This is the first blog in our “Master the Metrics of Digital Marketing” series that will discuss the importance of analyzing website traffic. In the next couple weeks, we will examine two other important metrics: visitor engagement and social media.
A chocolate soufflé isn’t perfected by using guesswork tactics. There’s an appropriate amount of sugar, chocolate, eggs, and butter that shapes an end product which rises, not falls.
These measurements, “chef metrics” one might say, are essential for soufflé success.
The same concept applies to digital marketing. While not completely formulaic – there are nuances to data – a solid knowledge of the core components (opens, clicks, shares, leads, sales, etc.) help you understand what makes campaigns rise or fall, successful or unsuccessful.
In regards to website traffic, here are five key areas to consider.
1) Site Traffic: This metric captures the total amount of traffic flowing through your site. Before you can effectively measure differences in traffic, you have to set a benchmark from which to start. Then, you can determine if your latest campaign drove more traffic, remained constant, or reduced the number of visitors. But, look beyond the overall site traffic number. Dig into page performance -- specific pages that perform better than others, and types of pages that rock engagement. For example, we often see better engagement on blog pages than on basic website pages. Meaningful content that isn’t overtly selling helps visitors understand how you might answer their questions about products and services they’re looking for on the web.
2) Traffic Sources: Some say, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” In marketing, the destination does matter, but it’s just as important to know where your visitors come from. Search keywords, phrases, and specific search engines are all pieces of the journey puzzle.
If your marketing strategy isn’t measurable, how do you know you’re not just throwing money away? You have the data at your disposal; use it to your advantage.
3) Mobile Traffic: There are two considerations that articulate the potential of mobile. First, mobile devices dominate online browsing behavior. While final decision-making often happens at a desktop or tablet, most of the exploring and engaging activity happens in the mobile world. Second, mobile users spend 90 percent of browsing time using an app. If you’re not taking advantage of that fact, you may be missing out on sales opportunities.
4) Conversions: Let’s break down the Conversion Per Visit (CPV) value. As with everything in marketing, it’s critical to set goals. The same goes for measuring conversions. Understanding your conversion rate -- the number of visitors who take action as a percentage of total visitors -- is only meaningful when you define “success” for your campaign. If you’re interested in building your database, then the goal would be number of people who submit a request for more information. If your goal is to get rid of old inventory by offering a discount, your key metric might be completed sales. Establish your goal, then set a conversion expectation that connects to your campaign objectives.
5) Click-Through Rate (CTR): Every time a visitor clicks on an ad or a call-to-action on your site, it ticks as click-through success. Again, goals carry a lot of weight. Clicking through to learn more may be sufficient for a new offering; not enough if you’re trying to register attendees to a conference. As results come in, you’re able to refine your campaigns based on these metrics. The beauty of digital is that continuous learning and improvement is right at your fingertips.
Metrics Just Make Sense
A pastry chef who carelessly spends money on ingredients but doesn’t understand why a soufflé tanks will never realize success. If your marketing strategy isn’t measurable, how do you know you’re not just throwing money away? You have the data at your disposal; use it to your advantage. Next week, we will discuss the importance of visitor engagement metrics.