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What Are The Most Common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in Digital Marketing?

As sailors navigated the globe centuries ago, they would frequently pull out their sextant to determine the location, direction, and speed of their ship with respect to the sun, the stars, or the moon. They’d frequently take these measurements to ensure that their ship was always heading to its destination.

As marketers, we use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in much the same way. Our clients or our companies have goals with respect to acquisition, customer value, and retention… and we need to constantly track our marketing and sales progress in achieving those goals.

Marketing KPIs:

Utilizing your sales reports, CRM, analytics, and marketing budgets, you should be able to measure these KPIs on a campaign basis, monthly basis, providing both month-to-date, month-over-month, and month-over-year trends:

  • Inbound Sales Revenue – Total annual sales traceable to marketing efforts that drive leads inbound to your digital channels.
  • Cost Per Lead (CPL) – Total money spent on lead generation divided by the number of leads that spending helped to generate.
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) – Total money spent on lead generation divided by the number of new customers acquired.
  • Traffic-To-Lead Ratio – Total website traffic compared against the number of leads generated from that traffic, found in analytics.
  • Funnel Metrics – marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales qualified leads (SQLs), total opportunities, and closed deals.
  • Market Share – Your estimated revenue in comparison to your competitors and/or industry.

Organic Search KPIs

Organic search results continue to drive very strong leads because of the intent of the search user in researching a solution. Google Search Console and an external rank monitoring platform like Semrush can provide you with these KPIs for garnering organic search traffic.

  • Search Impressions – the number of times one of your pages appears in search results.
  • Search Engine Clicks – the number of times a search engine user clicked on one of your pages in the SERPs.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR) – the total impressions divided by the total clicks.
  • Average Position – your pages’ average ranking in SERPs.
  • Trends – while your growth is critical, if you’re not comparing it to actual trends for search, you’re not going to have an accurate picture of whether you’re performing well or not given the volume of search engine users seeking your brand, product, or service.

Keep in mind that organic search can also accommodate local search visibility with the map pack and your Google business page and information. E-commerce companies can include Google Shopping data. And companies that manage a YouTube channel can include YouTube searches.

Advertising KPIs

Digital advertising has a wide range of metrics that can be tracked to evaluate the performance of campaigns. The most important KPIs related to digital advertising may vary depending on the goals of the campaign, but some commonly tracked metrics include:

  • Cost per Click (CPC) – The cost of an ad divided by the number of clicks it receives. It’s a measure of the cost efficiency of the ad campaign.
  • Conversion Rate – The number of conversions (e.g. purchases, sign-ups) divided by the number of clicks on an ad. It’s a measure of how well the ad is driving desired actions.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) – The revenue generated by an ad campaign divided by the cost of the campaign. It’s a measure of the financial performance of the ad campaign.
  • Impressions – The number of times an ad is shown to users. It’s a measure of the reach of the ad campaign.
  • Bounce Rate – The percentage of users who leave a website after only viewing one page. It’s a measure of how well the website is engaging users.
  • Time on Site – The average amount of time users spend on a website. It’s a measure of how well the website is engaging users.
  • Engagement Rate – The number of likes, shares, comments, etc, divided by the number of impressions. It’s a measure of how well the ad is resonating with the target audience on social media platforms.
  • Brand Awareness – Companies can track brand awareness by measuring the number of people who have seen or heard of their brand.
  • View-Through Rate (VTR) – The percentage of people who saw an ad and later visited the advertiser’s website. This measures the effectiveness of the ad campaign in driving users to the website.

It is important to note that the specific KPIs tracked will depend on the goals and objectives of the ad campaign and the industry in which the company operates.

Brand Awareness KPIs

These KPIs can be collected from social listening and brand tracking tools to help you understand how recognizable your brand name is.

  • Subscribers – how many mobile and email subscribers do you have opted in to your marketing communications?
  • Social Media Reach – how many users do you have following you, seeing your social media updates, and clicking through on them?
  • Brand Mentions – mentions of your brand on third-party websites or blogs, shares on social media platforms, or business directories.
  • Media Mentions – references to your brand in news stories, industry magazines, or in review sites.

Content Marketing KPIs

These KPIs, available from Google Analytics, help you figure out how people are finding your content, how many interact with it, and what content is driving the most qualified leads and customers.

  • Users – the actual number of people who visit your site.
  • Sessions – each session begins when a user enters your site and ends when they leave.
  • Traffic Sources – how users are finding and visiting your website.
  • Traffic Engagement – page views, bounce rate, time on site, sessions per user.
  • Referral Traffic – sessions that come through other web domains. Referral traffic from backlinks is also a great factor in organic search ranking.
  • Micro Conversions – goal completions on your website that you can track through Google Analytics.
  • Macro Conversions – also set up and tracked in analytics, these conversions have commercial intent, like a lead requesting pricing information.

Customer Satisfaction KPIs

Collected through your CRM and surveys, this provides organizations with how well they are servicing and retaining customers.

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) – how likely your customers are to recommend your product or service to someone else.
  • Customer Retention – a combination of churn and renewal rates that show your customer attrition rate.

This infographic, the KPI Cheat Sheet for Inbound Marketers, details the most common KPIs that digital marketers should be tracking with each marketing initiative.

digital marketing kpis

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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