Hackernoon logo15 Core Digital Marketing Metrics To Master For Startup Owners by@umair-hamza-khan

15 Core Digital Marketing Metrics To Master For Startup Owners

The positive return on investment that a business owner seeks from digital marketing efforts greatly depends on which metrics are being tracked and improved in the long run. Digital marketing metrics have the potential to offer a ton of insight into the success and failures of a start-up. Following are the top 15 digital marketing metrics that start-ups should keep an eye on to ensure they are starting on the right note. “Traffic by Channels” is crucial as it gives a detailed picture of traffic sources.
Umair Hamza Khan Hacker Noon profile picture

@umair-hamza-khanUmair Hamza Khan

Passionate About Marketing!

When you are just starting a business, it is quite easy to become wrapped up in various metrics and choosing the right ones that actually help in measuring the success of the business can be challenging.

Digital marketing is an incredible way to get the word out about your services and products if you know what you are doing. For the majority of the start-ups that embark on a digital marketing journey, things might seem a bit confusing. As a result of this, start-up owners will most probably base their actions on blind guesswork, which is not only a wrong approach but can also be somewhat risky.

If you are new to the business world, then digital marketing doesn’t have to feel like algebra or rocket science. When compared to traditional marketing strategies, digital marketing can be easily mastered and is traceable as well as inexpensive.

50% of B2C Content Marketers mull over measuring the effectiveness of the metrics as the top challenges in digital marketing. One of the most daunting tasks that marketers run into is evaluating how to go about drawing an audience.

Here a question arises, can a Marketer actually make the return on investment more predictable with effective digital marketing? Of course, this is possible. But for that, it is essential to understand the importance of measuring and understanding the right metrics of digital marketing that will work for you business. The positive return on investment that a business owner seeks from digital marketing efforts greatly depends on which metrics are being tracked and improved in the long run.

To make progress online, it is crucial to set the right goals, numbers, and metrics in mind. Digital marketing metrics have the potential to offer an insight into the success as well as failures of a start-up. Following are the top 15 digital marketing metrics that start-ups should keep an eye on to ensure they are starting on the right note.

Metrics have the potential to offer a ton of insight into the success and failures of a start-up, and following are the 15 digital marketing metrics that a start-up should keep an eye on to ensure they are starting on the right note.

1: Web Traffic

Web traffic is, without any doubt, the lifeblood of any website that a business needs to survive at any cost. It is basically a wider concept that encompasses the majority of the below-mentioned metrics making it one of the most crucial measures that start-up owners should analyze periodically.

Any sharp decline in traffic indicates that you need to work on your marketing campaign. If the marketing efforts are heading in the right direction, then there will be a visible difference in the total number of visits metrics. But before you celebrate the overwhelming amount of traffic that is being directed to your site, you need to fathom which leads are worth investing in and will be cost-effective.

There are several aspects of web traffic, but for start-up owners, it is better to pay attention to how much of their traffic is paid, and what is the Return on investment? How much of the web traffic is directed through organic searches? How much traffic is being directed from social media and other platforms? How much traffic is being generated through email marketing?

No matter what type of marketing campaign a start-up is running, it is vital to measure how the campaign is contributing to the website’s traffic growth. You can also use Google Analytics to track and analyze web traffic like demographics of the visitors and their retention time on the site.

2: Source of Traffic

You can use different channels to get traffic on your website, and the channel-specific metric effectively analyses the actual source of the visitors on the site. This metric can help start-ups to focus on the marketing efforts in the right direction to get the best out of it. “Traffic by Channels” is crucial as it gives a detailed picture of traffic sources. Once you know which marketing channel is working well, you can work on it in a better way while running a full-blown marketing campaign.  

You can find the segmented traffic in the acquisition section of your Google Analytics, whether the traffic is direct, organic, referral, or directed through social media. The majority of the start-ups go for marketing their business through Blogging or Vlogging, as this is the cheapest way to get traffic to your websites.

Besides this, if you are already into Blogging or Vlogging and now getting started with your start-up, then you can easily direct your audience to your websites.

3: Interactions Per Website Visit

For measuring the traffic inside out, you need to work with the right digital marketing metrics. The “Interactions Per Visit” needs to be tracked along to derive some actionable insights. However, a start-up owner must know how to interpret and understand the findings. For this, you need to focus on the following variables:

The number of pages a user has visited on the website
The time spent on each page visited by a particular user
The actions that the visitor has taken on each page

It should be noted that although these variables are interdependent in each other, the results are different. Though a user is visiting and interacting on the website, it doesn’t mean that it will drive business for sure.

Analyzing the metric of interactions per visit gives a better idea of the activities and behavior of the visitor. This information can then be used to improve the site to enable visitors to spend more quality time on the website.

4: New Vs. Returning Traffic

Relatively straightforward and easy to understand, this metric basically tells you the percentage of visitors who have already visited your website and the percentage to new visitors. The new vs. returning visitors metric helps in understanding how well the web content is performing in terms of providing value to the existing as well as new visitors.

The first visit metric monitors how the visitors find your website via search engines or social media redirects to determine which source is producing higher traffic.

If you experience that the majority of visitors are new and they are not returning, then you should work on the content to make your website stickier. If your existing visitors are returning to your site and the new traffic is less, then you need to:

Improve marketing efforts to increase the number of new visitors as well as retain the existing visitors.
Keep on following the existing strategies while improving them over time as your current visitors clearly like the content.

5: Conversion Rate & Bounce Rate

You cannot depend solely on the traffic-related metrics when it comes to gauging the marketing campaign’s success. It is also critical to know if the traffic is converting or not and which channel is driving the highest number of conversions.

