The old way of doing business is almost gone. The world is moving into the brave new era of digital e-commerce. According to Statista, in 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide purchase goods online. During the same year, global e-retail sales amounted to 2.8 trillion U.S. dollars and projections show a growth of up to 4.8 trillion U.S. dollars by 2021. So, yeah, the shift to online continues.
Needless to say, this is forcing businesses to move their marketing onto online platforms such as social media networks, websites, and online forums etc. Businesses are also adopting technological tools to adapt to the demands of the digital marketplace, such as automation and e-mail marketing.
However, shifting to online marketing platforms is just one step in the process. Businesses also need to learn how to measure their digital marketing progress and track their performance. Here are a few key metrics that you need to focus on for business growth.
Total Website Visits
Tracking the exact number of visitors to your website may seem like a daunting and time-consuming task, but it is necessary. There are tools to help you out (SimilarWeb, Alexa). More importantly, the whole point of tracking website visitors is to determine just how effective your traffic generation campaigns have been.
If you aren’t seeing a steady growth in the number of visitors over a period of time, you’re definitely doing something wrong. Gaining this insight will help you take a look at your campaign again and identify faults. You can keep fine-tuning your campaign this way and watch your numbers grow.
Traffic Via Individual Channels
Digital marketing rests on 4 key traffic sources. This includes direct traffic, referral traffic, organic traffic, and social media traffic. The first refers to people who visit your site directly. The second refers to people who visit your site via links.
The third refers to people who visit your site by finding it in search engine results. The fourth refers to those who are directed to your site from social media pages.
It is extremely important to determine which of these sources is generating the maximum number of visitors to your site. Based on what you find, you can channel your resources accordingly. Focus on the sources that work for you the best. With customer segmentation, you can even determine what kind of visitors each source tends to attract.
New Visitors Vs Return Visitors
Tracking returning visitors offers you an idea of how effective your content is in terms of quality and usefulness. Basically, you get to know if your content is attractive enough to keep people coming back.
Now, keeping a track of this against new visitors over weeks and months shows how well your new content is doing.
If you have more new visitors than repeat visitors, then it’s a clear indication that your new content is quite effective. However, it also means that the old stuff isn’t able to retain your old visitors. Try to find a balance.
Interactions Per Visit
This has to do with analyzing your website traffic on a deeper level. If interpreted well, you can gain a series of insights about your digital marketing campaigns.
Start by assessing variables such as how long visitors stay on various pages, how many pages each visitor visits, and their actions on each page.
Now, what you have to understand is that interactions are not the same as conversions. However, interactions must lead to conversions. For instance, a purchase is an interaction that leads to a conversion. Analyzing the interactions per visit allows you to identify the behaviors and activities that keep visitors engaged on your site. This lets you figure out what you can do to keep that going.
The primary goal of digital marketing is to generate leads and eventually convert them. But, as I said earlier, this is only possible when visitors engage in the right kind of interactions.
Bounce Rate, however, refers to the number of visitors who visit the website and leave without engaging in any action.
So, if you have a high bounce rate, it simply means that you aren’t targeting well and have an ineffective landing page.
The exit rate is similar to your bounce rate. However, here, you measure how many people exit the sales funnel in the middle of the conversion process. A high exit rate means that you need to re-assess your conversion process to locate drop-off points and optimize them.
Customer Retention Rate
Customer Retention Rate simply refers to the percentage of customers you’re able to retain for an extended period of time.
This can be hard to determine especially if you have a long buy cycle or if your business revolves around a one-time sale.
However, if your business sustains itself through subscription-based services or e-commerce platforms, you can measure the retention rate by calculating the number of customers who actually return for another purchase. A low retention rate means the product or service isn’t doing too well.
Total Conversion Rate
Total Conversion Rate is an extremely important metric. It basically measures how much your marketing efforts are generating in terms of returns i.e. actual profits.
Now, you can define “conversion” in many ways. But, in general, it has to be a measurable win. In other words, a conversion is when your customer actually purchases the product or service.
It is possible to measure conversions on your website or use Google Analytics. If you can't see favorable conversion rates, the problem could be anything.
Maybe you aren’t providing the right user experience or maybe, your product just isn’t good.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want to consult on marketing and website traffic. I am far from an expert but after being in the digital marketing for 2 years, I am comfortable recommending ideas and service providers I trust.