12 Important Digital Marketing Metrics You Shouldn’t Neglect

The whole point of putting time, effort, and cash into a digital marketing strategy is to drive results, right?

Well, if you want to boost ROI, you need to track the right digital marketing metrics.

Google Analytics is completely free but it’s loaded with important stats so you can piece together a comprehensive understanding of your website traffic and activity.

Analytics can get kind of (okay, very) confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Don’t worry, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Let’s break down the basics…

12 Digital Marketing Metrics You Need to Track

Yes, 12 sounds like a lot of analytics to track but they each serve different purposes.

1. Acquisition Sources

Your Acquisition Sources tell you where your traffic comes from. Diversity is your friend here because you don’t want to rely on any sole source for all your traffic.

On the Overview screen, Google Analytics tells you in percentages where your traffic comes from, spread out over four channels.

google acquisition report

2. User Retention

On your home screen, you can see how you retain users as the month goes on. Your goal is to build a loyal audience so you’d like to see these percentages higher than those in the image below.

Viral pieces of content can throw off your retention rate if people don’t return the rest of the month.

google user retention chart

3. New Vs. Returning Users

You can find this state in the Audience Overview screen of Google Analytics. It tells you how many of your visitors are regulars. The higher, the better.

Returning visitors tend to have higher engagement, bounce less, view more pages each session, AND stay on your site for longer periods.

Not only that, but they also have higher conversion rates, higher sales, and higher customer lifetime values.

By looking at these digital marketing metrics month over month, we can see that over a quarter of this site’s visitors are regulars and their returning users grew by almost 4.5% over the 30-day period. Not bad!

google new returning visitors

4. Pageviews

Google Analytics gives you two different Pageview digital marketing metrics under the Behavior tab. Pageviews tells you how many pages were viewed over a specific period and includes repeat views of the same page.

Unique Pageviews, however, tell you how many times someone visited each page at least once. If someone visits a page multiple times, you know they must really like the content.

google unique pageviews

5. Top Landing Pages

Google Analytics gives you a special report specifically for landing pages. Keep in mind that what you and Google consider a landing page may be different. Google’s Landing Page figure is useful because it tells you the first point of contact with visitors.

THESE are the pages you’ll want to optimize right away – especially if you see patterns month-over-month.

top landing pages google

6. Average Session Duration

Average Session Duration is one of the best digital marketing metrics because it tells you how long people stay on your site. The longer, the better because that means people really like your stuff!

However, if people tend to stay on each page longer than it takes to read the copy, that could mean your site speed is too low or your website is hard to navigate.

average session duration google

7. Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate tells you how many people viewed a single page on your site and left. Ideally, you want these digital marketing metrics as low as possible.

Let’s look at Bounce Rate from the Landing Page screen since those are some of the most important pages on your site. You can see that the homepage below has a Bounce Rate of about 50%. Not bad but the blog post rate over 80% could use some work.

Keep in mind that some of your landing pages may be designed as isolated pieces of content – bounces are the norm here after they convert or contact you. Make sure to add a thank-you page or call tracking and set clear goals for each landing page.

bounce rate google

8. Exit Pages

Where Bounce Rate tells you how many visitors viewed a single page, Exit Rate calculates exactly where a visitor lost interest.

Right here, this figure is why it’s important to build organic traffic through SEO. People who arrive at your site from a search engine tend to stay longer than people who find your pages through social media.

9. Devices

First, you’ll want to check out how many users are browsing your site from a mobile vs. desktop by clicking on the Mobile Overview tab.

mobile desktop sessions

Next, you can click on Devices to get a closer look at the details:

mobile metrics google

10. Demographics

By clicking on Demographics, you can glean a little insight into the general age and gender of your audience. Keep in mind that Google Analytics can only detect a fraction of your audience’s age and gender so think of this as a sample size for creating content.

demographics google analytics

11. Interests

Here’s where it really gets fun! You can use information from the Interests tab to guide your content creation or for contacting potential advertisers and influencers.

interests google analytics

12. Site Speed

We saved the most important for last. In the world of mobile and 5G, speed is king. Google rewards pages that load fast (best practices say less than 3 seconds) with better search engine rankings. Speed has become more critical than ever since Google switched to mobile-first indexing.

On this screen, Google Analytics will tell you how fast your site ranks on each type of device and browser so you can compare it to which browsers most of your visitors use and make changes accordingly.

A Few Tips to Maximize Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Setting some clear goals and filtering the useless traffic out can help you stay focused and ensure you’re working with the most relevant data.

Start with Clear Goals

Digital marketing metrics don’t mean anything if you don’t have anything to compare them to.

Decide on some clear goals so you can track your progress over time.

Of course, everyone wants to increase sales and conversion – but what metrics should you use to track improvement aside from actual sales?

Nail down some specific key performance indicators (KPIs) like user retention, bounce rate, and diverse acquisition sources.

Perdoo recommends creating SMART goals:

how to write smart goals

Source: Perdoo

Set a Specific Timeframe

You need something holding your feet to the fire if you want to reach your goals.

Going back to the SMART strategy, keep it realistic yet specific and time bound.

Do you want to reduce your bounce rate by 10% in 60 days? Increase your monthly retention rate by 5% in a month?

Setting a timeframe makes goals seem more realistic.

Filter Your Internal Traffic

How much of your monthly traffic comes from your own workers or contractors each month? Dozens? Hundreds?

Internal or negative traffic can seriously throw off your digital marketing metrics because it can make your goals seem unattainable.

