When developing digital campaigns, understanding what digital marketing KPIs are and which ones are most relevant will allow you to review whether your online tactics were effective or need strategic change.
Rates, indexes, percentages… How to know which digital marketing indicators are the most necessary to measure the success of your campaigns? According to Forbes, the key to choosing digital KPIs is to contextualize them with your business. You need to match them not only with your goals but also with a host of other factors, such as strengths and weaknesses and the life stage of your business.
To help you choose the ideal metrics for your company, in this article we will share the main digital marketing KPIs with examples so that you can understand each one of them.
1. Increased sales
This digital marketing KPI is one of the easiest to obtain, although it can also be challenging. Basically, it measures the growth of your sales in a certain period.
For example, if you had $10,000 in sales this month and $8,500 in sales last month, then your sales increased by $1,500, or rather, grew by a percentage of 17.65%. Simple, right? So why is this sales KPI a bit difficult?
Well, as you probably imagine, growing your sales is not enough to increase the money you earn. It doesn’t do you much good to earn $1,500 more in sales if you’re losing money somewhere else (on marketing expenses, for example).
Despite this, the increase in sales is important to demonstrate that your marketing actions are positively influencing your business.
2. Conversion Percentage
To explain what this KPI is for digital marketing, we will have to talk a little about the journey that customers follow until they become purchase prospects (leads ). Very few users follow a single step to become sales opportunities for your product or service. Potential users progress through a multi-step marketing journey.
These steps can be many and varied (watch a video or download a document). The culminating step that will mark the conversion of users will depend on your marketing objectives. When users complete this step (which usually involves leaving you contact information) they will become full-fledged leads.
But then, what is the conversion rate? This digital KPI indicates how many users have completed this specific step that turns them into leads.
For example, if your users must fill out a form with their data on your landing page to become leads, then your conversion rate will be the number of leads divided by the total visits to that landing page (multiplied by one hundred).
Without a doubt, this is one of the vital digital marketing KPIs for any marketing project, campaign, or action, since generating leads for your business should be your ultimate goal. Therefore, this indicator must be constantly monitored and evaluated.
3. Cost Per Lead
The cost per lead (CPL) is one of the KPIs of the digital marketing plan that allows you to know if the expense that is being made for each lead that you obtain is excessive or not.
For example, let’s say you ran a Facebook Ads campaign for a product that costs $100 per unit. The campaign managed to sell 50 of those products. At first glance, it looks like the campaign was successful, but doing some math reveals that the cost per lead for the campaign was $98, meaning you spent $4,900 to make a profit of $100.
Is it worth spending nearly $5,000 to end up making just $100? (And we are only counting the leads that converted… How many leads will have been left unconverted?).
In this sense, one of the main uses of this digital marketing KPI is to check if a channel (social networks, SEO, SEM) generates too many costs per contact.
4. Return on Investment
Return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important KPIs in digital marketing. What is ROI? It is the percentage of profit that you get when you make an investment to increase the sales of your product or service. Simply put, it is how much you will earn after any digital marketing action.
For example, let’s say you ran a campaign through Google Ads in which you spent $1,000 to promote a new product, which costs $150 per unit. In the end, through that campaign, you managed to sell 8 units. What would be the ROI of this campaign? Applying the ROI formula would be as follows:
ROI = (Income-Investment) = $1,200 (8 units at $150 each) – $1,000 = $200.
Since the profit is $200, in this case, the ROI would be 20% (a fifth of what you invested, not bad to tell you the truth).
In the same way as the CPL, this digital marketing KPI can be calculated based on projects, campaigns, or specific marketing actions. What does not change at any level is the importance of ROI.
If the ROI is positive (greater than zero), it means that the project is profitable and will make money. On the contrary, if the ROI is negative (less than zero), it means that the project will lose money and needs urgent adjustments.
5. Web Positioning
SEO is undoubtedly one of the most powerful digital marketing tools and one that yields the best benefits in the long term. The goal of any SEO strategy is for your website to rank higher in search results (SERPs).
