Metrics are an important way for marketers to prove the value of certain activities. From social media to email campaigns, identifying the right KPIs and tracking them over a period of time is essential for establishing ROI. This information is also crucial for recognizing which areas need to be improved in the future.
Because of their clear importance for digital marketing campaigns, it can be difficult to understand which ones take the highest priority. Here are eight metrics that will help you prove digital marketing ROI:
1. Site traffic
This is the main metric that many campaigns focus on and it's a good benchmark for how successful you have been over a certain period. It's important that this isn't viewed in isolation though, as having a high number of visitors who are readily leaving the page or failing to convert isn't going to deliver the ROI needed. However, it can be used as a way to broadly view whether you are engaging users or not.
2. New visitors
This is particularly useful if you are conducting a brand awareness campaign or if a key business objective is to raise the company's profile, as it shows whether you are making new connections or not. As it implies, this metric will tell you how many people are visiting your website for the first time, and what page they were taken to. This can be useful to see whether new visitors are behaving the way you expect them to.
3. Return visitors
Much like tracking new visitors, looking at this metric gives you valuable insight into how consumers are behaving, but return visitors can help you understand why people keep coming back. It may be that they view your brand as an authority on a certain topic so repeatedly visit your blog page for guidance but it could also be that they're not getting enough information or guidance to complete a purchase.
4. Organic search
As Google consistently holds organic search in higher esteem, it becomes even more important to track users that arrive at your site in this way, especially when ROI is a top concern. Unlike paid advertising, which is becoming increasingly competitive and expensive, organic search is becoming more cost-effective for brands of all sizes. Whether from a referral, content marketing, or via specific keywords they’ve searched for, organic search is often a more affordable way of engaging consumers, driving higher ROI and encouraging more advocacy from visitors.
5. Time on page
The time visitors have spent on your page can be used to help gauge the level of interest in the content they were directed to. In terms of ROI, it can also be a good indication of how likely they are to go further towards conversion, whether downloading a whitepaper or submitting contact details.
6. Total conversions
Conversions are one of the easiest ways to see how invested a web visitor is in your brand. You can set analytics to measure different conversions, including:
- Downloading content
- Submitting personal information
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Making a purchase
This metric is usually one of the core ways people outside marketing define whether a campaign has been successful or not so it's important for it to be tracked before, during and after activities.
7. Bounce rate
Looking at negative metrics can actually provide you with meaningful information about consumers. Bounce rate - how many visitors leave your site without taking any action - tells you the percentage of visitors that felt misled or disengaged by your website. This isn't just bad for your Google rankings, but also means there's a weak link in your marketing campaign. It may be that you've misunderstood where your consumers are in the buyer cycle or incorrectly gauged the type of content that will engage them - either way the bounce rate is a red flag for marketers.
8. Revenue per visitor
Alongside cost per visitor, revenue per visitor can be used to determine the ROI from each specific marketing channel. You can use the other metrics in the list to see how many sales - and what they were worth - you achieved from any particular activity or campaign. Dividing this by the number of users generated during the same period gives you an estimated revenue per visitor. Cost per visitor is calculated by dividing the total campaign investment by the total number of users. As a rough rule, your revenue should be higher than your cost per visitor.