For as long as the industry has existed, there's always been a big problem with marketing: It can be remarkably difficult to actually demonstrate that your marketing efforts are producing results.
Today, online content marketers enjoy far more consumer data than our predecessors in the print age, but that problem still remains. For companies focused on optimization and making the most of every dollar, you need to be able to demonstrate which online marketing tactics are actually making the most money.
So, how do you sort through all the many metrics in your inbound marketing data to find the ones that indicate profitable returns? We've picked out the five most important numbers to calculate!
A Quick Guide To Finding Valuable Inbound Marketing Metrics
1) Month-to-month growth in organic traffic and leads.
Raw visitor numbers are still an important metric to measure, as long as one keeps in mind that visitor statistics are only the beginning of the story. A website that gets a million visitors a month, but fails to convert them to leads, is ultimately losing money.
None the less, as long as your organic traffic AND leads are both going up steadily, this is still one of the fastest go-to statistics for demonstrating the effectiveness of your online marketing strategies.
And more to the point, if either statistic ever drops, it usually indicates a serious problem that needs investigation.
2) Visitor-to-lead conversion rate.
Here we start getting into the meat of matters: How many people who visit your website are actually converting into viable leads?
This is where you start to measure the effectiveness of your Calls-to-Action and landing pages. Whenever you convince a visitor to hand over their contact information, or other personal details, you're significantly closer to converting them into a sale.
This number can also be broken down further, to track the performance of your CTAs and landing pages on an individual basis. If one landing page offer is garnering 50% more leads than another, start looking into why. It may be a strong indicator of which types of offers are most important to visitors.
3) Lead generation by source
Where your leads come from is at least as important as where they go on your website, when dealing with content marketing. What sources send the most visitors your way?
It might be organic links from other blogs, social media interaction, or even a strong search engine presence. Knowing this gives you plenty of intelligence on your visitors: What websites they frequent, their favorite social media sites, and potentially even the search terms they're using to find you.
From there, you can quickly shift focus to the most effective outside sources.
4) Number of interactions needed for conversion
Once a visitor is in your system at all, you can track them on an individual basis to see the path they take through your website, and how many "touches," or interactions, it takes to fully engage them.
Obviously, you want this number as low as possible, but it will give you a good idea of how resistant your leads are. You can begin to plan your future website developments specifically to create optimized "paths" to conversion.
5) Social engagement
At this point, the link between strong social engagement and strong SEO has been so thoroughly demonstrated that some are suggesting SEO should be redefined as "Social Engagement Optimization." While we're not willing to go that far, at least not yet, it's indisputable that increased social engagement virtually always leads to SEO boosts.
If you aren't tracking your social engagement as part of your inbound marketing metrics, such as on Google+ and Facebook, make 2014 the year you begin. There really is no such thing as "too much" social engagement.
And in the meantime, for more advice on how to optimize your inbound marketing in 2014, contact 98toGo today for a free consultation!