Your Digital Marketing Metrics Matter. Here’s How to Measure Them.

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Feb 5, 2021

One of the (many) reasons our digital marketing team loves working on online platforms is that we can measure our programs’ effectiveness. The amount and quality of the digital marketing metrics we're able to pull not only helps us give our clients the best solutions for their users but also ensures we can continue improving the work we've done.

In fact, it's our belief at our St. Louis marketing agency that no matter how awesome the lead-generation or brand awareness campaign is executed, attribution will be, at best, a guess, and progress or improvement is going to be limited if it's not being measured, analyzed and improved constantly.

Why Pay Attention to Digital Marketing Metrics?

Meaningful digital measurement takes time, but we think it's worth every minute. The launch of a new web product or a new social media campaign is only the beginning. 

So what does digital marketing metrics tracking look like? We’re talking about setting up tracking methods initially to detect when users complete the action or goal you intend for them. We are also talking about monitoring the data over time to draw conclusions about trends in user behavior to inform your strategy. 

When you invest in detailed measurement and analysis, you're able to better track your progress toward the goals you laid out before the project started, addressing questions like: 

  • Are your ads getting as many conversions as you need them to? 
  • Are users finding the information they need on your app? 
  • How many people filled out your email subscription form? 
  • Did you get high engagement on your Instagram post?

When you're able to answer these important questions with solid data, you can pinpoint the problems with your digital marketing and determine why they exist so that you can ultimately fix them.

Hard data can also be used to identify opportunities. For instance, analyzing a client’s Google Ads campaigns through metrics showed that Search ads were outperforming Display ads by 40%, so we adjusted the budget accordingly to best optimize for conversions. Small opportunities like this can be discovered every day when you’re prioritizing what the data is telling you.

What Digital Marketing Metrics Need to be Measured?

Figuring out what numbers you need to be pulling and analyzing is as easy as looking at the goals you laid out when you built your digital marketing plan. You can take your broader goals and break them down into measurable pieces with clearly identified key performance indicators (KPIs). 

For example, we use tools like Google Data Studio to pull in data sets from multiple sources, such as Google Analytics to track website behavior and goal completion, Google Search Console and tools like SEMrush to measure keyword rankings, and Google Ads to track conversions across campaigns, ad groups, and even paid keywords. 

While Google Data Studio is ideal for other Google tools, it also offers countless integrations, giving us and our clients the access and ability to create robust data sets in an organized and visual way. Analyzing raw data is a skillset and, in turn, a barrier for some marketers. Organizing the raw data in relation to known goals is the simplest way to make use of the data and find issues or opportunities quickly enough so that they can be acted on.

We recently worked with a veterinary medicine developer to create a digital measurement plan. The goal of the measurement plan was to provide their marketing team with a means for tracking the success of efforts to gain exposure for two new medications the company had recently released. They had two main goals: to build brand awareness and to increase media coverage.

We transformed the marketing goals into measurable metrics and set up the appropriate tags to track them. One of the primary tactics for achieving increased brand awareness was driving more repeat traffic to the news portion of the company's website, so we set up Google Analytics content groups and event tags to allow the marketing team to identify exactly what kinds of content were most successful in getting users back onto the site.

What Should a Measurement Plan Include?

A plan for measuring and reporting on a single paid search engine marketing campaign is going to look a lot different from a plan for measuring the success of your entire organic digital marketing program. You can tailor your measurement plan to suit your needs, but we like to include a few staples in every plan we create:

  1. An overview of the product or campaign goals, strategies, objectives, tactics and KPIs
  2. A breakdown of the tools we'll use to track and measure (which for us almost always includes Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager — filtering into Google Data Studio)
  3. An outline of the customization required for successful tracking (segments, custom events, content groups, etc.)
  4. A timeline for implementation, reporting and reevaluation

The most important thing to consider when building a measurement plan is room for change. Nothing on the web is static. Your goals will grow and evolve with your business, and the ways you measure success should be flexible enough to grow with it.

What Comes Next in Your Metrics Tracking?

So you've developed a plan, implemented all the tracking customizations you identified and created your first report. Now what? Now it's time for the really fun stuff. It's time to examine your data and turn it into the valuable insights your team will use to drive growth. Typically, we conduct high-level data reviews each week but do more in-depth digital marketing metrics reports and analysis once a month.

Remember Your Goals

Every metric you're measuring should relate back to your goals, providing you with a glimpse of how close you're coming to reaching them. Regularly assess your progress toward those goals. 

When reviewing your reports, be sure to keep an eye out for missing information noting where additional items need to be tracked to help you turn a hunch about why your traffic is down into actionable insights — a clear idea of what needs to be changed to get traffic back up.

Keep In Touch

It's absolutely critical you stay in regular communication with your team to ensure no issues or opportunities are overlooked. Having the opportunity to set up measurement at the beginning of a campaign or new page build means you save time, and collect data from the entire time frame possible. 

This avoids lost data and duplicate work that occurs when you add tracking after the launch. When the social media team launches a new ad campaign, you should know about it. When the UX team is testing a new landing page, you'll want to track it.

Did we say the launch of your digital marketing campaign was just the beginning? Oops — the measurement plan is where it all really starts. The web offers more opportunities to track, analyze and act than you can imagine. Don't pass up the chance to learn exactly what you need to know about your business!

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Let the pros at our St. Louis marketing agency help you figure out exactly how to measure your online success! Reach out to Integrity today.

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