Every Digital Marketing Metric You Need [Full Guide]

Alistair Roberts
Posted by Alistair Roberts on Apr 15, 2021 1:22:52 PM

Since the internet burst onto the scene in the late 90s, digital marketing has grown into the method of choice for businesses. With access to 3.5 billion people, the world wide web offers huge potential for growth, provided you know which digital marketing techniques will work best for your business goals.

In this article, we’ll explore the most important digital marketing metrics to track for each technique, including SEO, Google Ads, social ads, social page management, content marketing, and email marketing. The metrics we’re covering relate directly to your company revenue, and allow you to determine if your campaigns are profitable, or if they need improvement.

Table of contents

  1. SEO
  2. Google Ads
  3. Social
  4. Content marketing
  5. Email marketing

The most important digital marketing metrics to measure

SEO

Impressions

Impressions in Google Search Console

Impressions in Google Search Console

For SEO, impressions are the number of times a web page has appeared in Google’s search results. They’re a lead metric (more on lead metrics in the detailed article) that show you whether you’re likely to achieve your goals. The more people who see your website listing in Google (an impression), the more chance you have of converting them into leads and sales.

Impressions are most valuable when measured for the entire site. If your impressions are trending upwards, more people are seeing your listing in Google, and your SEO efforts are probably working. You can also analyse impressions for the keywords that you’re targeting, and determine which of them are showing potential, and which may need some work.

Clicks

Clicks tell you whether you’re successfully attracting people to your site. They’re influenced by a number of factors, including your page rank, the relevancy of the page to the user’s search, and how enticing your page title is. If your clicks are trending downwards for a page, you should try to improve these factors where possible.

Organic keyword rankings

Keyword rankings

Keyword rankings

As with impressions, your organic keyword rankings describe your website’s visibility, and so are critical to measure. You should focus on measuring your transactional keyword (more on these in the detailed article), as they lead directly to revenue. If they’re trending upwards, you’ll probably also see more impressions, clicks, leads, and sales.

Keyword rankings are influenced by a large number of variables, including the relevancy of your content, your website’s code, security, usability, and authority, as well as the number and quality of backlinks it has.

Goal conversions

Goals are the final step in the user’s journey. For service-based businesses, this would be generating a lead enquiry, and for product-based businesses, it would be purchasing a product. Goal conversions are a lag metric because they tell you whether you’re achieving your primary revenue-generating goals.

Goal conversions are influenced by your value proposition, the usefulness of your site’s content, your website’s usability, and also its beauty. Improving these will also improve your goal conversions.

To learn much more about these metrics, check out The Most Important SEO Metrics For Your Business.


Google Ads

CTR

CTR in Google Ads

CTR in Google Ads

Click-through rate is the ratio of people who clicked on your advert, against the number of impressions it has had. It provides an accurate measurement of how relevant, enticing, and well-positioned your advert is in Google.

The average CTR for Google Ads is around 2%, but varies based on industry.

Goal conversions

As with SEO metrics, goal conversions are the critical actions you want your users to take, such as making an enquiry, or purchasing a product. They can be set up in Google with conversion tracking, and should be measured monthly to understand if improvements are needed. 

Goal conversions benchmarks are also different depending on your industry, so finding out yours will give you an idea of whether you’re doing well. 

ROI

For Google Ads, ROI is arguably the most important metric to measure, as it tells you whether your campaign is profitable. You can calculate ROI with the following formula: (Revenue – Cost of goods sold) / Cost of goods sold. These values are all available in Google’s Ad manager.

To find out more about these Google Ads metrics, check out our article Google Ads Measurement | Top Metrics You Should Track.


Social

Ads

CPM

CPM is “cost per mille,” which is how much you pay for 1,000 advert impressions. It’s important to monitor your CPM to ensure that you aren’t paying too much for your adverts—a reasonable range is between $1 and $1.40.

You can reduce your CPM by refining your audience targeting, improving your ad’s relevancy score, A/B testing the ads, or changing your bidding type. The lower your CPM, the more people you can reach. 

CTR

As with Google Ads, CTR is the ratio of people who clicked on your advert, against those who saw it. It describes how relevant, enticing, and well-positioned your advert is on Facebook.

You can improve your ad’s CTR in the following ways:

  • Focus the ad on a single, clear idea with a good value proposition
  • Play around with the ad’s position in Facebook
  • Use the same language that your audience would use
  • Pick an eye-catching image
  • A/B test adverts
  • Improve the ad’s targeting
Average % of video viewed

For video adverts, “average % of video viewed” tells you how much of your video is watched on average. It describes how relevant and engaging your video is.

Goal conversions

For social adverts, a goal conversion would typically be generating a lead, selling a product, or collecting an email address. The same logic applies to Google Ads (and any digital marketing technique)—if enough of your goals are being completed, and are generating profit, you’re on the right track.

ROAS

In the world of social ads, ROAS is the ultimate measurement as it shows how much money your adverts are making (or losing!).

With conversion tracking set up, Facebook calculates this value for you, and should be closely monitored to determine the performance of your ads.

If you’d like to learn more about each of these metrics, check out our article Social Media Advertising Metrics | What Matters To Your Bottom Line.