On the other hand, you need to analyze if the visitors are exploring your website by further navigating across the pages or are leaving the website after visiting just one page. The Bounce Rate depicts the number of visitors who landed on the website, don’t like it for any reason, and bounce back to the source they came from.

Conversion rate and bounce rate metrics give you a clear idea of how well the website is performing, which marketing channels are performing more effectively, and how you should revamp your marketing efforts. The bounce rate is determined per page, and you can simply analyze the issues that can be fixed, whether these are with the usability, interface, or quality of the content.

6: Traffic to Lead Ratio

If a start-up is generating quality traffic, then the chances of converting it to quality leads are higher. Hence, the more quality traffic a business gets, the more leads will be generated. This metric depicts how many visitors are successfully being converted into leads. IT gives an insight into how relevant and targeted the traffic is and how well the marketing campaign is working.

7: Lead to Close Ratio

This metric is ignored by the majority of the start-up owners only because it doesn’t directly relate to marketing and is more about sales.

However, digital marketing results will be analyzed more clearly while measuring the growth of sales as the return on investment depends on the sales being generated as a result of the marketing campaigns. Higher Leads to Close ratio depict that the marketing and sales efforts are aligned towards a shared goal and are operating within budget.

8: Cost Per Lead

Cost per lead is an important metric to plan the digital marketing budgets and to know how much a business should spend on marketing to reach the set goals.

It plays a crucial role in determining what needs to be invested in getting a qualified lead. A lead could be an existing customer or who has an expressed interest in the offerings of your business at some point in time. The lower the average cost per lead is the higher are the chances of earning bigger revenues. So, plan to get more leads as cost-effectively as possible.

9: Customers’ Retention Rate

If you are operating a complex B2B business having a long and elaborated buying cycle or you usually deal with single-time sales, then the retention rate of visitors/customers is hard to find out. This fact doesn’t make the metrics any less critical because, just like getting new customers, retaining them is equally important. Retaining a customer is less costly as compared to targeting and acquiring a new one.

If the customers’ retention rate is low, then it means:

The products or services you offer doesn’t give consistent value to keep customers for a more extended period.

The outreach program needs to be revamped as it is not doing enough to strengthen the relationships with the existing customers.   

10: Customer Lifetime Value

Every business owner wants to get long-term profits instead of short-term gains. The lifetime value a customer gives to your business plays an integral role in achieving the business goals effectively. It represents the business or sales you gain from a single customer throughout the relationship with them. It is important to maintain the customers, along with tracking the customers who are bringing in more business.

Once you are well-aware of the customer’s lifetime value, you will know where exactly you need to focus. Whether you need to get new customers or should put effort into retaining the existing ones. When CLV is small, you need to work on customer acquisition to maintain business growth and vice versa.  

11: Customer Acquisition Cost

Startup owners should analyze not only the returning customers but also calculate the cost of attracting new customers. You should think of the full cost that is spent on acquiring new customers, including discounts, referral fees, promotion codes, or anything that will be used to attract new customers.

You can get the customer acquisition cost by merely dividing the marketing department’s monthly budget to the number of new customers acquired by the business that month, and, in this way, you can get an idea of how much you need to spend to convert a prospect into a customer.

Regardless of the paid campaign, you are running; you need to keep track of the cost per acquisition. Every paid marketing channel is only worth a try when it helps in lowering down the cost per acquisition.

12: Return on Investment

The sole purpose of running digital marketing campaigns is to boost the profit of the business one way or the other. Thus, the return on investment (ROI) is one of the most critical metrics to keep track of because it shows the overall profitability of the campaign and also if it is losing the steam or not.

The positive ROI means the marketing efforts are working well, and you don’t need to make any major changes. On the other hand, negative ROI means that you are losing the money and need to improvise the marketing strategy. In short, ROI decides whether the campaign is a downright failure or a raging success.

13: Email Performance

For the business and start-ups that aim to market for a target audience, email marketing can work well. In order to rate the effectiveness, you need to keep track of the number of emails you are sending out and the recipients to evaluate the results. You can include a call-to-action in the email campaign as well to increase the chances that the receivers will visit the website and make a conversion.

By dividing the number of recipients by the number of respondents, you can get a rough estimate of how effectively the E-mail marketing campaign is working. Besides this, you should also keep a record of the unsubscribe rate to evaluate the number of new visitors correctly.

14: Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The Click-Through Rate actually stems from the number of people who choose to click on a link that is posted via social media or any other online advertisements. It represents the success rate of the content and its first impression. CTRs are directly linked with the titles, content headlines, images, and any other graphics that users see immediately.

If the value of CTR is higher, then it means that the marketing campaigns are successful; and if the value is small, then consider changing the aspects of the campaign to encourage users to click on the content. However, high click-through rates aren’t great if they are getting uninterested people to the website.

So, it is better to track this metric in conjunction with the conversion rate to know how many people have made a purchase.

15: Landing Page Performance

The last but not the least thing that you want to monitor is the conversion rate of the landing pages. Most likely, every business has web pages that outperform others, and it is important to know which ones are doing good to make the improvements accordingly. Google Analytics allows you to check the landing page’s performance as well.

You should keep an eye on the home page, about page, contact page, blog home, and blog posts (if any), among others as well. You can get the data about which page has the most traffic, and this information can be used to determine the most popular content among the targeted audience.  

In the End:

Sales are contingent upon the digital marketing efforts of a start-up’s marketing campaigns (conventional as well as digital).

After you have got a clear idea of what type of metrics to get started on the journey of success and analyzing the performance of the start-up, you can direct the digital marketing campaigns in the right direction. These metrics will help you in analyzing the variables that actually contribute to the success of a business and will allow you to devise the marketing strategies accordingly.


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