37 Digital Marketing KPIs (Complete Guide)
DIGITAL MARKETING KPIs are used by companies of all sizes to measure their marketing results. In this guide, you’ll find 37 popular marketing KPIs that everyone should track.
It is often said that 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of your input. The same rule applies to marketing. So where should you focus your marketing efforts and resources? To answer this question, you should evaluate the performance of your lead generation, social media, advertising and SEO strategy.
Marketing KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a measurable value that marketers use to evaluate success across all marketing channels. Popular marketing KPIs include Cost Per Lead, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), and Website Visits Per Marketing Channel.
Read On: What is a KPI? (The Complete Guide)
Many digital marketers rely on the marketing KPIs to make decisions and assess their marketing data in a more organized and informative way. With the help of a KPI dashboard and marketing tools, you can get a comprehensive overview of your marketing performance and make informed decisions to improve your results month-over-month.
Keep reading to find over 30 business metrics with a helpful explanation, guide to measuring the data and best practices to improve your KPIs and outcomes.
There are five categories of marketing KPIs:
- lead generation
- website & traffic metrics
- SEO optimization
- paid advertising
- social media tracking
Moreover, make sure to check out this brief post on the Top 10 Marketing KPIs That Every Small Business Should Measure
Andy Nelson, Director of Growth Marketing at Moz has said: “Focus on providing potential customers real value in the form of free tools or content before you ever ask them for anything.” To evaluate whether your lead generation tactics pay off the effort, monitor the cost-effectiveness of your lead generation channels and customer acquisition.
Read on: What is a KPI?
1. Monthly new leads/prospects
This widely used metric indicates the number of new leads acquired in the past month. A new lead can be someone signing up for a free trial or creating an account on your online retail site.
Monitoring lead generation metrics month-over-month hint whether your marketing efforts are moving in the right direction.
How to measure: Use your pipeline management software to get the latest data and filter leads by dates to see the number of new leads during a particular time period.
How to improve: Increase the budget of cost-per-click ad campaigns, create SEO-optimized content to be found through search engines, try new marketing tactics such as short-term social media campaigns and temporary discount offers.
2. Qualified leads per month
Monitoring the number of qualified leads shows whether your marketing campaigns are effectively focused on targeted leads or just generating traffic that’s not your prospective audience.
Prospects who have the potential to become a paying customer can be categorized into three groups.
Marketing qualified leads (MQL) – leads that marketing team has evaluated and decided to forward to the sales team.
Sales-accepted leads (SAL) – prospects that the sales team has accepted and will follow up on.
Sales qualified leads (SQL) – leads that the salespeople consider prospective customers, leading to focused attention and moving the leads further into the sales cycle.
How to measure: Categorize all leads in your sales funnel by using CRM software. Filter prospects by tags and dates to see the exact number of monthly qualified leads in each qualification category.
How to improve: Create highly targeted campaigns to reach the right audience, formulate an explicit value offer to avoid misunderstandings.
3. Cost per lead generated
Every single marketer should monitor this lead generation KPI. Cost-per-lead shows the cost of acquiring a new prospect. Complemented with cost-per-conversion metric, you can evaluate whether various marketing activities pay off the effort, time, and resources spent to attract new leads.
How to measure: Sum up the time, resources and money spent on marketing activities and compare the results to the number of monthly leads.
How to improve: See what types of free and paid campaigns work the best for you and increase the budget and time spent. Create and share quality content on social media to get (almost) free website traffic and new leads.
Read on: Business Budgeting Software
4. Cost per conversion
This marketing KPI shows how much did it cost to acquire a lead that also converted to paying customer. While an advertising campaign can generate hundreds of leads for you, often only under 2% of them turn to a client.
If the cost-per-conversion is lower than your customer lifetime value, your marketing strategy is wasting resources instead of generating profit.
How to measure: Depending on your lead conversion time, it might be useful to track this metric with a two-month time gap (as it takes time for leads to convert)
Calculate the monthly cost of time and resources spent on a lead acquisition source, i.e. Adwords campaign, blog content, social media management, etc.
Next, use your marketing or CRM tool to see how many of that month’s leads from a particular source have converted into paying customers since they entered your sales funnel. Divide the total monthly cost of a lead source with the number of conversions to see how much acquiring a new customer cost you.
For accurate cost-per-conversion metric, monitor different marketing channels separately. This way, you find the most valuable lead sources and can focus your energy and resources on amplifying these channels’ reach.
How to decrease: Create highly targeted marketing campaigns. Improve the user experience of your service or product, provide help materials and set-up guides if needed, make your unique value proposition more compelling.
