I get it, you’re in a small marketing team or you’re a freelancer with responsibility for getting this amazing startup going and you’re wondering what you should be tracking. Well in this short, but punchy article we give you 12 digital marketing KPIs for tracking your digital marketing campaigns.
For context here, I’ve been working in marketing and sales for over 15 years and I have a lot of experience within SaaS as I’ve also worked as a CTO, so I have a deep understanding of go-to-market strategy from a lot of different angles. With this in mind, I’m writing this article and if you’re looking for some KPIs for sales, then this article will also help you out.
But what are digital marketing KPIs?
Essentially digital marketing KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are goals that you use to quantify and then track and measure your success. As your job is to execute your go-to-market plan and report on the success of your activities, knowing what to report on and when will be key to aligning your stakeholders to your goals and focused outcomes.
Understanding Your Leads
Below I run through 12 KPIs to kick off with and then I list a few more that you may want to add to the mix, to broaden your reporting line. So let’s kick off with how you should understand your leads, that website traffic, the traffic to lead ratio, your cost per lead and your channel mix or source of traffic.
Understand where your website traffic comes from
With a focus on online traffic to company websites where the site is either the primary source of trading/transaction or refers traffic to the sales team to close the deal flow. You want to measure how much traffic actually hits the site on a monthly basis and also what pages are being hit the most.
A hint or tip here is to combine a volume x time measurement to give you “Website visitors per month” as an example. You can also choose by day, page etc.
Calculate your traffic-to-lead ratio
This is a key metric in the alignment of your marketing and sales revenue goals. Knowing what percentage of your traffic is converting into leads helps you understand how strong and compelling your marketing is. However, it would be best if you still defined what a lead means to you and that should be driven by sales.
As a rule, I’m not a fan of the MQL - marketing qualified lead, because what does that actually represent? The number of people who were forced to sign a form to download your latest ebook or attend a webinar? That actually doesn’t tell you that your content works, it tells you the subject matter is of interest and then the MQL is a front-loaded metric of measurement.
If you un-gate your content and your MQLs are still high, then to me that is a better gauge of the value of your marketing efforts. But that’s just a personal opinion.
An example of a lead could be ‘% of traffic that opens a freemium account’, or starts a free trial.
Identify your cost per lead (CPL)
Now that you can measure and identify where your leads come from, you will now want to identify just how much those leads are costing you. A tip here is to correlate the number here with the sales KPI ‘value per sale’
Note it's easier to tie CPL to paid methods of traffic generation than organic, but a solid CRM and marketing automation tool like HubSpot will allow you to attribute revenue to social media, paid ads and blog content even though it can still prove challenging for the latter.
Understand the channel mix
I’m sure by now you can see how this first set of metrics builds upon each other. As you build an understanding of your cost per lead and value per sale, you quickly notice that the numbers alter depending on where the customer first found you (channel).
Remember, you have to define a target channel mix and focus on it. Avoid taking the easy or low-cost approach, just because it's there.
An example would be to grow your inbound qualified leads by 15% or increase your outbound lead conversion by 20%.
That wraps up the first set of KPIs to measure and it allows you to build upon them for further success in your strategy execution. Next, we look at how you can measure the impact of your brand on your audience.
Understanding Your Brand Effectiveness
What is “brand recall”?
Brand recall measures how many people can correctly identify your brand after seeing it somewhere. This particular measure is good for event marketing as an example, as you typically measure it by survey, which is ideal for a post-event KPI.
One way to run the survey is to add your brand logo to a list of your competitor's logos and the % that correctly recalls your brand represents the “brand awareness number”.
Track your social media mentions
Everybody is on social media, that's both people and businesses, so they inevitably play a huge part in your marketing mix. You want to track your mentions of your social media handle in each channel and you can do that by setting tracking in HubSpot's social media tool, Hootsuite or something like sprout social, although my favourite outside of these is SEMRush as it is an all-around great platform for measuring and iterating your marketing campaigns for success.
Effectively you’re measuring your audience mentions of you which can be great as a number but to nail it try and hone it down to Mentions per month or per campaign, whatever fits best for your particular requirements.
But as this is a topline metric, make sure your team review the mentions for both positive and negative mentions and track those as separate metrics too.
