Measure twice, cut once – Digital Metrics/Goals

Alright, so you have your business goals outlined. Now you may be asking yourself, “How does this translate to what I want to do on the internet?” Great question, champ. Your digital goals should always be an extension of your business goals. For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on three high-level digital goals that should relate to most businesses: awareness, engagement, and revenue.

Let’s start with Awareness. Awareness metrics are a great start to ensure that your voice is being heard. Here are some awareness metrics to track:

  • Unique Visitors tells you how many people came to your site in a certain timespan. For example, if Johnny and I came to your site 5 times from July 1st to July 7th that would count as 2 unique visitors. This metric is a good indicator of how many people are coming to your site.
  • Visits tell you how many times people came to your site. For example, if Johnny and I visited your site 15 times in the month of June that would count as 15 visits (2 unique visitors – Johnny and I). This metric is a good indication of how often people are visiting your site.
  • Page Views tell you how many pages on your website are being viewed. For example, if Johnny and I visited 30 pages that may tell us that Johnny and I like the content on your site (more to come on that later).
  • E-mail Open Rates tells us how many times people actively opened an e-mail we sent. This metric is a good indication that there’s interest in our content.
  • Social Reach tells us how many people saw our social media posts. This metric paints the picture of how many eyeballs we’re getting in the social sphere (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

Similar to your business goals, your digital goals for Awareness should also be S.M.A.R.T. goals.. for those who may have forgotten what S.M.A.R.T. goals are check out our Business Goals post. In order to widen your audience, you may have a digital goal that is: Increase Twitter reach by 10% in 2014 and you would then focus on how you can organically grow your social audience or enact a paid media strategy.

Great start. We can tell we have an audience thanks to our Awareness metrics, but what’s next? We’ll tell you what’s next – Engagement. Can we get our audience to consume our content or interact with us? Here are some metrics to keep in mind from an Engagement perspective:

  • Bounce Rate is the percentage of time a visitor visits only 1 page of our website and then leaves. A bounce rate can tell us a few things: if we have an optimal landing page experience, if we got the right visitor to view our website, or if our content is interesting. The lower the bounce rate the better.
  • Dwell Time is the amount of time a visitor spends on our site. Typically, the higher the dwell time the more engaged a visitor is since they’re typically consuming our content.
  • Return Visits are a good way to determine if you have loyal visitors. You always want people to come back after reading your content. It tells us that the visitor finds value in your business/product and wants to learn more.
  • Social Channels Likes/Comments on is a low barrier way for social followers to engage with our content on our social channels. A like is a fairly passive way for a consumer to tell us they’re interested in what we’re doing. A comment is a great way for a follower to start a dialogue with us and shows immense interest in learning more or connecting.
  • E-mail Click-through Rate tells us that not only did someone read our e-mail, but they found the content within the e-mail compelling enough to visit our website to read more. For industry-standard e-mail open and click-through rates check out MailChimp’s Email Marketing Research and see how you stack up.

Again, make sure your Engagement goals are S.M.A.R.T. (like you). A good example of a S.M.A.R.T. engagement goal is to Improve e-mail click-through rates in the next e-mail marketing campaign by 5%. You then can focus on improving e-mail copy and ensuring the copy is relevant to your e-mail marketing list.

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Revenue. How do you use your digital presence to drive the all mighty dollar right into your pocket? You want to define an attainable S.M.A.R.T. goal for how much revenue your digital presence can generate: Increase revenue by 15% from website leads in Q1 2014. To help in your revenue goal endeavors, keep an eye on these metrics to help optimize your revenue-generating opportunities:

  • Acquisitions will give you insight into what medium or campaign is providing the biggest bang for your buck: e-mail marketing, paid search, social media posts, etc. You can then optimize your strategies depending on what is working and what is not.
  • Paths can tell you how a visitor is using your site and why they may not be clicking on an ad or buying a product. Maybe a visitor is getting lost at checkout or perhaps they don’t know how to add something to a shopping cart.

We covered a lot here today. Take a moment to pause, reflect, and then throw us a phone call or e-mail if you’d like to pontificate on this subject a bit more. Remember one fact – we got your back.

See you when we talk about Monitoring and Reacting.

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