Clear as Mud: Making Sense of Marketing Key Performance Indicators | LimeLight Marketing

Clear as Mud: Making Sense of Marketing Key Performance Indicators

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Identifying your key performance indicators (KPIs) is the easy part when it comes to evaluating and assessing your marketing strategies. However, when it’s time to decipher the information you can get from them — yep, it’s clear as mud for many clients.

Having been in the marketing industry for years, I feel integral KPIs can still be confusing and provide misleading data, until you break them down on more primary levels. But, the first thing to consider when you’re trying to make sense of your marketing is to ask: What are my major key performance indicators?

Most businesses with modern digital marketing plans have four main KPIs to focus their energies on:

  1. Social Media Efforts
  2. Keywords and SEO
  3. Website Traffic
  4. Paid and Social Media Advertising

So, naming those four main KPIs was pretty simple. But, now what? Why are these elements of your marketing campaign so important?

All of these efforts combined develop the branding, messaging and image that your consumers use to develop their impressions, both good and bad, of you. These indicators are a direct reflection of how well your efforts are performing, attracting customers to your website or social media channels.

It’s easy to understand that these efforts are important. What is not so easy to “get,” though, is how to determine how well they are working. How do you track these indicators?

KPI: Social Media Efforts

Social media has significantly expanded the opportunity for people to engage with brands online. Social media channels can be the most effective marketing tools in your arsenal. But, if you don’t track your engagement levels, you may be losing out on many opportunities.

Look for data that answers these questions:

  • How many people see your posts?
  • How many “friends” engage with your channels?
  • Are some of your channels performing better than others? How much better?
  • Are your social channels driving website traffic?

HubSpot or your social media network will provide options where you can obtain data about your posts and other efforts. Use this data to determine which aspects of social media are performing best for you and ramp up efforts on them. Consider automating other channels for the time being so you can dedicate more time to efforts that yield better returns.

KPI: Keywords and SEO

Keyword-rich content for search engine optimization (SEO) weaved in organically can make or break your website’s reach. It’s easy to determine which words drive the most traffic to your site (and others) with Raven, a tool designed to crawl your site and pick up important statistics automatically. Identify which words attract more attention and attempt to utilize these throughout your web copy, with special focus on page titles and header tags.

Additionally, create new content that makes use of these keywords to increase your SEO rankings. Whether you’re freshening up stale web copy or adding a blog post, keep these keywords in mind, always.

KPI: Website Traffic

The first questions you should ask when looking at the data for your website are:

  • How many visitors are coming to my website each month?
  • Which pages do they visit most often?
  • What are the most popular pages of my site?

This is where I’ve seen a lot of clients look like a deer caught in the headlights. How do you get that data, anyways? It’s much easier than a lot of people think to find this information. Google Analytics and HubSpot have user-friendly methods of getting statistics about your site.

Pay close attention to pages that include calls to action (CTAs) and research whether visitors to these pages are reacting as you’d like them to.

Consider modeling low-performing pages after those who have higher engagement levels. Analyze them and determine what differentiates pages that perform well from those that do not. Use the successful pages as models as you rework others.

KPI: Paid and Social Media Advertising

Advertising via AdWords and FaceBook can be highly effective…or, it can be a dismal failure. But, how do you know? By monitoring and analyzing the analytics. Both platforms provide opportunities to use your data to determine the ad’s usefulness. Your ads should do one of three things:

  1. Engage social media users
  2. Increase visitors to your site
  3. Develop leads for your business

Use the data to determine if your ads are doing one of these main tasks. If not, ensure you’ve set the right target criteria and that your issue isn’t in design or content. If those things are good and the ads just aren’t performing, ditch the advertising and put your resources elsewhere.

Marketing KPIs can deliver extremely useful nuggets of information — but, only if you know how to read & understand the data associated with them to implement appropriate solutions. LimeLight Marketing can help convert confusing data into understandable details. Your KPIs can deliver a wealth of knowledge and insight for your future marketing plans.

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