Are you a tracking hero or a data zero? When it comes to digital marketing, there are certain pieces of information you need to have a firm process for keeping tabs on. Key performance indicators (KPIs) help you determine where you’re truly having success and which digital marketing campaigns you need to either alter or drop.
If you’re like some website owners out there, you might not even realize how important these data sets actually are. That’s why we’ve put together this list of some important ones you want to start reviewing on a regular basis. Here are eight digital marketing KPIs you can’t ignore.
It is one thing to track the amount of traffic you’re getting to your website. However, to really know if your efforts are working well, you’ll want to also pay attention to the number of returning visitors. These are the people who trust your brand and keep coming back to make purchases, learn more about your organization, or consume the content you’re posting. The higher this number, the better your overall marketing response.
In contrast, you should also track unique website visitors. This KPI helps you see how many different people are coming to your page. Usually, you can pair this with metrics from a paid marketing campaign or even an uptick in social media response to gauge the total response to your efforts. Most tracking tools and Google Analytics will also give you details on elements like the type of browser used and whether the site visit was desktop or mobile. You can then use it to ensure your page’s overall user experience (UX) is as best as it can be.
If you’re spending money on paid advertising, tracking your overall return on marketing investment (ROI) is crucial. After all, you want to know that the money you’re spending is actually worth it in the long run. This is where many businesses make mistakes with their digital marketing, as they create these massive marketing budgets without ever paying attention to how it is bringing money back into their organization. Instead, make sure you’re regularly tracking campaigns, including ad spend, to determine your overall ROI.
The cool thing about digital marketing is that it can bring customers in for multiple sales and make them absolute fanatics about your brand. That is why you should track more than just short-term metrics. Customer lifetime value (LTV) is the amount of money a single customer spends over the course of years of doing business with you. While this figure can vary from one buyer to another, it is important to get an average between your customers. Once you do this, you can see what retargeting and remarketing campaigns you need to utilize to grow this number and bring back more people who are already familiar with your company.
When most digital marketers think about response rate, they assume it is just what happens when they send out an email to their list. The truth is that response rate is the metric that tracks any communication from your business. For example, it could be the response to an offer on a social media ad, as part of an influencer campaign, or even in conjunction with a crossover direct mail campaign. Knowing how well your digital marketing is performing is crucial.
Another KPI you can’t ignore is cost per action (CPA). This is the amount of money driving a particular response from your target market. For example, if your desired action is a customer downloading a white paper, then you would determine how much money in ad spend it takes to get that one action to happen. The lower your CPA, the better off you are at getting a response from your marketing.
This KPI might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but it is one that a lot of companies forget to track. New leads generated from your advertising often mean asking each person who calls into your business or submitting a contact form where they heard about you. If you can track down which campaigns are actually creating leads, you can see where your budget needs to increase or decrease.
When other websites like and trust your page enough to link to you, it shows that you’re producing great content. In turn, this gives you a great advantage for SEO and can even lead to an increased level of traffic. You want to use an online tool to keep track of who is doing this because it can be a good way to see if one disappears or if there are certain spammy ones you want to disavow. If you aren’t tracking this metric, it can be puzzling when you suddenly see a drop in rankings and don’t know what the overall culprit was.
When it all comes down to it, every digital marketer should be using best practices to track as many KPIs as possible. Knowledge is power, and if you know what, where, and how your campaigns are working, it can give you the leverage necessary to scale them up for greater success. While these eight are super important, they are just the start of the many things you need to pay attention to when marketing your business online.