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KPI Digital Marketing: Which ones should you track?

There are some fundamental digital marketing KPIs that should be considered anytime you want to track your digital promotion efforts.

Anand Mishra
1st Aug 2018
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Do you know what are the main digital marketing KPIs? Without picking the correct indicator it is impossible to know with certainty if an online marketing campaign is effective or not. Basically, because you wouldn’t know what to measure, what values you need to pay attention to and where are you standing right now and where do you want to get.

KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, can be defined as a measure of process’ performance level. The value of the indicator is directly related to a specific goal that has been set in advance and is normally expressed as a percentage.

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For a digital marketing KPI to be useful, it needs to be S.M.A.R.T:

1- Specific: it can identify the “what, where, how and when” of what it’s measured. 

2- Measurable: it allows to quantify aspects such as resources and expected benefits.

3- Attainable: it doesn’t make sense to pick indicators that are impossible to reach with the resources at hand. 

4- Relevant: Depending on the goals, some online marketing KPIs will be more useful than others.

5- Time-bound: an indicator needs to relate to a specific time period.

The Main Digital Marketing KPIs

There are dozens of possible digital marketing ROP metrics you could use to measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns. Some of them depend on the specific channel you use to get in touch with your users. However, there are some fundamental digital marketing KPIs that should be considered anytime you want to track your digital promotion efforts:

1- Page views:

Probably the most basic and important digital marketing measurement tool of all. Whether you are trying to attract traffic to a blog, sales funnel or social media account, your success will be in direct proportion to the traffic volume you manage to drive.

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Page views is an indicator that almost always should be tracked and depending on where you are driving the traffic to, this KPI can change its name. For example, if you are channeling your traffic to a YouTube video, you would track Video Views; and in the case of a page in a blog, the name of the KPI would be Page Views. Nevertheless, they fall under the same category and are used for the same purpose.

2- Unique visitors:

This KPI relates to page views, but it can paint a clearer picture for us in regards to our digital marketing campaign results. As its name suggests, this KPI tells us how many individual visitors our website or page has received. The advantage it has over page views is that it can give us a better idea of our campaign’s reach by not counting repeat visitors.

3- Session duration:

The time a visitor stays on a website, also known as Session Duration, is one of the most valuable digital marketing KPIs available. It is a very good indicator of how interesting your content is to your traffic, and it can also give you an estimate of how likely it is that your visitors will convert to subscriptions, purchases, social shares or any other action you are trying to trigger from them.

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Nevertheless, it is important to take into account that session duration will depend on different factors, such as content length or word count, call to actions distribution, etc.

4- Email opens:

If email marketing is part of your digital marketing campaign (and if it’s not, it should be), Email opens is an essential KPI to track and needs to be part of your digital marketing tracking strategy.

This indicator will let you know how many of your subscribers opened your email. This can provide valuable information on different factors, such as how enticing your email headline is, or if you are timing your email campaigns correctly. For this reason, this KPI is very useful when performing A/B tests with different headlines and sending times.

5- Email clicks:

Where is the user clicking? What parts of the emails do you send to get the most “heat”? Are your emails getting conversions? These and more questions can be answered by tracking Email clicks.

This KPI is the perfect counterbalance to the error-prone indicator of Email opens because even though it is very possible that some users open emails by mistake, it is quite unlikely that someone who opened an email unintentionally actually clicks on its content.

6- Form submissions:

The key step towards converting a visitor is most of the times a form submission, which takes place when he or she enters the requested information and follows all the steps up to the very end.

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There are many types of forms, but as a rule of thumb, if visitors are filling out your forms, this means that your digital marketing campaign is working properly as a whole.

7- Bounce rate:

Whenever a user has access to your content, he has two options in terms of which direction to take: he can either click somewhere on your site (such as a scrolling arrow or an internal link) or he can hit the “close” or “back” buttons without any further interaction. When the latter happens, it is said that the user has “bounced” from your site.

High Bounce rates are usually an indicator of a poor user experience. The most typical causes are slow page loading times, irrelevant content and unappealing website design.

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Hence, if you are experiencing very high bounce rates, it would be wise to look deeper into these three factors first and foremost.

8- Unsubscribers:

How many of your subscribers have decided to opt out of your list? A high rate of unsubscribers can be the best indicator to detect holes in your email marketing campaign.

If you are losing subscribers in high numbers, you need to question the quality and relevancy of the content you are sending them, as well as the frequency you are using. Are you actually giving value with your emails? Or are you pushing for the sell too hard? Could you be sending out your emails so frequently that your subscribers start to find them obnoxious? All these are questions that you should start asking yourself whenever this KPI starts getting out of control.

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