How to measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy 

To get the most from any digital marketing activities you invest in, it's important to know exactly how to measure their effectiveness. Once you know how effective your activities are, you can invest your budget in the activities that work.

If you’re investing in a digital marketing campaign or a number of channels, to know you’re getting the most from your investment, you’ll want to understand how they are performing.

Has anything improved for your business? How many leads have you generated? How many new customers have you acquired? Have you achieved any of your business goals? These are the questions you should be asking when it comes to your digital marketing campaigns. 

The only way to answer these questions is through digital marketing measurement. 

Without consistent measuring and monitoring, you will never know what’s happening with your budget, what’s working and what isn’t and you could be wasting your budget. 

Digital marketing metrics to measure

When running a digital marketing campaign, it’s important to focus on specific metrics so you know whether or not your campaigns are working and helping you to achieve your goals. 

What are metrics? 

Metrics are the parameters used by digital marketers to measure what’s happening with your campaigns. Keeping track of these metrics shows where you may need to make improvements or where your activities simply are not working. 

Here are some of the most important metrics to track to make sure your strategy’s performing: 

1. Traffic by source 

One of the first places to start when measuring the performance of your digital marketing is looking at where your website traffic is coming from by source. This metric shows you where your traffic is coming from and tells you which channels are helping to drive the most traffic. 

Tools such as Google Analytics will tell you where it’s coming from. Sources include: 

  • Direct traffic - people who come to your website by typing your URL into their browser.
  • Paid search - visitors who land on your site based on a search query and who click on an ad.
  • Organic search - visitors who arrive at your site based on a search query. 
  • Referral - visitors who arrive from a link on another website or blog. 
  • Social media - this gives you a general insight into the overall effectiveness of your content marketing and other campaigns, as social traffic is a good indicator of engagement and awareness. 

2. New vs Returning visitors 

When measuring digital marketing success, tracking returning visitors is important. These are the people who come back to your site after visiting it for the first time. These return visitors give you an idea of the usefulness and quality of your content and whether it’s good enough to attract multiple visits. 

Tracking this metric week on week and month on month will show you how your content is performing. If you have a high ration of new visitors to return visitors compared to a previous month, it’s an indication that your new content is doing it’s job and driving traffic. 

This metric can indicate that:

  • Your website is functional and users enjoy browsing 
  • You are creating marketing campaigns that are relevant to your audience 

3. Average session duration 

This will show you the typical amount of time that visitors spend on your website. You will need to have a higher average session duration because it shows that visitors are spending a significant amount of time on your website getting to know more about your business, products and services. 

When people spend more time on your website, they are more likely to convert. You should also be able to see which campaigns are keeping website visitors engaged for longer. 

4. Bounce rates 

Your bounce rate gives you an idea of how many people leave a landing page without visiting any other pages on your site. If you have a high bounce rate, you may want to have a look at your landing pages and campaigns to make sure everything is as it should be. 

A high bounce rate could be due to:

  • Website errors
  • The information you provide being irrelevant to the search carried out 
  • Your site taking too long to load 

Checking these factors could help you to find fixes to your website and help to lower your website’s bounce rate, improving the results of your digital marketing campaigns. 

5. Conversion rate 

Your conversion rate for individual campaigns or channels will show you how many people convert when visiting your website. You can track conversions such as:

  • Sales 
  • Subscriptions 
  • Sign ups 
  • Downloads 

If your digital marketing campaigns are not converting, it’s important to look and see where you can make improvements otherwise you will not be getting the most from your spend. 

6. Interactions per visit 

This is a more detailed analysis of your website traffic but it provides actionable insights. You may want to look at factors such as how many pages a visitor visits, how long they stay on individual pages and what they do on each page. 

The ultimate goal is to have these interactions lead to more conversions such as downloads, subscriptions or purchases. Analysis of interactions per visits allow you to learn which activities and behaviours keep visitors on your site and what you can do to encourage more of them. 

Give your digital marketing time to work 

You can’t expect your digital marketing activities to provide a return on investment immediately. It can take a few months for you to start seeing the incremental improvements and results your campaigns can provide. Success factors can be shown in terms of the metrics we have outlined but your ROI will be shown in how these metrics help to meet your KPIs and overall business goals. 

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Blog written by

Mark Skinner