Important! When managing PPC advertising campaigns, always measure the cost-per-conversion instead of cost-per-click, impressions, and other vanity metrics. Read why and learn how to set Facebook ad goals.
5. Average time of conversion
Monitoring the time for leads to convert into paying users shows the effectiveness of your sales process. If the conversion time is too long, your prospects might lose interest in your service or product, and you might end up losing them to a competitor.
How to measure: Use your customer database software to collect data about the dates of acquiring a new lead and turning them into a paying customer. Calculate the average time between becoming a lead and converting into paying client (or have your CRM tool do it for you).
How to decrease: Make time-sensitive discount offers and provide helpful guidance throughout the buying process. Use remarketing ads to remind your leads of your product.
To decrease the time that an average lead spends in your sales funnel, collect ideas from a list of lead conversion strategies.
6. Retention rate
This marketing KPI shows the number of clients who keep using your product over an extended time period and make repeat purchases. By monitoring the retention rate, you see how well-engaged your customers are. Moreover, you can evaluate whether your customer support and user experience help to build and maintain customer loyalty.
Here’s a quick formula:
Retention Rate = ((CE-CN)/CS)) X 100
CE = number of customers at end of period
CN = number of new customers acquired during period
CS = number of clients at start of period
How to improve: Provide excellent user experience and product/packaging design. Respond to customer queries in less than 24 hours.
7. Attrition rate
Also called churn rate, this metric shows the percentage of customers no longer buying your products or services. Increased churn rate may be a sign of poor user experience or slow service performance.
How to measure: Using your CRM tool, monitor how many clients have stopped paying for your services or ordering your products during past year. Calculate attrition rate as a percentage of your entire customer base.
How to decrease: Similarly to retention rate, churn rate depends on the quality of your services. To keep churn rate low, prevent incidents that would make clients leave, such as slow customer service or unfriendly staff.
8. Net promoter score
How likely is a client to recommend your product or service to a friend? According to Net Promoter Network, there are three levels of customer advocacy:
1. Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who praise your company to others and drive your sales
2. Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who leave when they see a better offer.
3. Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who spread negative information about your company and can damage your brand image.
How to measure: This marketing metric can be measured on a ten-point scale by conducting customer surveys and interviews. The easiest way is to ask this question in the follow-up email of a product order or new subscription.
To calculate the Net Promoter Score, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Share the results with other teams as it can also serve as an important sales metric.
How to improve: Provide the best customer care you can think of. Offer benefits and information that your customers didn’t even expect to receive.
The KPIs you monitor should provide guidance for improving your marketing performance. Popular goals of website-related marketing is increasing the conversion rate and traffic to your landing pages.
9. Monthly website traffic
In addition to overall traffic, monitor the number of visits to multiple page categories such as your homepage, pricing page, blog, landing pages, etc. Use those figures to evaluate which parts of your website have the highest conversion rate and apply the best practices to other pages as well.
How to measure: Use Google Analytics to see the monthly traffic of all your web pages.
How to improve: To increase your website traffic, you can either spend more on paid (cost-per-click) advertising or create SEO-optimized content to get visitors via relevant search engine results. See the guide on 25 ways to improve website traffic by Dan Shewan.
10. Returning vs. new visitors
By measuring the percentage of returning visitors, you see how engaged your audience is. For example, a low return rate on a blog page might indicate that your content isn’t compelling enough for people to come back for more.
How to measure: Use Google Analytics to get insightful data about your website audience, including new and returning visitors.
How to improve: Provide helpful information on your blog and landing pages; use remarketing ads to remind past visitors of your brand and offers.
11. Visits per channel
Understanding your inbound traffic sources helps to determine the most profitable marketing channels. If you’ve recently run a paid ad campaign, you can assess it’s performance by looking how much traffic (and leads) it has brought.
How to measure: Use Google Analytics to track monthly website visits per channel. Set up ref codes for paid campaigns to have a complete overview of the traffic they generate.
How to improve: To increase paid traffic, create ads with compelling images and convincing value proposition. For organic traffic, improve your SEO by interlinking your website’s pages and providing helpful content. For higher social media traffic, increase your followership and share more interesting posts.
Consider tracking visits from digital marketing channels such as social media, referral, email marketing and paid search.
12. Average time on page
This metric is especially important for organic search traffic as Google ranks pages based on their relevance. If a visitor leaves your website straight after arrival, search engines will know that the content they saw wasn’t what they were looking for.
