Online marketing has become an inevitable strategy since the revolution of the internet to increase the reach and success of a company regardless of its size.

Marketing actions such as banners, posts, SEO, or even email marketing can now be adapted very cost-effectively to the appropriate target groups.

However, to ensure that your marketing concept and the corresponding measures are crowned with success, all relevant marketing key figures should be measured, analyzed, and evaluated.

Only in this way can it be seen which actions are having a positive effect and where improvements should be made. In today’s article, we will look at exactly this, at the key figures for online marketing.

Which approach is recommended? Which key figures are essential? How are key figures analyzed? These are some of the questions we will now get to the bottom of.

Table of contents

Objective of Key Figures Analysis

In order to choose the right key figures, it must of course be determined beforehand what purpose the analysis will serve.

Key figures should not be seen as a miracle cure for success; they are tools. They measure the effect that actions have on the target group. To do this, the key performance indicators (KPIs) must be determined so that the analysis makes sense.

So before you even get started, define the objectives with the marketing team, sales, or with management. What performance measurement should be done?

Generally speaking, all objectives can be divided into four broad areas, which of course can always be specified.

Branding and Brand Development

Branding and marketing are especially crucial for new companies that do not yet have a large reach. However, established companies also need to keep up to date in order not to lose touch. Branding measures are also popular when new products or product lines are released.

For branding and brand building, it makes sense to measure KPIs in social media and monitor the impact and success of SEO in organic search.

Sales Figures

Sales figures are almost the most important marketing metric for online stores and companies that offer integrated sales on their website.

Various KPIs can be applied in this area, on the one hand, to document realized sales, but also to record bounce rates or cancellation rates. Based on this, measures can be taken to reduce certain values if this proves necessary.

Leads

Leads are particularly useful in industries where the services offered require intensive consultation, such as in the insurance industry or when buying a house. They result from users/inside who are interested in a particular product.

Engagement

User engagement encompasses several marketing metrics, as it looks at all of the actions and interactions the target audience has with the company. The metrics are particularly useful in the social media space.

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An Overview of the Most Important Marketing KPIs by Area

With so many different KPIs, it can be difficult to choose the right marketing metric for the desired objective.

If you have a marketing department and want to evaluate KPIs on a continuous basis, it is worthwhile to specialize employees in this area. Of course, analysis procedures can also be outsourced to third parties such as a data consulting agency.

The appropriate data analytics agency will put together an intelligent concept that integrates the most important marketing metrics for your purposes and performs the evaluation.

In spite of all this, it is always advisable to obtain a certain basic knowledge of all the issues that affect your own company and its success. Let’s now introduce the most important marketing KPIs, which can be roughly divided into four areas.

  • Primary KPIs
  • KPIs for online commerce
  • KPIs for websites
  • KPIs for social media

Primary Online Marketing KPIs

Primary marketing metrics can be determined for all companies, regardless of the area. These are basic metrics from business management.

Conversion rate

To determine the Conversion Rate metric, the total number of conversions is set to the total number of visitors /inside the website.

Conversions are actions that the user of the website can perform. These include, for example, newsletter subscriptions, orders, or register for membership.

Number of Conversions

The number of conversions indicates the total number of a previously defined action. For example, all new subscriptions to the newsletter or orders and registrations in a certain period of time can be measured.

CPA

The CPA (Cost per Acquisition) value puts its focus on the company’s costs for marketing. Advertising costs are usually accounted for in cost per click or cost per conversion. CPA puts the advertising costs in relation to the conversions achieved.

Return of Investment (ROI)

Especially in business management, the ROI ratio is one of the most important indicators of profitability. This key figure can be applied not only to online commerce.

In the calculation, the profit is divided by the capital employed. If the result is greater than one, then the business is said to be profitable.

Cost-to-Sales Ratio (CSR)

In the CSR value, costs are divided by sales. The lower the value, the more profitable the marketing activities.

Return of AdSpend (ROAS)

The ROAS indicator focuses on search engine advertising. Here, too, the profit is divided by the costs incurred in search engine advertising. This includes, for example, activities at Google AdWords. If the calculated figure is positive, the measures are considered successful.

The Most Important Marketing Key Figures for E-Commerce

The key figures for the online commerce sector mainly focus on sales. The following metrics are very similar to the primary marketing metrics.

CPO

Cost per Order is indicated with the CPO key figure. Here, the advertising costs are set in relation to the total number of orders.

Sales

The turnover indicator shows the absolute value of all goods sold.

Orders per Buyer/Order per Visitor

This indicator focuses on customers. It indicates the average number of orders per customer in a given period.

Returns rate

The returns rate indicates how many of the total number of goods sold were returned or not accepted.

Cancellation Rate

The cancellation rate provides detailed information on how high the proportion of canceled contracts and orders is compared to the total number of all orders.

The Most Important Marketing Key Figures for Websites

For all companies that do not directly sell products, the following key figures are very interesting. Online newspapers and marketing blog operators can use these metrics to determine the success of articles and posts, so that they can demand good fees for guest articles, for example.

Visits

The key figure visits provide information about the visits of certain users. How often a user visits the website can be determined by visits.

Unique-Visitors

This is an important key figure for determining the reach of a website. The number of unique visitors is measured.

Page Impressions

Page impressions measure how often the subpages of a website are called up.

Dwell time

How long do users stay on your website? This time can be determined with the key figure dwell time.

Bounce rate

The bounce rate is a very important key figure. It tells you how many visitors leave your website immediately after the first click without taking any further action.

Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate (CTR) is usually determined for certain marketing campaigns or ads. It provides information on how many times your ad was clicked on, leading to your website.

New/Returning Users

This metric measures the number of new users/returning users. Indirectly, the number is an indicator of how high the reach of your platform is.

KPIs for Social Media

Social media is becoming increasingly important for marketing activities. Many potential buyers are on one of the popular networks such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

How your company is perceived is crucial for planned marketing activities. So use the evaluation of the most important marketing key figures on social networks.

Number of Interactions

This key figure includes all actions of users. These can be social shares, retweets, likes or comments.

Followers/Friends/Contacts

This is one of the easiest metrics to determine on social platforms. It indicates how many users have subscribed to your channel or are following you.

Impressions

Impressions provides information about how often a certain post is shown to a user, because ads can be shown to followers several times in the feed.

Reach

How many users have viewed an ad is indicated by the key figure reach.

Share of Voice

Share of Voice (SoV) is very important, especially in the area of branding. It measures how often your own brand is mentioned compared to your direct competitors.

Number of Mentions

Mentions (@) and hashtags (#) show how often your channel or page is mentioned.

Before Collecting Data

Depending on the company, the structure of a so-called KPI dashboard can vary greatly. For this reason, before you start evaluating numbers, it is essential to choose the right KPIs for your company.

  • Consider which data you need at regular intervals or which you currently already receive via other channels.
  • How often do you use the values – weekly, monthly, or perhaps semi-annually?
  • Use the traffic light functions. The colors red, yellow, and green give you a quick overview of whether the selected key figures are approaching the target state or whether marketing campaigns are needed.

Selecting the Right Figures

As you have already seen above, completely different key figures are decisive for different areas. Blog owners, for example, are interested in different data than owners of online stores. So think carefully about which data is important for the individual objectives in order to build the metrics dashboard accordingly.

Use these tips to create a clear dashboard:

  • Don’t overload the dashboard with too many graphs. With just a few crucial data, you won’t overlook any information and you’ll get more clarity.
  • Choose meaningful metrics for the objective at hand.
  • Use visually appealing displays that allow you to quickly read the results.
  • Make sure that the comparative figures are meaningful. For example, evaluating sales figures for winter boots in June is not very useful.

A Dashboard for Each Business Unit

Many online tools offer the ability to customize dashboards to specific areas of a business. To do this, different perspectives can be set in the program. Typically, companies sort metrics by these areas:

  • Customers
  • Finance
  • Business processes
  • Personnel development

Useful Online Analysis Tools For Your Evaluations

Google Analytics immediately comes to mind for evaluating a wide variety of KPIs, but there are now some interesting alternatives that can definitely compete with the free tool with real-time data and a visually appealing layout. Let’s take a look at selected tools and how they can cover the wide range of KPIs.

Geckoboard

Geckoboard is a well-known provider among dashboard tools. Its focus is on delivering real-time metrics quickly.

The program is web-based and can very quickly extract metrics on clicks, visitors or conversion rate, and others from a wide variety of web services.

All information is presented visually so that your marketing team can read data just as easily as the sales team. Trends are immediately visible.

Geckoboard can be booked in four different price classes. The team version with many additional functions is of course more expensive than the version for one user.

The most important points about Geckoboard:

  • Automatic key data update
  • Real-time data
  • Focus on current developments
  • Display on different end devices possible
  • Extension of widgets is flexible
  • Chargeable

Baremetrics

Baremetrics is primarily aimed at founders and start-ups who want to keep an eye on their advertising campaign, marketing share, or other sales measures. The key figures can be compiled individually.

The provider convinces with a number of functions such as the general control center, forecasts, benchmark analyses, and cancellation rates.

Added to this is Trail-Insight, which provides a better insight into the conversion rate. For this purpose, Baremetrics uses interfaces to other networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Slack, or Evernote.

Baremetrics in summary:

  • Very good for beginners:inside
  • Real-time data
  • User-friendly interface
  • Wide range of analysis functions
  • Dashboard can be customized
  • Chargeable

Google Analytics

The basic version of Google’s analysis tool is free of charge. The focus is on collecting information about your website. This is achieved by integrating a tracking code on the website, which provides you with various information about the visitors.

For example, you can find out how many clicks are made on advertisements or content. Which pages do the users visit and how long do they stay on your site, do they subscribe to the newsletter or are orders and inquiries made.

You can use this tool to quickly measure how successful a particular ad is and how well the entire campaign is received by the target audience.

The most important features of the Google tool:

  • All collected numbers can be exported.
  • Linking of Google AdWords and AdSense is possible.
  • Social networks can be integrated.
  • Tracking in e-commerce available.
  • Pay attention to privacy, as many different marketing information of the visitors are collected.

When to Start?

Whether in marketing, sales, or management, marketing metrics are tools that can indicate a company’s trend. How successfully is advertising received by the target audience? Is the website well received by users? How many of the users turn into regular customers and how much will this acquisition cost?

These are all very interesting questions that every management asks itself. Depending on the goal set, corresponding key figures are used to answer precisely these questions.

At first glance, the number of possible KPIs seems overwhelming, but it is definitely worthwhile to look into this topic. When it comes to choosing the right KPIs and evaluating them, you can always count on agencies that have declared digital marketing and data consulting to be their focus areas.

Inform yourself thoroughly and use marketing metrics to give your brand or company more reach and develop effective marketing measures that match your marketing budget.