Your online marketing efforts must be analyzed to ensure progress is being made and all of your business goals are on track. How do you do that? One way to measure your digital marketing strategy's effectiveness is through the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Key Performance Indicators Defined

According to Webopedia, Key Performance Indicators or KPIs:

....are agreed upon by an organization and are indicators which can be measured that will reflect success factors. The KPIs selected must reflect the organization's goals, they must be key to its success, and they must be measurable. Key performance indicators usually are long-term considerations for an organization.

KPIs for Small Business Digital Marketing

Avinash Kaushik (Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google) has a great post on "lame" versus "awesome" metrics for your business. He says if your business is simply measuring clicks and cost-per-click (CPC's), then you are at the toddler stage of analysis. But rest assured, every business starts at the same place and matures at a similar pace. If your small business is in need of a starting point, here are a few high-level KPIs to look at when judging the effectiveness of an online marketing strategy:

  • Unique website visitors - There's a big difference between 100 individual website visitors and one person who returns to your site 100 times. Measuring the number of unique website visitors, and comparing these numbers from month to month, will let you know exactly how many individuals are being attracted to your site
  • Geography - It's also smart to find out where your website visitors are located. If you cater strictly to a US customer base and the majority of your visitors come from South America, you're attracting the wrong audience. 
  • Bounce rate - The bounce rate represents how much time (or how little time) a user spends on your website. If your site has a high bounce rate, it means your website visitors arrive only to quickly leave. Look at how much time visitors are spending on your site to get a better idea of how effective your pages are. For example, if you have an in-depth article and the average time spent on that particular article is only 10 seconds, your visitors are NOT reading that article. Your next job is to determine why. Is the page loading quickly enough? Is it attractive and easy to read? Is the content related to the search term or link the user used to arrive or is it irrelevant? 
  • Comments and social signals - Social media has become increasingly important in terms of SEO, making it important for you to measure how much engagement your content is receiving. This includes onsite comments, "likes," and shares. 
  • Landing page conversion rates - When a visitor lands on a landing page, the goal is for them to convert by performing your call to action. This may be filling out a form, downloading a whitepaper, or calling a unique (and therefore trackable) telephone number. Use the number of page views and number of conversions to determine your conversion rate. 
  • Sales revenue - How much revenue are your digital marketing efforts generating? 

As your website matures and your digital marketing skills grow, you will begin to track other metrics as well. 

Measuring KPIS

No matter which KPIs you decide to track and measure, you need a means of actually doing so. Some content management systems such as Squarespace provide high-level, easy-to-read metrics. Your business can also use a free tool such as Google Analytics to determine your digital marketing strategy's success. If your business does not have someone on staff to track KPIs, consider working with a digital marketer who provides monthly reporting.


Whatever route you choose for determining your KPIs and reporting metrics, start benchmarking your performance today!

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