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Determining & Measuring Online Marketing KPIs for Your Business

Published October 22, 2015
The concept is simple – you can’t report on campaign performance if you don’t know how the business measures success. You need to be able to point to the metrics that best indicate how well your efforts have contributed to larger business wins. These data points are your key performance indicators (KPIs). They’ll allow you to quickly determine how well your campaign is doing and where adjustments may need to be made. They’re also the metrics that will matter most to the executives reviewing your reports.
Once you’ve identified your most important KPIs, you’ll be able to more accurately associate business goals to online metrics. For a lead generation site, these KPIs may be:
  • How many leads are you getting from your site?
  • How many items are you selling through your site?
  • How much revenue are you driving through your site?
Other KPIs to help you determine how well you’re reaching your audience online may include:
  • How many unique individuals are visiting your site?
  • How much time are people spending, on average, while browsing your site?
  • How many people are completing an event that correlates to showing interest in your brand beyond a quick look at the site (for instance, watching a video)?
  • How many people are finding you through specific online channels (e.g., organic search)?
Boiling marketing success down to the most crucial KPIs allows you to provide a report that highlights the information your stakeholders care about. In this article, we’ll talk about reporting on the KPIs most crucial to lead generation and ecommerce websites.

 

Performance Measurement Image

 

Lead Generation KPIs

If your business operates on a lead generation model, include KPIs that directly show how well your website content drove leads to the site. First, you’ll want to measure how many total lead submissions occurred via website forms. To do this, you’ll need to set up Goal tracking in Google Analytics if it’s not already set up.

Once Goal conversion data has had time to accumulate in your Google Analytics accounts, add Goal Completions in your reports. You’ll also want to include comparisons to past performance to offer insight as to whether numbers have gone up or down. Without context, total Completions may mean little to those who are reviewing reports. The KPI widget in Megalytic provides a straightforward but highly customizable way to show this data.

Within this widget, choose to show Completions from the metric dropdown. Next, you can select a specific Goal from within your Google Analytics account. In this case, we’ll select an “Apply Now” Goal from a college’s website, reflecting the number of users who completed an online application to attend. This metric best correlates to the volume of qualified leads from the site, as people submitting the “Apply” form are more likely to be prospective students than those submitting the generic “Contact” form elsewhere on the site.

 

Megalytic KPI Widget Customization

 

We’ll also set the date range to the past month, with the widget options set to compare to the previous month and the previous year. This will allow us to show context into how seasonality may have affected conversion volume. Now, we can see the final widget showing the data for online application submissions.

 

Megalytic KPI Widget Showing Completions

 

With the comparison to previous time periods in place, we can show that total submissions have gone down both from the past month and from the past year. This shows that the decrease is not just a normal seasonal trend, as last year at the same time showed many more submissions.

However, we should also consider Conversion Rate (the percentage of Sessions on your site that resulted in individuals completing a Goal) as another crucial KPI. This number will tell us whether fewer Goal completions simply correlates to fewer individuals coming to the site or reflect the fact that website visitors are less likely to convert in general.

To show this data, we can use a widget with the same setup as before, except with the metric dropdown set to show Conversion Rate.

 

Megalytic Display Conversion Rate

 

This widget now shows that, in addition to total Goal Completion, Conversion Rate has also decreased. Based on this data, we should encourage further exploration into why application submissions have gone down, beyond the KPI section of report.

In general, KPIs should guide deeper exploration into business/organization performance that may go beyond the website. This can occur both through notes left within the report, as well as through discussions with the stakeholders reviewing the data. Have applications gone down across the board, or just on the web? Has the quality of applicants gone down, or are there fewer more qualified applicants than before? Ask these types of questions when reviewing online marketing reports to help the data tell a more complete story.

Ecommerce KPIs

Ecommerce websites, or businesses that sell directly through the web, have potential to track the financial results from online marketing more easily. With Google Analytics ecommerce tracking in place, you can track sales-related metrics such as volume of transactions and revenue.

Once ecommerce tracking has been collecting data, you can begin including this information in your online marketing reports. Here, we’ll show Megalytic’s Multi KPI widget, which allows you to show up to four KPIs.

After adding the widget, choose the metrics you’d like to include. In this case, we’ll select four metrics relevant to ecommerce: Revenue, Transactions, Ecommerce Conversion Rate, and Average Order Value.

 

Customizing the Megalytic KPI Widget

 

Once we’ve applied our selection to the report, we see results from these four metrics compared to previous time periods. Once again, we’ve chosen to show data for a month, comparing to the previous month and the previous year.

 

Ecommerce KPIs Displayed with Megalytic

 

Here, we can see there’s been an increase in total revenue on the site, both compared to the previous month and to the previous year. In addition, total transactions increased, as well. We’ll also note that the average order value decreased from the previous month, but many more lower cost transactions amounted to significantly more revenue for the month overall.

Conclusion

To report on your online marketing efforts, you must start by understanding the KPIs that best reflect your website’s success. Once you’ve identified these key metrics, ensure you’re measuring them properly through Google Analytics. After you’ve had time to track data, report on these, putting the KPIs front and center in your online marketing reports. KPIs help to provide an instant snapshot of website performance for the executives who want quick takeaways from a report, while also guiding deeper analysis into the reasons for increases or decreases that occurred over time.

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
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The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.
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We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.