There are lots of metrics you can track on a regular basis. You can check your visits, leads, and customers from all of your marketing activities. You can check how much revenue you are generating. You can look to see how your calls-to-action are performing. You can see if you're getting any inbound links to your site. And that's just the tip of the iceberg -- the to-do list can really go on and on.
Even though you have lots of metrics at your disposal, you don't actually have to look at every single one of them every day. In fact, you don't have to look at every single one of them every week. Some metrics don't need that level of attention -- you'll just waste time checking them often.
In this post, we'll help you figure out which metrics you should check on -- and how often you should check on them.
Metrics to Check on Daily
The number of visits is the number of times someone comes to your website from an outside domain. This metric gives you a good idea of how well your website is doing at attracting visitors (who are hopefully potential customers for your business).
It is a good idea to check on this metric on a daily basis because if you have a dip one day, that could affect your performance for the month. Checking on this daily will help you more immediately fix whatever could be causing the decrease in visits so that the rest of your week or month is not affected.
Number of Leads
The total number of leads will give you an idea of how many qualified visitors you are bringing to your website. When someone comes to your website, they are not forced to fill out a form or download a piece of content you have created. But if they choose to do that and become a lead, you are doing something right on your website.
Like visits, leads is another metric that should be checked on a daily basis. If you have lead goals that you have to hit as part of your agreement with the sales team, one day's changes could affect whether or not you hit them. Each day's lead report can also tell you whether your website is working as expected. For example, if you change a link on your homepage from one drives to a landing page to one that goes to your Facebook Page, you might see a dip in the number of leads you generate that day. Checking that information on a daily basis will help you fix a problem immediately so the rest of your month is not affected.
Leads and Visits Per Channel
In addition to knowing the overall visits and leads that are generated from your website, it is also important to know those metrics broken down by different marketing channels such as organic search, paid search, social media, email marketing, and more.
"Look at the number of leads that you are generating by channel every day to make sure you are on track to hit your goals at the end of the month," says Amanda Sibley, HubSpot's Campaigns Manager. "If you see that one channel is performing better than expected, you may want to invest more time and resources in that channel to hit your goals."
Certain campaigns you run may take longer than a day to see results (we will go through that in the next section). However, you may be able to see immediate results based on each channel. This will help you figure out how your team should spend their time and resources. Should they focus on sending another email? Or should they focus their efforts on social media? Maybe they should just write more content to influence organic search.
Having this information on a daily basis will help you switch gears in the middle of the week versus waiting until the end of the month -- at that point, it may be too late.
Metrics to Check on Weekly
Some campaigns you run may require a bit more in-depth analysis than just checking on the number of visits and leads that have been generated. In those cases, you should avoid looking at them every day -- instead, look at the metrics weekly.
Let's say for example that you launched an ebook on Monday. That day you sent out an email promoting it to your target audience. You also sent out some tweets to help with the promotion. But you still have other promotional activities planned for the rest of the week. You have some blog posts ready to go, you have some external website writing about your ebook launch, and you have some paid ads going up. After one day you will not have the results that show whether or not the campaign was a success or not. You have to wait the full week until all of the promotional activities have taken place.
Based on what you find each week of your campaign's length, you should make adjustments to your campaign. At the end of the week, see how many leads have been generated from the campaign. See the conversion rate of the landing page. Check out how each of your marketing channels performed while promoting the offer. And repeat this every week of your campaign.
"If you're running a longer campaign where you have promotional activity going on over the course of a month or even a quarter, it's still important to look at your campaign metrics on a weekly basis. It can help you be agile and adjust your tactics based on the data," says Laurie Aquilante, HubSpot's Corporate Marketing Manager. "For example, let's say you are running a month long campaign about an upcoming event. You might find that for this campaign, your social messages are actually driving more conversions than your paid ad spend and as a result, invest more in social channels."
Creating content that builds up an audience and develops a brand for your company takes time. But once you start getting on a roll, you will notice that other people will start linking to your website, increasing the number of inbound links you get and also increasing your rank for certain keywords.
If you check your inbound links on a daily basis, you may become frustrated. The numbers aren't going to move too often. However, if you check them on a weekly basis, you will learn a couple of things. First, you will get an idea of how fast your inbound link number is growing. Depending on how much content you have, this number may increase at different rates. Second, you will learn more about the content that is more likely to get you inbound links. If you are focused on increasing the number of inbound links to your website, you will now have an idea about what content you should publish in the future that could earn valuable links.
CTA Clickthrough Rate
Throughout your website, you should have calls-to-action driving your visitors to landing pages. You should have at least one on every single blog post you publish. You should have them sprinkled all over your website: on your homepage, pricing page, about us page, product pages, and pretty much any other place there's a conversion opportunity on your site.
At the end of each week you should monitor their performance. How many clicks did they get on each page? Were certain calls-to-action more beneficial than others? Depending on the results, you should decide whether or not you are going to keep the same calls-to-action or switch them. You may also decide that you want to switch the location of the call-to-action on a specific page. Gathering this information on a weekly basis will help you constantly optimize your site and look for improvements and new points of conversion.
"For your blog specifically, use the clickthrough rates of your various CTAs as a decision-making tool. If you have more than one relevant CTA for a blog post you're publishing, use CTA clickthrough rate as the deciding factor for which one you choose," says Pamela Vaughan, Manager of Optimization and Growth at HubSpot. "The higher the CTR, the more likely it will be to convert visitors into leads."