The higher your website’s average time on site, the more likely you rank well on search results and convert more visitors to leads.
How to measure: Use Google Analytics to monitor the average time on page of all page categories such as homepage, blog, landing pages, etc. Get Google Analytics browser extension to access data about an individual page’s monthly visits, average time on page and more.
How to improve: Provide more compelling and useful content, add more information on your pages. Complement your landing pages with colourful images for organized and easy-to-read text.
13. Website conversion rate
A page might be visited thousands of times. But if it doesn’t convert, there’s no use in directing paid traffic to this site.
How to measure: Google Analytics gives you an excellent overview of every page’s conversion rate.
How to improve: Test something every month that could improve your landing pages’ conversion rate – change the CTA, add images or change bits of text. Access over 100 tips for improved website conversions by Kissmetrics.
14. Conversion rate for call-to-action content
If you’ve created web pages or content with a clear call-to-action, you should measure whether these convert. This marketing metric is especially useful if you’re using pay-per-click campaigns to drive traffic to specific pages. By comparing the price per conversion and customer lifetime value, you’re able to evaluate the sustainability of your CTA content.
How to measure: Once again, this website KPI can be tracked with Google Analytics. You can set up website events to track every single click on your CTAs and content.
How to improve: Present a compelling value proposition, add more CTA-s to your pages and content, test various call-to-action messages to see what works the best.
15. Click-through rate on web pages
CTR shows how effectively your site’s call-to-actions attract people’s attention and make them click for more information. It might be a CTA button or a link to another piece of content that’s clickthrough rate you’d like to increase.
How to measure: Use a heat mapping tool to see how many times a particular CTA button has been clicked.Use Google Analytics’ Behaviour Flow tool to see how your website visitors move around your site.
How to improve: Add to all landing pages links to other website content, e.g. blog articles and case studies. Create CTA messages that make people want to click on these. See a guide to effective CTAs and another article on creating click-worthy pop-up boxes.
16. Pages per visit
Do your website visitors bounce after arriving at your site or are they interested and stay for more? This marketing KPI shows whether your site navigation is set up in a logical order and includes compelling call-to-actions. Moreover, you can see if visitors are attracted to your content, meaning that they’re more likely to return.
How to measure: Use Google Analytics Behaviour tool to see how many pages an average visitor looks per session.
How to improve: Similarly to website CTR, you need to include more call-to-action messages to your landing pages and lead visitors to the information they’re looking for. Make your website as easily navigable as possible.
Organic traffic from search engines is one of the most profitable lead channels for digital marketers. SEO metrics focus mainly on organic traffic and acquiring highly targeted leads.
17. Inbound links to website
Measure only the quality links from pages with a high page rank. The number of inbound links shows whether your content’s shared on other sites. It can also indicate whether you’re considered to be an industry expert in a certain field.
How to measure: Use SEO tools such as Moz, Alexa or SEMrush to crawl the web and see all inbound links to your website.
How to improve: Inbound links come with a reputation, so establish your brand as an industry expert to be included in news, articles and reports. Take up guest blogging to get targeted inbound links from other brands’ websites.
18. Traffic from organic search
This SEO metric shows the number of monthly website visits that come through search engine results from Google, Bing, etc. Organic search is highly beneficial as it’s free and generates targeted leads.
How to measure: Check Google Analytics and Bing SEO Analyzer to see how much monthly traffic came from organic search.
How to improve: Improve your SEO to rank higher on search engine result pages (SERP). See a comprehensive guide by Neil Patel to improve your website’s SEO rankings.
19. New leads from organic search
Monitor the number of new leads that found your brand through a search engine query. This KPI indicates the performance of your SEO strategy. Track this KPI as a percentage of all new leads to assess the value of organic search to your sales and profits.
How to measure: Use marketing analytics tools such as Marketo, Hubspot, and Google Analytics to monitor how many leads came from the organic source. You can also access this data with a professional CRM tool.
How to improve: Make it a priority to rank high for targeted keywords that are closely related to your service of product offer. Create an SEO strategy and publish content that supports your keyword ranking goals.
20. Conversions from organic search
See how many leads from organic search convert into paying customers.
This KPI shows whether your keywords that rank high in search engine results are linked to your value proposal. Low organic conversion rate indicates that you might have high-ranking keywords that confuse the audience and deliver wrong messages about your service or product offer.
How to measure: Use your CRM tool and categorize paying customers by dates (e.g. past month) and lead sources (organic search). First, you need to find a tool with all the required CRM features and many categorization options.
