’m so good at teasing)!
5. Landing Page Conversion Rates
We said it before, but let’s say it again: What do we want? Conversions? When do we want them? As often as possible!
So you have to check if your content is generation conversions. Here you got to take a deeper look at your landing pages and see how many people are visiting those compared to your overall traffic or the traffic competitors receive. If you get lots of visitors to that page but then you don’t see many conversions could indicate that you need to improve said pages (better CTAs, more engaging content, UI or UX improvements, and so on)!
One way to check how to increase conversions could be to optimize your landing pages and call to actions by performing A/B tests.
6 . Organic Searches
Are you being found? How much traffic stems from organic searches? The amount of traffic to your site that comes from search engine result pages can obviously be linked to the success of your SEO strategy. If your SEO strategy works, you CTA will be high which increases the traffic to your page and, hopefully, eventually also conversions. Let’s see where search traffic can come from:
- Number of lead conversions assisted by organic search
- Number of customer conversions assisted by organic search
- Percentage of traffic associated with branded keywords
- Percentage of traffic associated with unbranded keywords
- more in the next post of this series!
7. Mobile Traffic
Mobile first is a buzzword that’s been around for a while now and proves to be increasingly true. Mobile just becomes so much more important each and every single day that we cannot ignore mobile campaigns. Hence we need to check whether or not our websites are optimized for mobile campaigns, does it support mobile traffic generation? In order to analyze this we could look at the following stats:
- Number of lead conversions from mobile devices
- Bounce rates from mobile devices
- Conversion rates from mobile optimized landing pages
- and more, of course, to come in part 2!
Those are now a few indicators that could help set up your initial tracking campaign and help planning ahead when looking into setting up your digital presence. If you feel you’re ready to dive deeper into the KPI and digital marketing performance measurement matrix, stay tuned and check out post 2 in our ‘Digital Marketing & KPIs’ series.