Best Practices for Reporting on Digital Marketing Metrics
Measuring how well you drive traffic and convert leads (in my humble opinion)
Ever had your back against the wall? I’m there right now. Our seemingly low-key editorial manager has become known internally as “the hammer”, and I’m late with this post. It’s closely akin to trying to crank out those key monthly reports and metrics to clients or the internal management team while they are drumming their fingers. Our customers are there all the time, and I can relate.
As you might guess, we spend a lot of time making sure our digital marketing software supports reporting on key metrics – with white label of course! Why bother measuring and reporting? Well, to simplify the famous quote below, because to improve anything, you first have to measure it. We live that mantra here at Optify.
“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.“ - H. James Harrington
What to measure?
More to the point, we get questions often about what to measure. Good question! Deciding what to measure is just as important as measuring anything in digital marketing. And you wouldn’t believe the number of times I hear or read about how important it is to measure followers, or friends, or tweets, or eyeballs, or . . . you get the picture.
But let’s talk business, because real metrics that drive business help land and keep clients on retainer-based services. Real business metrics justify marketing budgets and the undying support of the management team – at least until next month ☺.
Driving traffic and converting leads
So we keep it simple around here for our own digital marketing: “Drive traffic and convert leads”. One of our star salespeople sits right next to me on the floor, and she is pounding it home 10-15 times a day on the phones. “Hey, we’re all about ‘driving traffic and converting’ here. Our software is your best friend on those metrics.”
In terms of inbound marketing, or marketing automation, or our blend of inbound + marketing automation (i.e, digital marketing software), it’s just as simple as measuring how well your clients or your site are driving traffic and converting leads.
Driving traffic metrics:
- Month-over-month unique visitors, time on site, bounce rate trends (are you engaging your visitors?)
- Month-over-month best referral sources for traffic, best ranking keywords, most visited pages, etc. (what/where are your content strong points and weaknesses?)
Converting leads metrics:
- New leads per day, per week, or per month (are people actually interested in what you’re selling?)
- Best digital sources of leads month over month, best keywords for lead conversion (which content actually drives sales?)
Trends and repeatable tools matter
There are more, but if you get started there, your clients and management teams will be mighty happy. A couple of little items:
- You’ll notice “month-over-month” often above, because trending matters. These reports are all about trending, because very little in life or digital marketing improves overnight. It’s a journey. Your clients or sales teams will only rarely see more traffic or leads in days, but they might in just weeks, and 5-10% improvement monthly has a massive compounding value in a quarter or two. Remind your clients of that fact in terms of why want your services on retainer.
- You need a plan a repeatable system to improve traffic or conversions. Find a tried & true, repeatable SEO and/or content strategy for you clients to drive traffic. Find a system that will measure it. Or really focus on multiple calls to action and/or many focused landing pages with tight messages aligned to specific campaigns to drive up conversions. Crank out those landing pages without coding the HTML, because time is not correlated to conversions; rather, tight and focused messages are. I hear the cash register if you can keep it simple and repeatable. Can you say “cha-ching”?
Gotta go now to get this post off, or I’ll be looking over my shoulder all day tomorrow. Get those “drive traffic and convert” reports out fast too. Your internal and external clients will love them!