Page management

Reach

Reach is the number of unique people who have seen your social posts. It tells you the size of your audience, and how much potential your content has for success.

Social networks tend to promote posts that are working well, which increases its reach. For this reason, it’s worth monitoring the reach of individual posts to identify which are working well, so you can discover a working formula.

Impressions

As with SEO, impressions are the number of times your content has been shown to users, and describes your potential for meeting your goals.

Engagement metrics

Social engagement is important to measure because it shows how engaging your content is. You’ll want to measure clicks, shares, comments, mentions, and reactions, which are all excellent indicators of your content’s success.

Follower growth rate

Another great way to tell the effectiveness of your content is by measuring your follower growth rate. If you’re gaining followers at a good rate, you’re likely to be producing great content. And as your audience gets bigger, more people engage with your content, which the network then promotes further, leading to potential exponential growth.

You can calculate your follower growth with the following formula: (new followers for the month / monthly reach) * 100. It’s best suited to social strategies that are aiming for brand growth and lead generation, but is also useful for measuring customer advocacy and retention.

CTR

For CTR, the same principle applies as the other digital marketing techniques—it tells you how relevant and engaging your posts are, and can be improved by making them more focused, with language that your audience are familiar with, and by using striking imagery.

If you want a more thorough understanding of social page management metrics, check out our The Most Important Social Media Metrics To Measure article.


Content marketing

Impressions

Impressions for content marketing work in the same way as Google Ads: they tell you how many times your content has appeared in Google, and so describe the size of your audience.

Upwards trending impressions are an indication that your content marketing strategy is working, and you can look at each individual article to determine your winners.

Clicks

Again, as with Google Ads, clicks are the number of times your users have clicked on your content listing in Google. They’re a lag metric that reveal your past performance, which allows you to predict the future more accurately.

Clicks are influenced by your content’s ranking in Google, it’s relevancy to the user’s search, and how enticing the page title is. All of these can be improved to increase click rates.

Social engagement

There’s two main ways to get eyes on your content: ranking organically in Google, and posting on social media. When regular social posts and social adverts are used together, you have a powerful promotional tool that can vastly increase your traffic, especially if you’re posting engaging content.

Social engagement is measured with clicks, shares, comments, mentions, and reactions, which when plentiful, triggers the social network to boost the post and provide even better results.

Organic keyword rankings

Because Google offers so much traffic potential for your content, measuring your organic keyword rankings is a must. Every article that you post should include at least one primary keyword, which should be tracked monthly to determine its page rank.

It’s also important to note that some keywords can take between four to six months to start ranking, so you’ll need to be patient.

Goal conversions

Goal conversions in Google Analytics

Goal conversions in Google Analytics

As with almost every other digital marketing technique outlined in this article, goal conversions is also critical to measure for content marketing. It’s the ultimate goal for your users, and a direct measurement of your success.

Typical goals for content marketing would be downloading a resource in exchange for their email  address, subscribing to their blog or newsletter, or clicking into a transactional page that may lead to an enquiry or sale.

For a deeper dive into these content marketing metrics, check out 5 Essential Metrics For Content Marketing Performance.


Email marketing

Open rate

Your open rate is the percentage of people who opened your email, against those who received it. It’s a very similar metric to CTR because it shows how inviting your subject line is, and how relevant the content is to your audience.

Open rates also vary by industry, so it’s important to check yours for an accurate benchmark. If your open rates are trending upwards, your emails are hitting the mark, particularly your subject lines.

CTR

As with Google ads, social ads, and content marketing, CTR is useful to track because it describes how intriguing and useful your email is. If you’ve created an email that resonates with your audience, and included a single call-to-action button that follows good design principles, your CTR should be high.

Goal conversions

As a key metric for pretty much every digital marketing technique, it’s no surprise that goal conversions are also important for email marketing. Typical goals might be increasing customer advocacy with useful content, creating referrals for your business, or generating leads. They should all be measured closely to uncover the story of your campaign’s success.

To delve deeper into these metrics, check out our article 4 Email Marketing Metrics That Matter—Get Your Emails Read.

Summary

We’ve covered the most important metrics for every major digital marketing technique, which will allow you to measure your campaigns more effectively, from the perspective that matters most: your business revenue.

Here's a handy table that you can refer back to when needed:

 

SEO

Google Ads

Social ads

Social page

Content marketing

Email marketing

Impressions

✔️

   

✔️

✔️

 

Reach

     

✔️

   

Open rate

         

✔️

Engagement

     

✔️

✔️

 

Follower growth rate

     

✔️

   

Clicks

✔️

     

✔️

 

CTR

 

✔️

✔️

✔️

 

✔️

CPM

   

✔️

     

Average % of video viewed

   

✔️

     

Organic keyword rankings

✔️

     

✔️

 

Goal conversions

✔️

✔️

✔️

 

✔️

✔️

ROAS

   

✔️

     

ROI

 

✔️

     

✔️

 

If you’d like to know more, we highly recommend reading the individual articles listed at the end of each technique, as these will round out your knowledge and give you a much better chance of success.

Good luck!

Topics: Inbound marketing, Digital marketing

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