By delegating every aspect of digital marketing strategy, most business owners have effectively given control of their companies’ growth and vision to their IT and marketing teams.
So, you get a spreadsheet every Monday showing the progress of your digital strategy? Neat. But digital marketing is a distribution channel. Would you let a wholesaler tell you what numbers you should be paying attention to? I hope not.
You may be more comfortable — or less afraid — of the numbers you get from sales, operations, and HR, but you are just as necessary at the helm of digital marketing. Progress in digital impacts every other area of your business because fundamentally, digital is about growth. Do you know what metrics are really driving revenue?
Rather than let the team tell you what signals you should be watching, challenge them to report on these six metrics. Then, take the lead on creating the strategy behind your growth.
Pay attention to the change in unique visitors to the website as a whole. Beware: There’s huge potential for distraction when you look at Google Analytics. On a standard dashboard, there are 80 reports — many of which have no real impact on high-level strategy. You might hear, “Wow, look at all these people who are finding us in Florida using the Chrome browser!” Who cares? Don’t bog down the weekly report with metrics that don’t matter. The number of unique visitors answers the question: is your audience expanding or dwindling?
Conversion Rate of Leads:
Look at the conversion rate of visitors becoming leads or subscribers. The global standard is between 2 and 4 percent, so if fewer than 2 percent of your website visitors are taking some form of action (i.e., becoming an email subscriber or lead), there’s a content problem. You want to be closer to 4 percent than 2 percent, and we’ve found it’s possible to go even higher.
Email List Size:
Keep tabs on the overall size of your email list. If there’s a decline in your list size, there’s a disconnect between the value proposition on your site and the delivery of that value.
Conversion Rate into Revenue:
You should be measuring the conversion rate of subscribers into revenue. And this doesn’t just apply to companies that have shopping carts. Rather, this is a critically important method of following a lead all the way through its life cycle. You need to know — or establish — the value of a client who was generated digitally. Say a lead comes in through the website, goes out to your sales team, and leads to a purchase order. With the date the lead was generated and the date the purchase order was written, you have a metric you can evaluate. Also, keep an eye on any change in the average conversion value of each customer.
Site Traffic and Revenue per Keyword:
To find out which pieces of content are producing the most leads or the most revenue, measure the unique visitors (site traffic) and the revenue produced by each keyword. Once you know this, you can get rid of the content that’s not performing well and dig deeper into the content that’s driving sales.
Total Revenue of the Business:
Digital marketing is a key component of your entire business model. But if you start selling a large volume through digital efforts and total revenue goes down, you haven’t won anything. Digital might be getting results, but this doesn’t mean it’s getting the right ones. As the business leader, it’s up to you to determine this fine line.
By understanding and taking a leadership role in these vital metrics, you will effectively manage the growth of your business. You don’t need to create Facebook updates or learn code, but you do need to stop passing the buck. Learn to lead your team in a solid digital marketing strategy, and your returns will be too valuable to be ignored.