Overall Blog Views
You may write one blog post a week. Or you might write five. No matter how many blog posts you write, you should still wait until the week is over to check your results.
Blog posts gain traction over time. Checking on the number of posts that have been viewed on the same day they were published may not give you the results you are looking for. Your blog subscribers may not read them on the exact day they are published -- they could be waiting for their morning commute the next day. It also takes awhile for a post to take off either on search engines or on social media.
At the end of the week, you should assess the perform of your blog as a whole as well as individual blog posts. See what topics resonated with your audience. Dig into the posts that generated leads -- do they have certain topics or formats in common?
"Use data about which blog post topics and formats contribute most to traffic and lead generation to help you inform your editorial strategy," says Vaughan. "If you're ever behind on your blog traffic or leads goals, this information will allow you to make smart decisions about what editorial levers to pull to get back on track."
Metrics to Check on Monthly
Search Engine Rank Based on a Campaign
Your rank in search engines probably won't increase significantly overnight. Even if you write the best blog post based around the keyword that is the most important to you, it may still remain in the same position, or move a spot up. Ranking well in search engines takes time.
Let's say you ran a campaign to increase the ranking of one of your keywords. You wrote a lot of blog content and created an ebook for your campaign. When will you see a difference in your search engine rank?
You most likely will not see any change within a day. You may not even see a change within a week. But if you check at the end of the month, that may be enough time for the search engines to have crawled your content and rank it appropriately. So check on your rank of your most important keywords at the end of the month to see if your campaign made a difference.
Cost per Lead
The cost per lead is calculated by taking the amount of money spent on an advertising effort divided by the number of leads generated by that specific paid effort. The cost per lead is helpful to determine whether or not a certain paid effort was worth the money spent by the advertiser.
"Track your CPL monthly to make sure that you stay within a reasonable budget and are also using your money as efficiently as possible. This will have lasting effects on your bottom line," says Sibley.
At the end of each month, assess your paid campaigns. Are you generated enough leads on the different channels? Are the leads you are generating through paid high quality? Is there any way you can improve the paid ads to decrease the cost per lead?
Let your paid ads run their course throughout the month. That way you will have enough results to work with to make decisions that will impact your paid efforts going forward.
Average Email Clickthrough Rate
At the end of your month, look at the average clickthrough rate of your emails. Of the people who are opening your emails, are they actually engaging with them by clicking on the email's link or call-to-action? This one metric will give you a lot of insight into the performance of your emails and help you figure out what you should be replicating in future email marketing sends.
If you send one email and assess the clickthrough rate, it will give you some information but probably not enough to impact how you should run your email marketing program. However, if you assess all of your emails sent throughout the month, you will get a better idea of what is influencing the clickthrough rate. Are your emails a certain format? How are you engaging with your email recipients so they click on the different links? Having the data for the whole the month will help you gather this information.
"In addition to looking at the average open and clickthrough for all emails, look at which individual emails had the most (and least) success and see what you can learn from those," says Aquilante. "See if the emails with the most success had things in common like the sender name, images, tone, etc."
Social Media Metrics
Throughout the month, your social media engagement will fluctuate. You will gain new followers. You will lose some of your followers. It's nothing to worry about every day during the month. Check on this data on a monthly basis just to make sure it is still in check. If you lose too many followers, you may want to focus on social media a bit more than you may have previously in your upcoming campaigns.
Metrics to Check on at the End of Your Sales Cycle
Lead to Customer Conversion Rate
The lead to customer conversion rate is the number of customers you've closed divided by the number of leads you've generated. This is a great metric to look at toward the end of your sales cycle to see how well your sales team has worked with the leads you have generated. This will give you a better idea of how many leads you are generating versus how many customers your sales team is closing.
"You exceeded your leads goal this month? Awesome. Now it's time to check if you exceeded your customer goal at a proportional rate. It's always important to look at both quality and quantity of your funnel. Often, marketers are delighted with an increase in leads, only to later find that these leads were disqualified in the sales process," says Angela O'Dowd, HubSpot Partner Marketing Manager. "At the end of the day your goal is to help your sales team close more business, and a high quantity of low quality leads will only waste their time."
Let's say you have generated 1,000 leads in your last sales cycle but only 10 of them have closed. That is only a 1% conversion rate. Working to increase this number at the end of your next sales cycle is an important goal to have. If you are generating 1,000 leads but most of them are not closing, you may want to change your strategy. Sometimes generating fewer leads that are higher quality is a better option.
Revenue Generated by Marketing Activities
You are checking the number of visits and leads you generate by channel almost every day. But what about how much your channels such as email marketing, social media, paid, and organic search are affecting your bottom line? Have you ever considered looking at the revenue generated as a result of these marketing activities?
At the end of your sales cycle, look to see how your marketing efforts affected the bottom line. These metrics can help inform your marketing strategy for the upcoming sales cycle. If your email marketing efforts are not actually closing revenue for the business but your organic search efforts are, you may want to focus more on that area of marketing. This information can be extremely informative at the end of the sales cycle to understand where you should be investing you and your team's time and resources.
"Tying your marketing efforts back to revenue is extremely important for your company's growth," says Christine McLaughlin, Field Marketing Manager at HubSpot. "Take the time to sit down with your sales team to discuss the revenue results of your campaigns and brainstorm on areas for improvement within marketing and sales. Added bonus: This increase visibility will bring you closer to your sales team and encourage feedback from both sides."
What metrics do you measure daily, weekly, monthly, or at the end of your sales cycle?
Originally published Feb 2, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017