Blog: Web Metrics

Which Metrics Matter Most for Your Business?

Posted by in Web Metrics on Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Web Metrics

If you’re looking to track and measure the success of your online marketing, there are a plethora of options available. The sheer amount of data that is accessible can pose its own problems – namely, how to cut through the noise and find real, actionable information that will help your business grow.

In understanding which metrics matter most for your business, there are several questions to ask yourself:

  • Which actions do people take that generate direct revenue?
    • Examples: making a purchase; scheduling an appointment
  • Which actions do people take that are directly responsible for secondary revenue?
    • Examples: purchasing product upgrades, replacement parts, refills, etc.
  • Which actions do people take that are indirectly responsible for revenue?
    • Examples: filling out contact form, requesting a quote, etc. These are actions that often (but not always) lead to revenue for your business

In addition, you’ll want to keep track of data such as:

  • Overall user sentiment (What are my customers saying about me and my business?)
  • Brand awareness (How well-known is my business in the areas I serve?)
  • Audience perception (What do people think of my industry in general?)

Using these questions as a framework, you can formulate a list of metrics to track that will result in meaningful data for your business. If you are engaging in any form of online marketing, it is often useful to break these metrics down by campaign to measure and track results.

Which metrics lead to meaningful results?

Once your framework is in place and you know the questions you want to answer, it’s time to determine which metrics will give you the information you need. Here are some examples for the most common metrics tracking scenarios:

Lead generation

How many people are viewing my forms?

  • Track unique visitors to each page that has a form

How well are my forms performing?

  • Track form submissions vs. form visits (conversion rate)

Where are my leads coming from?

  • Track the leads generated by each campaign
  • Track all referring websites
  • Track which referrers generate the most leads

Sales

Which of my promotions brings in the most sales?

  • Track specific promotions and compare revenue per customer and per sale
  • Track specific messaging within promotions to find top performers

Which items in my store are most popular?

  • Track sales patterns within categories as well as individual items

How well is my online shop performing?

  • Track the number of people who start the checkout process versus how many complete it
  • Track how many customers are new customers versus returning customers
  • Track the average lifetime value of your customers and whether that number trends up or down
  • For subscription sites, keep track of user churn numbers

Is my checkout process too complicated?

  • Track the overall abandonment rate of your shopping cart
  • Track the abandonment rate of each step in your shopping cart to find problematic steps

What about more generalized business metrics?

As you can see, the recommendations above are very specific, versus more generalized ideas such as “traffic” or “fans”. That’s because we’re using the data to answer specific questions about the health and growth of your business versus tracking overall trends.

Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t be tracking overall trends like traffic to your website. These larger numbers can provide context to the deeper questions that we’re answering. For example, you might notice a large uptick in your traffic from one month to the next.  There are several potential reasons for that uptick:

  • You launched a new marketing campaign
  • Your product was featured on a popular website
  • You wrote several guest blogs and people are looking up your business as a result
  • There is increased demand for what you’re selling at specific points of the year

Without tracking your overall traffic numbers, you would have no frame of reference for knowing why sales were up for a particular month. However, just as importantly, if you aren’t tracking your campaigns and marketing efforts, you won’t be able to accurately determine which of your campaigns is driving your sales.

The bottom line – don’t review your data in a vacuum. Instead, always keep in mind the context.

Need help? Let us set up your metrics tracking.

If all of this seems complicated to you, you’re not alone. But there’s no reason to get bogged down in the details. Let our team put together a comprehensive business metrics strategy and implementation plan to be sure that you are tracking the right data for your business. Get in touch with one of our helpful online marketing experts to get started.

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