Tracking Performance with Digital Metrics
The role of technology in our lives, among other things, has simplified processes and improved efficiency. The problem is that we try to squeeze in more and more without the ability to add more time to any one day. Access to a great amount of data can easily be overwhelming. Knowing where to go for specific data, and a basic understanding of how simple digital metrics work, may be the next necessary steps towards making your business more successful.
How your business website performs is important because you want to ensure that the searches that apply to your business are matched up to your website so that you can make a sale, retain customers, or find new clients. It is important to meet the needs of your visitors and potential business. Is your site too slow? Is it user friendly? Is it informative? Relevant? Useful? How is your digital marketing performing?
To determine the answers, become familiar with the free tools available through Google. (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Page Speed, etc.) Everything noted below can be accessed through Google Analytics. It’s pretty much the basics, and a good place to start without becoming too overwhelmed with the abundance of data that is available.
Digital Metrics Most Commonly Used for KPI’s
- Traffic: Not all that long ago people visiting your website were called “visitors.” However, Google changed this group to “sessions” some time ago. This indicator is more than number of new vs returning sessions. It’s important to analyze where your traffic is coming from. Look at inbound link sources to ensure you have quality traffic source. Can’t stress this enough because spammy traffic will cause high bounce rates, fewer conversions, and Google may not provide the domain authority you are going to need for SERP’s.
- Acquisition Source: This ponies on traffic indicators, but general traffic numbers can’t tell you which channels are working best. Case in point, if you are also running a PPC campaign, and have the tracking code setup correctly on your website, you will be able to differentiate paid traffic from unpaid. (Unpaid traffic is also called natural or “organic.) Through acquisition source, you can see how well your branding campaigns are working through “direct” key in traffic. (Business URL typed in to go directly to your website.) There are also options to see social traffic sources and referral traffic sources.
- Sales: Ultimately, this is what businesses are looking for. For e-commerce, tracking sales is more black and white than service-related businesses. For service oriented business, track the number of phone calls, email inquiries, and forms submissions from your website as qualified leads. However, those are only leads until a human/employee has closed or secured that lead. Sales performance indicators are going to be different for each business. You may look at things like revenue per sale, sales per lead source, sales by product or service, lead to sales ration, etc. Your goal is to find the root of sales success or failure.
- Conversions: In the online digital world, this word is used a lot because it’s important. People sometimes get caught up in the traffic numbers/sessions, but the valuable information about performance is found deeper within. How well you are converting website traffic into quality leads and bottom line sales/service revenue is the primary purpose of reviewing this metric. Track the number of phone calls, email inquiries, or forms submissions from your website as qualified leads. The more qualified leads in your funnel, the more you should be able to grow your business.
No longer are your investments unpredictable! Measurement is a science. Through better tracking and both employee and customer feedback, you’ll have the data to make those changes necessary to become more competitive and improve your bottom line. The key is to know where to find information, and how to analyze that data to determine what is most useful. If you don’t already have Google Analytics setup for your website start here.
Tracking business performance is hugely important, but we know that not every business owner has the time to invest in this. Digital Consultants, SEO Experts, and Digital Strategists such as The Leaning Tree Digital Marketing, are available to help.
Obviously, how high you appear in SERP’s, (Search Engine Results Pages), can make or break your business as well. Once you’ve mastered the analytics digital metrics most used for KPI’s, you’ll be ready to take that challenge.