But how do you know if your SEO strategy is succeeding? What are your management indicators or KPIs for marketing campaigns? Of course, examining your web positioning with the help of SEO tools.
Reviewing your web positioning will allow you to answer the following questions:
- In what positions of the SERPs is my website located?
- What keywords ( keywords ) are serving for my web page to be found in those positions?
- What keywords rank better? What keywords do I need to promote, since I am trying to position them, but I can’t?
- Are there keywords that used to rank well, but now don’t? Are there others that did not position themselves, but now they do? What happened?
- How much traffic is the keywords bringing to my website?
This information will allow you to make adjustments to improve your web positioning, one of the most valuable digital marketing KPIs.
6. Cost Per Click
The cost per click (CPC) is an indicator that works with paid online advertising campaigns, such as those used by the SEM (Search Engine Marketing) strategy. It is one of the most marketing-specific SEM KPIs.
In an SEM campaign, you pay for your ads to appear in search results (SERPs). This is achieved through ad platforms like Google Ads. The question is: how much are you spending on these campaigns? One of the best ways to answer is with cost per click. For example, when you create an ad in Google Ads, the process is as follows:
- The tool asks you to associate certain keywords with your ad.
- Then you choose the maximum amount of money you want to pay.
- The system makes a “bid” between advertisers like you, who are interested in showing their ads through that keyword. The “bid” is automatic.
- The advertiser with the highest price wins and is the one who will see their ad appear when that keyword is searched.
- In your dashboard, Google Ads then shows you how much you are spending each time a user clicks on your ad. This is the CPC.
Why is it important to monitor your cost per click? Because not all keywords cost the same. You should always check which keywords have a high CPC, in order to assess whether they are worth keeping in your SEM campaign or not. You can also check to see if there are any low CPC keywords that are performing well, in order to stick with them and make them a focus of your campaign.
All this will help you take care of your investment in online advertising, and make your SEM campaigns as profitable as possible. So the cost per click is one of the most essential digital marketing campaign KPIs for any company.
7. Cost Per Acquisition
Cost per acquisition (CPA) is a digital marketing KPI similar to CPC but applied in a different way to a different channel.
Suppose that instead of placing an ad in the SERPs, what you want for your campaign is to create a banner (display) to appear on certain web pages. And how much will it cost for this banner to appear on those pages?
If you choose the CPA payment method, only one payment will be collected when a user enters this banner and makes a purchase. That is, you will only have to pay if the ad fulfills its objective and the user makes a purchase through it.
Cost per acquisition is a payment method that is often chosen for display campaigns focused on short-term sales. This is one of the main digital marketing KPIs that is usually used in specific events or specific campaigns of limited duration, such as Cyber Monday or Christmas.
When you carry out these types of campaigns, check the CPA of your banners to know one of the most important sales indicators (KPIs) for the success of your campaign.
8. Engagement Rate
The percentage of engagement is one of the most important social media KPIs. This is one of the indicators of a community manager that allows you to measure the interactions of the members of your community with your digital content.
To measure social media engagement, you can use a combination of the following important digital marketing metrics, depending on the goals of your project (and also what type of social network):
- Clicks – If a user clicks on a piece of content, it has caught your attention.
- Likes/Reactions: this metric allows you to roughly measure the user’s interest.
- Sharing: If the user shares content, it is because they want others to see it, or because they want to be associated with it. This is very important for a brand.
- Comments: whether positive or negative, they serve to measure the community’s attitude towards content.
- Mentions: when users mention the brand in their interactions or comments. Represents maximum interest.
9. Open Rate
Open rate is easier to monitor than previous digital KPIs. At the same time, it is one of the most important Email Marketing KPIs.
This indicator shows the percentage of recipients of your emails (recipients) who have opened them. For example, if in the database you used for your last mailing there are 10,000 recipients, and of those, 2,700 opened the mailing you sent, your open rate for that mailing was 27%.
