21 Most Important Digital Marketing KPIs You Should be Tracking in 2022
In this helpful guide, we’ll cover the 21 most important digital marketing KPIs every digital marketer should track.
With the rise of the digital era, knowing how to track KPIs is arguably the most important skill a marketer can master.
So regardless if this is your first-ever digital marketing job or if you’ve been at it for a while, this KPIs guide will help you make more informed decisions to optimize your marketing initiatives.
What Are KPIs in Digital Marketing?
A KPI (key performance indicator) is a measurement of a company's performance that allows it to see how well it is doing relative to its goals.
In other words, it's how you track the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts so that you can make informed decisions to improve results.
If you're not tracking any metrics, then it's impossible to know if your campaigns are working or not. It’s also a great way to waste time and money.
Why Do KPIs in Digital Marketing Matter?
Adding on, tracking the right KPIs will help you determine which strategies work best for different segments of your audience, allowing you to personalize campaigns for maximum results.
It’s the best way to achieve faster and better marketing results because you’ll know exactly what needs to be done (as opposed to playing the guessing game).
For example, if most of your visitors are coming from social media channels, then you'd probably want to focus your efforts on improving those channels rather than others that aren’t producing the desired results.
But it doesn’t stop there.
KPIs are also useful because they allow you to benchmark your campaigns against competitors in your industry. This in turn lets you see where you stand when compared with similar businesses.
So if you want to make better decisions about how you spend your time (and money) on your digital marketing activities, it’s important that you know what KPIs to track.
21 Most Important KPIs in Digital Marketing to Track for Optimal Results
Here we'll touch upon some of the most basic KPIs you should track in every digital marketing campaign. Digital marketing tools such as Google Analytics (free) or HubSpot (paid) allow you to know the insights for each of the most important digital marketing KPIs.
For the sake of organization, this KPIs guide will be split into five different marketing categories:
- Overall Marketing KPIs
- SEO Marketing KPIs
- Email Marketing KPIs
- Paid Marketing KPIs
- Social Media KPIs
Overall Marketing KPIs
1. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Customer Lifetime Value is a metric that measures the total value of a customer to your business over time.
It’s a key indicator of how well you’re doing at acquiring and retaining new customers, as well as keeping them engaged. If you have a high CLV, it means you’re getting good returns on your marketing investments.
For example, if you sell an online course for $100 and your average customer pays for six months, then their CLV would be $600 (6 x $100).
2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Customer acquisition cost is the price of acquiring each customer through marketing and sales activities, such as advertising or social media campaigns.
The lower your CAC, the better — because it means your customers are worth more than what it costs to acquire them.
For example, if it costs you $1,000 to acquire 100 new customers through paid advertising, your CAC would be $10 ($1,000 / 100).
3. Cost Per Lead (CPL)
A lead is a person who has shown interest in your product or service by accomplishing an objective.
The cost per lead determines how cost-effective your marketing strategies are at generating new leads.
You can calculate this by dividing your total cost for paid advertising by how many leads it generated in a given period of time.
For example, if it costs $1,000 to generate 50 qualified leads from paid advertising on Facebook ads, you'd calculate $1,000 ÷ 50 leads = $20 CPL
Confused? Don’t worry.
Most people scratch their heads when considering the difference between customer acquisition cost and cost per lead.
CPL is how much it costs you to acquire a lead, while CAC is how much it costs you to acquire a customer.
4. Return on Investment (ROI)
ROI is when you measure the return on investment from your invested budget.
In simple words, it’s the overall value that you get out of a marketing activity compared to the money you invested in it.
5. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate is measured by tracking the percentage of users who take a desired action (i.e., sign up to your newsletter, book a call, ask for a demo, etc.).
For example, if you had 80 people sign up to your webinar from 1,000 emails you sent, your conversion rate would be 8% (since 80 ÷ 1,000 = 8%).
SEO Marketing KPIs
6. Inbound Traffic
The number of visitors coming through your website or blog is a great indicator of how much interest there is in your content, as well as its quality. If more people are visiting your site than usual after publishing an article or blog post, then it could mean that it was particularly popular with readers and led to organic traffic growth!
7. Bounce rate
Bounce rate refers to people who leave your website without clicking anything or viewing any pages on your site, thus the term bouncing off your site.
As a general rule of thumb for bounce rates:
- 26% to 40% is excellent.
- 41%-55% is roughly average.
- 56%-70% percent is higher than average.
But keep in mind that these percentages greatly depend on the type of website or business that you run.
For example, a website that shares food recipes might have a high bounce rate as the person who visited that page is most likely looking for a particular recipe (in other words, they're not interested in reading more than what they came for).
8. New and Lost Backlinks
An important metric for SEO is how many backlinks your website has gained or lost in a given period of time.
This KPI can be used to determine the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts and whether you need to focus more on developing quality content that gets shared more often.