How to improve: Create an SEO strategy to rank high for highly targeted keywords, see a great step-by-step guide by Moz. Next, ensure that your lead-to-customer strategy is efficient and makes people want to sign up for your service or order your product (consider improving the customer service and offer discounts).
21. Page authority
High page authority helps your content and landing pages perform well in search engine results. You can monitor your page rank with various SEO tools such as Moz and SEMRush.
How to measure: Use Moz’s browser extension for a quick overview of every single page’s authority.
How to improve: Interlink to pages on your website. If you have a blog series on a certain topic, ensure that all the articles link to each other. Moreover, you need to get some inbound links from other domains. See a guide by QuickSprout to know which steps can improve your page authority.
22. Google PageRank
This website metric is calculated by Google using various algorithms to determine the importance of web pages. It is based on the quality and quantity of inbound links that direct to a given page.
How to measure: Use a page rank checker to see the value of this SEO metric.
How to improve: Get more inbound links to your website through guest blogging and pitching your brand to journalists. Create quality content that people want to share and link back to. Fix any broken links on your website.
23. Keywords in top 10 SERP
When people make a search on Google, they rarely go through the second page of search results. In fact, if position #1 gives you the average click-through-rate of 32.5%, ranking as #11 results in a 1.0% CTR.
Monitor the number of keywords in top 10 on a search engine results page to evaluate your SEO performance.
How to measure: Use SEO software, here’s a complete list of free and paid SEO tools.
How to improve: Create quality content and include the variations of the same keyword on your website. Link to other relevant pages on your web page to build an entire network of interlinked content.
24. Rank increase of target keywords
In the end of each month, monitor how your top keyword rankings have evolved. Track the number of increased and decreased keywords to see whether your SEO strategy is on its course.
How to measure: All SEO tools give weekly and monthly reports on your keyword rankings.
How to improve:Researchh your competitors’ best-ranking keywords to get new ideas for your SEO strategy. Find ways to get new inbound links from websites with high page authority.
25. Conversion rate per keyword
If you can find a keyword that’s attracting a remarkably high number of paying customers, it can be a real goldmine. This means that the keyword is attracting a highly targeted audience. If a keyword has high conversion rate, find related keywords and create content to rank high in SERPs with all of these.
How to measure: This one’s a little tricky. Use your CRM tool to track customers with organic lead source and use the landing page data to see how a customer first found out about your site. To be able to do this, you need to connect your marketing and CRM tools with Google Analytics.
How to improve: You can improve the landing page experience of every single keyword by providing additional information and quality image content.
26. Number of unique keywords that drive traffic
There’s a simple logic – the more high-ranking keywords you have, the more traffic you get. Monitor this SEO metric as a month-over-month trend to see whether your newest keywords start to bring more traffic.
How to measure: SEO tools give you weekly reports on keyword performance, including the estimated search traffic by keyword
How to improve: Create new SEO-optimized content with multiple variations of a keyword. Complement your old content with links to the new page using many keyword variations in the linked text.
27. Volume of traffic from video content
With video becoming an increasingly used format in digital marketing, you should include it in your SEO strategy. Studies have shown that videos are over 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search engine results as part of the blended results.
How to measure: Like previous SEO metrics, this KPI can be monitored with an SEO tool. Simply look for the traffic that comes from video sources (add “video” tag to all video links to quickly filter report results).
How to improve: Upload videos directly to YouTube, embed the video onto your website and create a video sitemap. Read a helpful guide by Neil Patel to rank high with video content.
Many businesses fail with paid advertising as they forget to evaluate its ROI an profitability. Add some of the advertising KPIs to your monthly marketing overview to improve your ads and save resources.
28. Leads & conversions from paid advertising
Monitor the number of monthly leads and conversions from cost-per-click advertising as a percentage of overall results. This way, you get an overview of your non-paid marketing performance.
How to measure: If you’re using Google Adwords, the results are outlined in your Google Analytics account. To make sure that Google Analytics tracks all your campaigns, set up ref codes for each.
How to improve: Improve your ad copy and only create highly targeted keywords that are related to your unique value proposition.
29. Cost per acquisition (CPA) & cost per conversion
As acquiring leads and customers through cost-per-click advertising can be quite expensive, it is highly important to monitor the ROI. You might even go as far as to include this metric among other financial KPIs monitored by your company.
Compare the number of cost-per-conversion with your customer lifetime value to ensure your campaigns are profitable in long term.
You can also monitor the cost per acquisition, but it’s cost-per-conversion that reflects the actual profitability of paid campaigns.