The opening rate allows you to measure the interest your recipients have in the emails you are sending them. If it’s low, you could take steps to improve the content of your mailings or check to see if emails are reaching their inboxes.
10. Response Rate
This is one of the most relevant digital marketing indicators for your business objectives. This is the response rate in SMS.
Although some may put it aside, the truth is that SMS is still used by many brands as an important auxiliary channel for digital marketing. If you send an SMS message to your list of potential clients, the response rate will be the percentage of interactions that message has generated.
These interactions can be clicks to URLs or calls to phones included in the message. Based on this digital marketing KPI, you can take actions to improve the Call to Action of the messages, personalize the shipments, etc.
11. Customer Lifetime Value
Sales KPIs or revenue metrics are important to marketers, and customer lifetime value, or LTV, is no exception.
It is a specific metric that quantifies the total revenue expected from a single customer account. Like the cost of customer acquisition, which we will explain below, this digital KPI helps you understand which customer segments are most valuable to your business.
In fact, you can measure your LTV to CAC ratio, which indicates whether the lifetime revenue associated with a customer is more or less than the cost of acquiring them.
12. Customer Acquisition Cost
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a metric used in both marketing and sales. This digital KPI measures the sum of all costs associated with acquiring a new customer. As we mentioned before, revenue is a key marketing KPI!
Knowing how much it costs to acquire a customer, along with other revenue metrics, gives marketers insight into which market segments are profitable for the business and where to double down on their focus.
13. Abandon Rate
This is the percentage of incoming calls that are canceled before connecting with a call center agent or the percentage of abandoned carts in an online store.
So that you can understand this digital marketing KPI, let’s see what its formula is by following the examples mentioned above:
- For call centers: abandon rate = abandoned calls / total number of incoming calls × 100%
- For retail businesses: abandonment rate = number of shopping carts abandoned / total number of transactions started × 100%
You can see the positive side of the abandonment rate in Google Analytics after setting a conversion goal for the shopping cart page. A best practice is to track this digital KPI based on industry and audience average values over time.
14. Wallet Fee
This digital marketing KPI shows you the percentage of money from customers who spend on your brand.
In fact, you can get this data through marketing research or through focus groups. Focus groups are a difficult but interesting way to collect data because your customers will give you insights you never could have imagined.
The formula for the share of wallet or Share of Wallet (SOW) is as follows: total cost of purchases that a customer has made in your company / total cost of purchases that the customer has made in the same type of product or service ) × 100%.
How to calculate this digital KPI? Well, let’s say a customer named Emily spent $20 on your products this month while he spent $120 on items in general. Your portfolio fee would be 20/120 × 100% = 16.6%. Not as high as expected!
15. Dwell Time
Wondering how long users stay on your website? The average time spent on a web page is one of the most relevant digital marketing metrics to track, especially if you want to grow your business online.
This digital KPI, found in Google Analytics, considers the average amount of time all users spend on a single page. To do this, you need to look at the average time spent on your campaign’s landing pages or landing pages to see if users are reading your message and if it’s resonating.
16. Percentage of Web Traffic
Are you making the most of your website traffic? Take the total number of visitors your website has and the number of leads you generate from it and get your web traffic percentage.
For example, if you get 1,000 visits to your website per month and generate 100 new leads, you have a 10:1 web traffic to lead ratio and a 10% conversion rate.
17. Percentage of Incoming Links
The more inbound links driving traffic to your website from other web pages, the better. You can use various SEO tools to find out how many incoming links to your site are on the web and how to actively increase this number.
One way to improve this digital marketing KPI is by creating high-quality guest posts for other blogs that drive users to your website. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to build more inbound links, as this is one of the criteria Google uses to rank your website in search results.
Well, now you have at hand the main digital marketing KPIs that you can use to monitor your online campaigns satisfactorily.
Remember that the goal of all digital KPIs is to measure the effectiveness of your marketing actions. By monitoring your KPIs, reviewing, and making adjustments, you will be able to guarantee the fulfillment of your objective.
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