9. Keyword Rankings
Keyword rankings are also an important metric for SEO. They show how well your website is doing in terms of ranking for certain keywords and phrases.
While this KPI points towards the popularity of your website, it doesn't tell you anything about the quality of your content or whether people are actually clicking on those links.
10. Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA)
These indicate how trustworthy a website is based on its backlink profile and are commonly used to identify quality sites when building links. While DR shows unique, do-follow backlinks, DA also takes into consideration spam links and lost links.
These metrics can then be used to determine if any changes have been made to your site that may have affected its DR or DA score — such as adding new pages or removing existing ones.
Email Marketing KPIs
Email marketing KPIs are important because they give you a clear picture of how well your campaigns are performing.
11. Open Rate
This is the percentage of people that open your emails. The higher this number is, the more successful your campaign has been.
An open rate between 17% and 28% is considered good – depending on your industry. And of course, the higher your open rates, the higher your chances to convert these leads into customers.
12. Deliverability Rate
Also known as acceptance rate, deliverability rate is how successful you are in getting a given email delivered to a prospect’s inbox. If it’s too low, some of your emails might be either blocked by spam filters or bouncing back due to incorrect email addresses.
To find out the deliverability rate of your email marketing, you simply take the number of emails delivered and divide it by the total number of emails sent.
13. Email Bounce Rate
Unlike website bounce rate, an email bounce rate occurs when a recipient doesn’t open an email (either because they don’t see it or because they delete it) within a certain time frame. The email bounce rate can affect deliverability rates as well as open rates.
14. Unsubscribe Rate
A high unsubscribe rate is bad news — it means people don't like your emails enough to stay on your list.
So if you notice a big increase in unsubscribes over time, take a look at your subject lines: They could be too generic (like "Tuesday Morning Update") or too salesy ("Get 50% off today!").
Paid Marketing KPIs
15. Cost Per Click (CPC)
Cost per click is the amount paid to a publisher for each time a visitor clicks on an ad. It is also known as cost per thousand impressions (CPM), which refers to the number of times an ad is displayed to users.
It's a direct measure of how much money you're spending on your ads, and it's calculated by dividing the total cost of all clicks you received by the total number of people who clicked on your ads.
16. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is the percentage of users who click on an ad in relation to all impressions made on that ad. For example, if you have 100 impressions from 100 different users, but only 10 people clicked on your ad, your CTR would be 10%.
17. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
CPA measures how much money you spend on acquiring a new customer through paid channels, including paid social campaigns, search engine marketing, and affiliate marketing.
This KPI can be used as an indicator of whether or not a campaign is profitable and if you're getting what you pay for from your advertising budget.
Social Media Marketing KPIs
With the growing popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, it's no wonder that businesses have been investing heavily in digital marketing.
18. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
The most important KPI for any paid advertising campaign is return on ad spend. It refers to the amount of revenue that is earned for every dollar spent on a campaign.If you're paying for ads but not seeing any results, then you're wasting your money.
The higher your ROAS, the better.
19. Follower Growth Rate
It's important to track how many new followers you're gaining every month — and how quickly they're signing up after being exposed to your content via organic or paid advertising. This will give you an idea of how successful your efforts have been so far and help you plan future campaigns accordingly.
A higher follower growth rate indicates that your content resonates with more people and is more interesting to them than other brands' content — which means they'll be more likely to buy from you.
20. Engagement Rate
Social media is all about engagement, so look out for these metrics when setting up reports.
KPIs for social media engagement measure the quality of the interactions with your social followers. They show you whether your audience is connecting with what you have to say and willing to interact with your brand.
21. Conversion Rate
This is the number of users who perform the actions outlined in your social media CTA (visit your website or landing page, subscribe to a mailing list, make a purchase, etc.) compared to the total number of clicks on that given post.
A high conversion rate shows that your social media post delivered something valuable to your audience that made them act!
How to Choose Which Metrics to Track?
The metrics and KPIs outlined above are essential for everyone who seeks to fully measure the performance of their campaigns. Marketing managers should make their digital marketing metrics a part of their daily routine.
Measuring the success of your digital marketing campaign is vital to long-term success. Without tracking what works (and what doesn’t) you’ll have to engage in heavy guesswork instead.
So take the time to review the performance of your digital marketing campaigns often, but take it in stride. If you use these digital KPIs as guides and not benchmarks, you can form realistic goals that are concrete and attainable, so take the time to track them properly.
The importance of measuring your campaign can't be overstated. Keep your eyes on these metrics to ensure that you're always optimizing your campaigns for maximum ROI.
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Ana Palombini is the voice behind AP Copywriting, where she provides content marketing for SaaS, entrepreneurs, and marketing agencies. When she is not typing ‘till her fingers are numb, you'll find Ana watching Friends for the millionth time or having late-night sushi from her couch (or both). Say hi on LinkedIn or check out her website.