Nathan is the mastermind behind CoSchedule’s content marketing blog. He’s got a knack for writing actionable content (no fluff here) and knows the secrets to growing your traffic. After joining CoSchedule in 2014, he’s grown the CoSchedule blog audience from 500 to over 400,000 monthly subscribers!
Marketing strategies start with clear goals, and tracking progress towards goals requires selecting smart marketing metrics.
Goal setting and metric selection go hand in hand. If goals are your destination, then metrics are like guideposts. Metrics help indicate whether you’re on the right track and progressing towards your goals. On the other hand, metrics can also illustrate where things are going awry, so you can get back on track.
However, there are tons of different metrics you could potentially track. It’s important to know which ones you should be paying attention to and understand what they mean for your marketing.
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What Are Marketing Metrics?
A marketing metric is a quantifiable variable that can be measured to track performance.
Why Are Metrics Important for Marketers?
They aren’t just important for you; they’re immensely important for your entire business. Without them, it’s impossible to know exactly what impact marketing has on the organization.
The marketing teams at CoSchedule make their metrics available, company-wide, for anyone curious to see their performance.
Examples of Marketing Metrics
There are tons of different metrics a marketer could track. To make sorting through this list easier, it has been broken down into categories. There’s no need to feel like you need to report on, or necessarily understand, all of these right now. Consider this a useful, bookmark-able reference resource.
General Marketing Metrics
Brand Awareness: Measures the level of familiarity your target audience has around your brand or product.
Customer Lifetime Value: How much revenue a business will generate per customer over that customer’s lifetime.
Customer Acquisition Cost: The expense of activities required to earn one customer.
Return on Investment: How much revenue is generated per dollar spent on marketing.
Incremental Sales: Tracks sales growth over time.
Conversion Rate: The percentage of visits that result in a desired action (like completing a form or making a purchase).
Leads Generated: The raw number of sales leads brought in by marketing.
Customer Share (By Category): The percentage of customers in a given area or industry that are your customers vs. your competition.
Market Share: The percentage of customers in a market that buy from you vs. your competition.
Lead Score: A metric for determining how likely a potential customer will purchase.
Net Promoter Score: A tool used to measure customer loyalty and sentiment toward a brand.
Website and Blogging Metrics
Referral Traffic: Traffic referred to your site through another source (search engine, email, social media, etc).
Organic Traffic: Unpaid traffic driven through search engines.
Total Visits: The aggregate number of hits over a given time period.
Customer Attrition/Churn: The rate of customer loss over time.
First Visit: The moment a new potential customer lands on your website for the first time.
Returning Visits: All hits from visitors who have been to your site before.
Traffic Sources: Places that refer traffic to your website or blog.
Click-Through Rate: The percent of search engine queries that result in a click to your site.
Time on Page: The average amount of time visitors spend on a webpage before leaving.
Bounce Rate: Tracks visitors who only view one page on your site before exiting.
Downloads: The number of times downloadable assets and freebies are downloaded (like ebooks, templates, and other gated content).
Pageviews Per Session: The number of pages an average visitor views on your site before leaving.
Unique Visitors: The number of individual users that arrive on your site.
Sessions By Device Type: How many visits a site receives, broken down by the type of device people used to access it (ex: Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, etc.).
Pageviews: The total number of pages that have been viewed on a site.
Top Pages: The pages that are driving the best performance, either by traffic, or conversion rate.
Keyword Rankings: How high a page ranks in search engines for a given keyword.
Search Traffic: The amount of referral traffic sent to a site through a search engine.
Total Backlinks: The number of links pointing at a web page from other sites.
Domain Authority: Measures how authoritative search engines view an entire website.
Page Authority: Measures how authoritative search engines view a single webpage.
Page Load Speed: How fast a website loads (which may impact search engine rankings).
Organic Click Through Rate: How often searchers click a given page when it appears in search engine results.
Social Media Marketing Metrics
Likes: The number of clicks on post Like buttons.
Comments: The number of comments on your posts.
Shares: The number of times a post has been shared. Also called retweets on Twitter or Repins on Pinterest.
Engagement Rate: Measures the level of interaction happening between a social media profile and its audience.
Follower Growth Rate: How quickly a profile is gaining new followers.
New Followers: The number of new fans or followers earned over a given period of time.
Social Media Traffic: Website or blog traffic driven by social media platforms.
Social Media Conversions: Website or blog conversions from social media referral traffic.
Page Demographics: A breakdown of demographic data based on a profile’s followers, based on age, sex, location, occupation, etc.
Sentiment: Measures how social media audiences feel about your brand.
Email Marketing Metrics
Newsletter Signups: The number of people who have opted in to your mailing list.
Traffic: Website or blog traffic referred through email marketing.
Subscribers: The number of people who subscribe to your mailing list.
Engagement: Measures engagement factors such as clicks and opens.
Opens: The number of people who opened your email in their inbox.
Clicks: The number of people who clicked a link in an email.
Bounce Rate: The number of emails that could not be delivered.
Forwards: How many times an email was forwarded to another user.
Cost Per Click (CPC): The cost of getting one click on an ad.
Click-Through Rate (CTR): Measures how many people click an ad, based on how many times it appears.
Quality Score: Used to determine an ad’s relevancy based on keywords, search intent, and the quality of the destination page.
Impression Share: The number of impressions ads receive, measured against the total number of impressions they were eligible to receive.
Total Conversion Value: The total monetary value of all conversions over a period of time.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): The amount of revenue generated measured against the amount spent.
Call Tracking: The number of calls placed after click an ad.
Understanding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Firstly, it’s important to prioritize metrics by what’s most important. If each one is considered a priority, then none of them are a priority at all.
What is a Marketing KPI?
Key performance indicators are metrics that directly indicate progress toward a particular goal. In other words, they are the most important values for understanding marketing’s influence on business success.
While you may track multiple metrics, you should have a small number of highly focused KPIs.
How to Choose Your KPIs
Your business is unique, so your KPIs should be, too. While it’s easy to look at what other companies consider important in your industry, it’s best to measure what makes the most sense for your situation.
Plus, your KPIs may change over time. When you’re starting out, you may have KPIs focused on building an audience first, before trying to monetize a product.
That’s the CoSchedule story. The first KPI the company set when it started doing content marketing was building an audience. It was then determined the most effective way to do this would be to start a blog (based on observing the success of other similar companies).
The most important metric was getting page-views. The more people who learned about CoSchedule and found the company to be an authoritative vendor, the better.
Go back to your goals, and ask these questions:
What is the most important metric we can monitor right now?
What are the most important metrics we can monitor at each stage of the funnel?
How might our KPIs change in the future as our business matures?
Examples of KPIs for Beginning Marketers or New Companies
Social media followers
Email list subscribers
Increased brand awareness
Examples of KPIs for Advanced Marketers on Mature Teams
Of course, these are just suggestions. Ultimately, no one knows your business or specific situation better than you and your company. Choose the KPIs that matter most to you right now.
You’re a Master of Metrics
This chapter is packed with lots of information. Hopefully, you’ve been able to simplify which metrics matter most, and you don’t spend much time worrying about the rest. Now, it’s time to move onto the next section.