KPIs: What’s Important For Digital?

5 minute read
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a neat way to measure the performance of your digital marketing campaigns. You can track what’s working and tweak what’s not, thereby allowing you to allocate budgets for maximum return on investment (ROI). In the internet world, thanks to big data, you can measure almost anything, right down to the tiniest detail. However, it is important to choose the right KPIs in order to make the right decisions when it comes to your digital marketing campaigns. For example, you could always track the number of keywords that you are ranking for on the first page of Google. However, tracking such “vanity metrics” does not tell you anything about how customers are engaging with your website or how your content is performing. In a nutshell, you should measure KPIs that inform the goals of your organization. As an example, if you are a startup, building awareness might be your top priority. Thus, measuring reach instead of conversions is probably a better idea to see how your content campaigns are performing.

Choosing The Right KPIs

In the digital world, a customer journey can be broadly broken up into four stages:

1. Consideration: This is where the customer is researching available options in the market. At the exploration stage, you need to reach out to customers with engaging content.

Key metrics you can measure:

  • Reach: Depending on where your content hub is and where you are promoting it, you can measure the number of impressions and click-through rates to see the awareness levels for your content.
  • Bounce Rate And Time On Site: If you are bringing customers to your blog, bounce rate can be a good indicator of how engaging your content is. The same goes for time on site. Compare the latter with the industry average to gauge if you need to tweak your content or change it altogether.
  • Unique Visitors: You can also measure the number of unique visitors you are getting to your website or blog. This gives you a better sense of whether you need to tweak your SEO and social media marketing strategy for increasing awareness.

2. Evaluation: The customer is now shortlisting available options in the market. At this stage, he or she will show more intent in your offering. This intent could be in the form of a newsletter signup or even reaching out to you through the Contact Us page.

Key metrics you can measure:

  • Engagement: At this stage, you should be measuring some sort of engagement metric. The engagement metric will depend on the kind of content funnel you have in place. Common conversion metrics in the digital world include:
    • Newsletter signups
    • Queries through a contact form
    • Signups for a trial
    • Comments on your blog post
    • Queries through social media
  • Cost Per Click: Measuring cost per click gives you a better sense of how your digital campaign is performing. Compare it against the industry average, and if it is too high, you need to tweak your messaging.

3. Purchase: This is when the customer loosens their purse strings. He or she buys your product or service. At this stage, you should be measuring metrics that tell you the return on your investment.

Key metrics you can measure:

  • Average Order Value: Track the average order value of transactions to see if your marketing campaigns are profitable.
  • Cost Per Acquisition: Measure cost per acquisition and compare it with the industry average. If your cost per acquisition is too high, you need to tweak your digital presence to improve performance.

4. Post-Purchase Engagement: At this stage, the customer will either become a fan and do word-of-mouth marketing for your business, or they will choose not to engage with your business again. There are metrics to measure both kinds of responses.

Key metrics you can measure:

  • Returning Visitors: Measure the percentage of repeat visitors. This metric is especially useful if you are looking to increase the average customer lifetime value. If it is too low compared to industry standards, you need to engage past customers a lot more.
  • Social Shares: Track how many people are sharing your content online. It is a direct measure of how effective your content is.

The Customer Journey Is Never A Straight Path

In the online world, the typical customer journey is never a straight path. Instead, a potential customer will move to and fro between different stages, coming in contact with you through different channels. For each channel, the KPIs you measure will be different, depending on your goals for that channel.

For example, if you are a travel agency mostly dealing with corporate clients, the actual conversions might happen offline. However, you might use social media for reach and to get people to your website, where they use the contact form or sign up to receive email specials. Thus, you could be measuring reach metrics for social media channels, while you measure engagement metrics for your website, such as bounce rate, signups, etc.

Keep KPIs Time-Bound

When you have zeroed in on the KPIs that align with your business goals, it is important to keep the analysis time-bound. In addition, pick KPIs that are easily quantifiable and keep your expectations realistic. Compare your performance against industry standards to get a better sense of how your website and digital campaigns are performing.

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