How to measure: This KPI should be calculated with a two-month time gap as it takes time for leads to convert. Calculate the monthly cost of all resources, time and money spent on paid advertising campaigns. Divide it by the number of that month’s leads that have converted to paying clients.
How to improve: Target paid keywords with little competition (find highly targeted long-tail keywords). Improve your landing page experience and provide helpful sales materials/customer support.
30. Click-through rate on PPC advertising
This advertising KPI gives you an overview of the effectiveness of your pay-per-click campaigns. If the CTR is low, it means that your ad content isn’t compelling enough for a person to click on it.
How to measure: All advertising tools show the click-through-rate of every single advertisement. Collect the data to calculate the average monthly CTR.
How to improve: Test something new every month – change ad images, improve your ad copy, change call-to-action text, etc.
31. Social Media
In a recent interview, HubSpot’s CMO Kipp Bodnar shared their key social media goals: “For social, we look at if we are expanding our awareness and our reach at the top of our social media funnel. Are more people connecting with us on networks or are more people engaging with us? Because that’s going to grow our community.”
You social media efforts should focus on two core ideas: building an engaged community and turn them into customers. See the widely used social media KPIs to keep track of your marketing performance.
32.Traffic from social media
Monitor this social media KPI as a percentage of all visits and follow the monthly trend to understand the importance of various channels to your website traffic.
How to measure: Use Google Analytics reports for a free overview of your website’s traffic sources.
How to improve: Acquire a large followership, share interesting posts, create social media campaigns to increase awareness and get likes, shares, and followers.
33. Leads and conversions from social media
While many marketers consider social media to be a brand awareness channel, it can also serve as a profitable lead generation tool. Monitor the number of monthly leads and conversions from social media to assess this channel’s efficiency in your marketing efforts.
How to measure: Use your CRM tool to track all prospects and customers with “social media” lead source.
How to improve: See a helpful resource for generating leads through social media.
34. Conversion rate
Are your social media leads also prospective customers or did they happen to click on your posts simply out of curiosity. To measure how well-targeted is your social media lead generation, track the number of leads that become paying customers. The conversion rate shows the actual ROI of your social media marketing.
How to measure: After you’ve used a CRM tool to collect data about your leads and conversions from social media, you can easily calculate the conversion rate by dividing the number of leads with the number of conversions.
How to improve: Create highly targeted social media campaigns, target your competitor’s audience, improve your sales process.
35. Managed audience size
Monitor the number of followers per channel month-over-month to see whether your audience stays engaged. Increasing followership is a sign that your social media posts attract attention and engage new people over time.
How to measure: Use a marketing tool or simply check your social media channel reports to get insight to your post engagement and new followers.
How to improve: share engaging content, create social media campaigns, ask your friends to like your page for increased awareness.
36. Engagement rate
This social media metrics shows the number of people who have actively engaged with your posts (shares, likes, clicks, etc.) Measure it as a percentage of your total number of followers.
How to measure: Use marketing tools (Moz, Hubspot, Buzzsumo and the like) and social media reports on engagement and use the data about your total followers to calculate the engagement rate.
How to improve: See 21 tactics to increase your social media audience, including tips for increased engagement by CoSchedule.
How often is your brand talked about on social media? Monitor the monthly trend of both positive and negative mentions to evaluate your brand image.
How to measure: Use a mention tracking tool and make sure to adjust it’s parameters and tracked keywords for accurate reports.
How to improve: Give people something to talk about – incredibly good product or service, excellent content or company news.
37. Social media ROI
Find your formula for measuring the social media ROI. You can choose to include social media marketing budget, staff payroll, development and design costs, etc. The benefits can be new leads and customers, increased awareness and social proof.
How to measure: As social media has many advantages that can’t be measured in numbers, you should evaluate your social media ROI according to your goals and advantages.
How to improve: Find the social media channels with highest ROI and focus your marketing efforts there. According to Alexa, Facebook is accountable for 8% of all page views on the internet. LinkedIn and Twitter are responsible for about 1% of all page views. This means that you’re likely to get a higher ROI on Facebook than any other social media channels.
Now that you’re familiar with the numerous options of digital marketing KPIs (the ones mentioned in this guide are only the tip of the iceberg), you can set up a monitoring system and start to track relevant business metrics. In order to compile a KPI report, you can use a KPI dashboard tool, or set up a spreadsheet with all important metrics you’d like to measure month-over-month.
Only track KPIs that are measurable and can be improved with a clear action plan. This way, you can use the data to improve your marketing strategy and focus your time and resources on the most profitable lead sources.