Measuring the return on investment for marketing is a big challenge for many online businesses. It is a common and widely accepted practice to regard marketing expenses as any other cost component that builds up the product or service, and decide on the price and profit margins taking into account this marketing expenses. While it wouldn’t be wrong to say that with this approach marketing costs may be covered, the question of if they are justified calls for a need of effective measurement. This brings another challenge of dealing with online metrics. Below is a list of 5 popular and relatively tangible metrics based on which you can measure how your online marketing campaign is performing.
1. Total Visits.
Your main website should be a primary target for your customers and potential customers, but you can also measure total visits to any location relevant to your strategy, such as a landing page for a pay-per-click campaign. Measuring your total number of visits will give you a “big picture” idea of how well your campaign is driving traffic. If you notice your numbers drop from one month to the next, you’ll know to investigate one of your marketing channels to figure out why. In a healthy, steady campaign, you should expect your total number of visits to grow steadily.
2. New Sessions.
A metric found in Google Analytics, the total number of new sessions will tell you how many of your site visitors are new and how many are recurring. It’s a good metric to understand because it tells you whether your site is sticky enough to encourage repeat customers as well as how effective your outreach efforts are. For example, if you change the structure or content of your site significantly and your ratio of recurring visitors to new visitors drops, it could be an indication that your website is losing effectiveness in warranting multiple visits.
3. Channel-Specific Traffic.
Found in the “Acquisition” section of Google Analytics, your channel-specific metrics will segment your traffic based on their point of origin. This is especially useful for a full-scale digital marketing campaign because “total visits” can’t give you an indication of which channels are outperforming the others. The four main channels to keep an eye on are:
“direct”, which will tell you how many people visited your site directly;
“referrals”, which include external links from other sites;
“organic”, which includes visitors who found you after performing a search, and;
“social”, which includes visitors who found you through social media. It’s an excellent way to gauge the strengths of your SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, and traditional marketing campaigns.
4. Bounce Rate.
The bounce rate shows you what percentage of visitors leave your website before further exploring your website. For example, if a potential visitor finds your homepage after searching for you and leaves the page before clicking any other links, they will be considered to have “bounced.” Generally, you want the bounce rate to be as low as possible because the more time someone spends on your site, the more likely they are to convert and perform meaningful action.
5. Total Conversions.
Total conversions is one of the most important metrics for measuring the profitability of your overall marketing efforts. While it’s possible to define a conversion in many ways (such as filling out a lead form, completing a checkout on an e-commerce site, etc.), conversions are always seen as a quantifiable victory in the eyes of a marketer. You can measure conversions on your site directly, depending on how it’s built, or you can set up a goal in Google Analytics to track your progress. Low conversion numbers could be the result of bad design, poor offerings, or otherwise disinterested visitors.