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How To Track The 10 Most Important Online Marketing Metrics

Unlike offline advertising that could only be tracked if someone called a certain phone number or sent in a letter or fax, online marketing has an enormous number of metrics we can use to track the effectiveness and ROI of our campaigns.

An eMarketer article listed 10 online marketing metrics US marketers are using:

eMarketer Interactive Marketing Metrics

eMarketer Interactive Marketing Metrics

So how do we measure these? Let's take a look.

Clickthroughs

There are a many types of clickthroughs we can track online. Here's a list and how we can track each:

  • Clicks on Twitter – use bit.ly or if using HootSuite one of their URL shorteners. Triberr has the naked stats feature (uber awesome)
  • Clicks on text ads – all ad networks (Google, Bing) will give you stats on your ads that you can export, slice and dice
  • Clicks on purchased banners – the site you made the purchase from should provide click through stats for you
  • Clicks on our own banners – if you have an adserver set up it will give you this information. This is a service we provide at Dempsey Advertising
  • Clicks in emails – every email marketing system (AWeber, Infusionsoft) can track clicks on links in HTML emails. If you're using text-only you're out of luck.

Clicks only tell you one part of the equation, but they're the starting point.

Traffic (People) to Website

People come to your site from a variety of sources. The easiest way to measure it is using an web analytics package. Google Analytics is free and gives more information than you can handle.

To see where people are coming from do the following:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics dashboard
  2. Click the Traffic Sources link on the left

Easy peasy.

If you want to slice and dice more though, read this post on how to create advanced segments.

Lead Generation / User Opt-In

This is one of my favorites as it's all about the leads. Does that sound mercenary? Perhaps. But without leads we don't have customers, and without them we don't have business. While the term “lead” can seem dehumanizing, always remember we're interacting with people.

In order to measure leads you have to have a system in place that allows you to capture leads. For me that's Infusionsoft. If you're a HubSpot customer you're covered too.

Both of these systems will give you the total number of people that opt-ed in to a particular offer (ebook, video, etc.).

Here's a screenshot from my Infusionsoft dashboard:

Infusionsoft Lead Gen Dashboard

Infusionsoft Lead Gen Dashboard

That beauty is a dashboard widget created from a custom report. Each time someone opt-in to one of my forms the numbers go up. Never down. I like those types of numbers.

Page Views

Page views is another thing handled by your web analytics software. In Google Analytics there are a few ways to look at this information:

  1. Dashboard – on the dashboard you can see the total page views for your entire website
  2. Dashboard -> Content -> Content Drilldown – this gives more detailed information on each page of your site

TIP: if you have a particularly good day with lot's of people coming to your site, if you did something different, make an annotation.

ROI

The easiest way to measure ROI of an online campaign is:

ROI = Total $$ Earned – Total $ Spent

Hopefully that number is positive. If not, it's time to look at more data and see where the campaign went wrong.

If you want fancy math, check Wikipedia. We keep it fairly simple here.

Offer Response Rates

Tracking offer response rates requires a few pieces of information:

  1. How many people saw your offer
  2. How many people took action on your offer (conversions)

One you have those we employ a little algebra (the most math I ever want to do) and we get:

Response Rate % = (#People Took Action / # People Saw Offer) * 100

Again easy peasy. You can get these numbers by looking at the number of visits to your landing page and the number of people that filled out your opt-in form.

What Are You Tracking?

Are you tracking online campaigns using any of the 10 mentioned in the graphic? Are there any non listed that you're using? Still wondering how to measure some of these?

Let's talk about it in the comments below.

See you there…

Comments

  1. Hi Robert, one of the largest obstacles I’m facing right now with the Blog Engage RSS Service is helping my customers track the ROI. They pay me the subscription each month and want to know what they are getting in return. Ironically I just lost a Business Customer do to this reason.

    I will be putting together a report for my customers with all the spotlights and reviews they got but it’s a little harder to give then an overall idea of what they are getting for a ROI.

    Soon this might become a consistent issue for some of my customers and it worries me a little.

    • Hi Brian thanks for the comment. I would recommend you tell the client the kind of ROI they can get for using your service. Perhaps the way they were measuring ROI is different than what they actually got.

      If they can expect X more pageviews (generally) tell them that. If they can expect a certain number of clicks as compared to other online advertising tell them that.

      All paid campaigns need metrics companies can measure by to see if the purchase is worth it. Then it’s also an easier sell for you as you can tell them what they’re going to get and how to measure it.

    • I think especially in the online field where businesses are less knowledgeable about some of the time ROI is a key metric for them.

      The way I normally try and pitch online campaigns is to have a certain page, a certain unique reference number or coupon so tracking of the campaign can get more solid metrics for ROI purposes.

      Also some clever refer check magic can also work nicely.

      • I agree Arfan – metrics always have to be in place. And when it comes to online marketing, there are almost too many to choose from. Thankfully we can track just about everything, and should. That will help us get to the ROI on campaign. Clients like, and should, always see it.

  2. I have a tragic obsession with Google Analytics. I don’t have any campaigns as such to track – when I do, my obsession will step up another level!

    • Even if you don’t have anything to track now Tom, it’s important to gather the data from the very beginning. So at the very least I recommend installing GA on your site, which it sounds like you’ve already done. You’ll be measuring more very soon! (yes, that sounded kind of bad…)

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