Originally published in Funnel Magazine
Not everyone has a passion for numbers. However, when it comes to driving business growth online, understanding metrics can make or break the growth process. Why? Because metrics aren’t just numbers. They provide insights into the transformational successes (or lack thereof) of marketing and sales processes.
Many struggle with metrics because they lack an understanding of what they need to measure and what those measurements reveal. Key performance indicators (the most important metrics to track on an ongoing basis) vary depending on platforms being used and marketing strategies being employed. In a nutshell, however, metrics provide clarity around visibility, engagement and conversion.
Are you being seen? Are visitors going to your website and social channels? Are people seeing your content? Measuring your visibility will give you the answers to these questions.
To measure website visibility, key performance indicators to measure through Google Analytics include:
- Visits (total number of times people go to your website)
- New visits (from people who have never been to the website before)
- Page visits (number of pages on your website that are viewed)
To measure visibility on social channels, each social network has its own variations of the following key performance indicators:
- Fans or Followers (number of people who like or follow your account)
- Reach (number of people who see your content)
- Impressions (number of times your content is seen)
To measure visibility on YouTube, look at:
- Subscribers (number of people who follow your account)
- Views (how many times your videos were watched)
- Minutes watched (how many minutes of your videos were watched)
To measure visibility in local search, track Google My Business:
- Views (number of times your business appeared in local map search results)
If you aren’t being seen by the right people, there is no opportunity for engagement or conversion. There is no benefit in having huge amounts of fans or followers if they aren’t the right tribe of people. In order to increase visibility with your core audience, here are some steps to take:
- Ensure your site and social channels are well-optimized with searchable keyword phrases.
- Have trusted authorities share links to your online platforms.
- Include links to your website and social channels on trusted business directories.
- Run targeted low-cost ads.
How are people interacting with your content? The answer to this question is crucial because it isengagement that results in conversions.
To measure your website engagement, look at the following information through Google Analytics:
- Time on site (the amount of time each visitor spends on your site – the higher the better)
- Traffic Origin (Direct, Referral, Organic, Social – Knowing where site visitors come from helps indicate how well each of those traffic sources is performing.)
- Site Drilldown (shows what pages are attracting the most visitors to your site)
- Behaviors (shows the pages that people are visiting after they first land on your site)
To measure social engagement, each social network has variations of the following:
To measure YouTube engagement, track:
To measure engagement in local search, track these Google My Business indicators:
- Requests for directions
- Clicks to site
In each of the above examples, tracking the numbers alone is not enough. It is important to identify which content resulted in the most engagement. This reveals what content is resonating most with the audience and what content is not resonating at all. Knowing this can provide a framework for developing a content communication campaign that attracts more people and elicits more engagement.
If you have high visibility but low engagement, consider these questions:
- Is your visibility with the right audience? (Look at your fan/follower/visitor demographic information to find out.)
- Is your content being shared when your audience is not online to see it? (Look at the times when your content is being posted and seen, where your audience is located, and when they are online.)
- Is your content not resonating with your audience?
If the above questions do not reveal that you have a problem, likely the issue is with your content. Experiment with varying types of content, including images,
videos and live streams. Also, make sure your content is a true reflection of you, your story, and the transformation you provide.
Are you generating leads? Are your leads becoming customers? If not, then your online communication is a great hobby…and not a successful aspect of business development. If you are generating leads and customers, do you know where they are coming from? Tracking these metrics will tell you.
Most of your online leads will come through a form that has been filled out. This could be for a free offer, a subscription service, a customer inquiry or something else. The best way to track this information is through a CRM (customer relationship management) tool. This might be something built in to your website or a separate tool you have integrated with your landing pages. Here are some of the key performance indicators to track:
- Landing page lead form conversions (This tells you how many people are filling out forms and on which landing pages so you know what content is most compelling and successful at generating leads.)
- Email opens (Once someone is a lead in your funnel, this number reveals how many people are opening the emails from you that they receive.)
- Asset engagement (As your leads receive communication from you, it is important to track what actions they are taking as a result of that communication: clicks, downloads, replies, etc. It is also important to note which assets are generating the most engagement and where these actions fall in the funnel communication process.)
- Conversions (Tracking conversions tells you how many of your leads become customers and at what point in the lead nurturing process this conversion occurred.)
If you visibility and engagement are high but conversions are low, consider revising the copy on your landing pages.
While this may seem like a lot to track, when you have a simple system for gathering and analyzing your data, the time invested will result in content and campaigns that convert – because you understand what attracts your audience, what engages them, what prompts them to become a lead, and ultimately what compels them to buy from you.
One easy and cost-effective way to track your numbers is to use an Analytics Tool that allows you to record the data that you need and track your growth over time. Ideally you want to go through this process at the end of every month.
Your metrics tell you a story about your success. They tell you what’s working and what isn’t. They tell you whether you’re in front of the right audience and whether your audience finds what you offer valuable. They tell you why your audience buys from you and when. Your metrics truly are a genius at guiding your business growth. You just have to pay attention to their story.