Which key performance indicators you use could influence your results. These are my top picks.
Senior marketing managers tend to be extremely busy, which is why they need to set up dashboards that allow them to quickly analyze inbound marketing strategies and conversions. Smart Web analytics dashboard KPIs can provide insights into the overall direction of inbound marketing efforts at just a glance. Here are five important dashboard KPIs that can provide even the most swamped marketing manager with a clear glimpse into inbound marketing campaign performance.
1. Site-Wide Organic Traffic
Rather than checking rankings like a nervous stockbroker, your time is better spent checking a daily update on total organic search traffic. While it's true that you can't get traffic without rankings, the primary value is driven by the traffic to your website. Companies that measure success purely by search engine rankings ignore the all-important click-through rate, which ultimately determines website traffic. Set up your analytics dashboard to include year-over-year (YOY) increases in organic search traffic. This will give the senior manager a good idea of the direction of search-related inbound marketing efforts in a summarized format that corrects for seasonality.
2. Total Number of Unique Keywords Driving Organic Traffic
Your target keyword set should be treated like a stock portfolio and target diversity and growth. Diversity manages risk and broadens the scope in both your investment and keyword portfolios. Growth is the obvious goal of any investment, however, it's the combination of growth and diversity that generates the highest returns with the least amount of risk. The total number of unique keywords behind any given organic search traffic analysis should be monitored in a YOY comparison on the executive dashboard.
3. Referral Traffic Growth
Your inbound marketing portfolio not only includes various keyword sets, it also includes all other forms of referring sources on the Internet. This includes third-party websites (not search engines), social media platforms, partner websites, mobile applications, marketing collateral (such as PDFs) and email marketing campaigns. The analytics dashboard should include total YOY increases in referral traffic as well as the total YOY increases in referral traffic sources. Maintain a focus on growth and diversity.
4. Individual Channel Net CPA
CPA (Cost-per-acquisition) figures should be known on a channel-by-channel basis. Savvy marketers understand that CPA is calculated uniquely for each digital marketing campaign. Using an optimized attribution model for each campaign to calculate a net figure will accurately summarize the CPA of each individual marketing channel. A great dashboard summary would be the overall CPA for PPC (Pay-Per-Click), Organic Search, Referral Traffic and Direct Traffic. These are generally the top sources of traffic in a well-rounded inbound marketing campaign.
5. Growth in Total Conversion Value
This last figure is what inbound marketing is all about. However, it's important to have a broad definition of what a conversion is specifically and an accurate dollar figure of the value generated by each conversion. Don't just focus on conversions related to sales, or what Avinash Kaushik refers to as the "one-night stand." Define conversions that relate to prospect nurture actions, such as marketing material downloads, webinar attendances, email list growth, or any other online action that adds value to the business. Analyzing the overall growth in value driven from all website conversions may be the most important inbound marketing KPI. After all, who cares about rankings, traffic, followers, and likes if they don't convert into value driven for the company?
These are my top web analytics KPIs, what are yours?
AARON ADERS: Aaron is co-founder of DigitalRelevance™, a national leader in earned media and inbound marketing services. Building on more than a decade of Internet marketing experience, Aaron steers the strategic vision behind DigitalRelevance market research and collateral. @drelevance