Fortunately, Google offers a few simple solutions to filter out your internal traffic. From the Admin tab, you can choose either specific IP addresses or ISP domains to create a unique filter.

filter traffic analytics

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Want to talk about improving your digital marketing strategy? Book a free 30-minute call now to talk it over – no strings attached!

Why Web Analytics Are Important

Web analytics is a tool that allows us to collect, report and analyze data that’s generated from the digital properties that we control. Why is web analytics critical to your business success?

Like it or not, a big part of the world we now live in happens online. Our daily emails, our interaction over the internet with our laptops, tablets, phablets and more.

We research, we shop, we streamline media…we catch up on all social networks, we do our banking, read the news … the list goes on. Everything we do online leaves a trail of data behind it … somewhere, somehow – everything you’re doing is being tracked.

Through web analytics we analyze trails of tracked data that help us to optimize customer experiences and improve decisions around the content created on products or services being sold.

This is why it’s important to understand and analyze your website. Through web analytics, marketers go beyond counting hits and reviewing page views. Wikipedia describes web analytics as “the study of online behavior in order to improve it”. Web analytics is not just pretty pie charts & fancy reports…rather, it’s us finding insights about your website & taking action on how to improve it, based on those pretty reports.

increase-conversions-web-analytics

By analyzing your website data we can help you:

  • make decisions and find answers to questions about your website.
  • dramatically improve your ability to understand and improve your website.
  • evaluate your marketing efforts to determine how visitors are reaching your website and determine the value of each visitor.
  • determine exactly how visitors are interacting with and using site content.
  • reveal what pages are most valuable to your online users
  • determine the value for all marketing ads, both online and offline
  • monitor user behavior and determine what areas of your site are working well, and more importantly what areas are holding you back.
  • define goals that allow us to identify quality traffic from poor performing traffic and improve conversion rates

Are you a website owner? Then ask yourself these questions:

  • how’s your website performing?
  • how can you take the raw data that’s been tracked … organize it into something that can be useful ‐ is actionable, and means something
  • which marketing channels are driving your business?
  • which devices are your users using?

If you can’t answer these questions, then let us assess your situation. Through Google web data analytics we are constantly analyzing, adjusting and improving the performance of your website; A process that will continuously evolve to keep up with the rapid changes in technology. Google provides help on how you can setup analytics and get started today.

Need help installing web analytics? It’s FREE! Contact us and we can help!

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Search Engine Ranking: A Poor Measure For SEO Success

The importance for Google whipping up your web pages in search engine results due to typing in relative keywords on your business and what you offer, is very obvious.

If your page doesn’t show up at all, then the searcher will never find your site … and because of this, many businesses will measure the success of their SEO efforts by seeing where they rank in Google for the keyword phrase(s) which they’ve  optimized.  While on the surface this seems like a good idea, it’s not always a good indicator for success on a number of reasons.

Rankings constantly fluctuate.

Google uses many different databases to retrieve search results for any search query, each different database has slightly different algorithms, so any given search, can pull up any given database, which pulls up a new set of results, and this can show your site in a different position when you check. Sometimes even being on a different computer or browser can produce different results.

Rankings are geo-targeted.

Results will vary depending on where you are when you are doing your search; they try to be helpful in showing results more relative to particular locations. So while you may see your site in one position in your state location, someone in another state location may see it positioned differently.

Rankings are personalized.

Google has a lot of info on us. They keep track of all the searches you make via tracking cookies and other means. If you use Gmail and other Google services where you login … they know even more about you. In an effort to show you what you think you want to see, they will personalize your results even when logged out of your account, and this varies from other users and their personal preferences.

Your site will “rank” for different forms of your keywords.

Real people search in different ways … so there may be a ton of different variations for each keyword phrase you optimize for, that someone might use in the Google search box. Even if you try to optimize them all, and see where you rank, you’ll never quite get the whole picture. Plus what if you optimize for the wrong keyword phrases? You might be number 1 at Google, but if they are not all the right ones, all the number 1 rankings in the world are not going to matter.

As a side note:

A trick some unscrupulous SEO companies use. They rank you number 1 for all sorts of phrases that no-one is searching for and you’re none the wiser until you realize your website traffic hasn’t increased. Lots of unethical and shady SEO practice out there from illegitimate SEO companies.

The bottom line is:

You want more targeted traffic to your website; and beyond that, you want more conversions … and typically more sales. When driving targeted traffic to your website, do consider how it performs; your user experience will determine whether visitors convert to real customers, or leave your website upon entrance. It’s one thing to drive a lot of traffic to your site, it’s another thing to have frustrated users bounce because your website (your online business’s core foundation) is not accessible and doesn’t perform the way it should. Search Engine Land recently released an article on why UX is pivotal to the future of SEO.

Checking rankings WON’T show user behavior or determine how your website performs. It doesn’t tell you how you’re doing. While being ranked #1 instead of nowhere is certainly worthwhile knowledge, looking at the specific placement number alone isn’t going to be an accurate assessment of your SEO success.

The GOOD NEWS is that there are many web data analytic tools like Google Analytics that provide insightful information on how your website performs. When linked with a Google Webmaster tools and an Adwords account, reports can also determine what users are searching for by tracking keyword data and queries from online shoppers. This is why web data analytics are important to online success. Feel free to contact us for more info on SEO, data analytics and Adwords … we can help explain how all these tools can correlate well to create 1 successful SEO strategy for your business.