Tracking your viral coefficient for social media
Your viral coefficient is a ratio that describes how many total customers each new customer represents, but the phrase is actually misleading. You don’t need to achieve virality in your campaign to use this marketing metric and effectively measure this number.
But in order to measure it, factor in their potential to refer or share your content and use this calculation to generate the numbers:
( ‘no. of current users’ x ‘invitations sent by current users’ x ‘% conversion rate’ ) / no. of current users = Viral Coefficient.
Personally, I wouldn’t start using this digital marketing KPI until I had a decent size audience and was getting some consistent engagement, but keep an eye on your social activity because often it's the consistency on social that matters most from an activity perspective to drive the engagement.
Know your net promoter score (NPS)
A lot of people use the Net Promoter Score in their businesses. It’s a great way to understand how your customers are experiencing your business and to get the feedback you can act upon.
Typically you use NPS to discover how many of your current customers would likely refer a friend or colleague to your product or service. NPS is calculated by a survey where your customers are asked on a scale of 1-10 how likely they are to refer or recommend your product or service. The system then calculates this on a scale between -100 and +100 to give your NPS.
HubSpot’s service hub can help automate this process and run it on a periodical basis removing the need for your team to add this to what I am sure is already a very busy marketing calendar. Try to run your NPS monthly or quarterly to keep it relevant and fresh.
That brings us to the end of performance indicators focusing on your audience and customer feedback. These aren’t a defining list but you can use them as a baseline to build upon. Next, we will look at four key website performance indicators, and after I’ll list several more to keep an eye on for good measure.
Understanding Website Performance
Track your page conversion rate
The organization’s website has one job to do, and that’s to facilitate conversions. The prospects are either routed to sales or pushed into an area where they can learn more about your product or service. This makes tracking your conversions a priority performance indicator.
To start, focus on which pages convert the most and for what desired action. Once you nail this it's time to figure out what makes it so effective so you can repeat that process on other pages on your website.
Your page conversion rate is measured by using a percentage of the total visitors to the page that ultimately goes on to convert. If you use a website CMS like HubSpot, it has inbuilt functionality to report these page metrics and looks at things like call-to-action conversion as well as dwell time, which segways into my next metric.
Measure dwell time
People often focus on a high bounce rate as the best identifier of page performance, but that often isn’t the way forward. Sure, if people are spending seconds on your web page and then exiting, that is an indicator that the searches bringing them there aren’t quite in line with what they expect when they arrive.
Good dwell time or time on site can be impacted by a number of variables, such as the complexity of your product and the depth of your content. Making sure that your internal content linking is optimised is a great way to keep people engaged. Use SEMRush to monitor this under the Site Audit area and improve this over time until you have a 100% internal linking score.
Understand your new-to-returning user ratio
All website visits are not equal. As you become more proficient in tracking your conversion rates, you’ll start noticing that returning users have a much higher conversion rate than new users. Typically those invested in returning to your site do so by conscious decisions, and this indicates that you’re doing something right. Measuring and increasing this ratio is key to driving health site conversion rates.
Using Google PageSpeed to monitor the performance of your website
If your website is slow to load or even if Google thinks it is, that’s a performance penalty from the search engine and will negatively affect your search results rankings, directly impacting your click-through rate, and leads generated and likely impacting everything you’re tracking above.
You can use Google’s free PageSpeed tool to get a score for your site – then start work on speeding it up and regularly monitoring that score over time. You will need an SEO expert to help as this will show technical issues as well as on-page issues.
That wraps up my KPIs for digital marketing but it does not exhaust my list of other metrics you should keep an eye on. Listed below are some of the other metrics I use and collectively they will give you broad insights into your marketing performance making it easy for you to build a strong list of KPIs for marketing as your campaigns grow.
- Cost per conversion
- New visitor conversion rate
- Total number of visits or sessions
- Top pages/Top Blog posts
- Average time spent on site
- Interactions per visit
- Bounce rate (strategically applied)
- Exit pages
- Mobile vs. desktop visits
Digital BIAS work with B2B organisations to help implement and report on the mentioned KPIs as well as OKRs - Objectives and Key Results which are more organisational metrics but often these things are all tied in.
We are fully certified experts in implementing and managing the tools we listed in this article and can happily discuss the merits of each based on your current tech stack, team size and budget.
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