It’s no coincidence that successful inbound marketing campaigns are run by those organizations that obsess over measuring both anything that moves and anything that stays still. Only by seeing what works and what doesn’t, can we enjoy the benefits of a repeated cycle of continual improvement.
Here are some, but not all, of the metrics you absolutely must measure, if you are to gain maximum benefits from your inbound marketing efforts.
1. Keyword Performance
Although ranking of itself isn’t strictly critical (It’s easy to rank number 1 for words for which there is no competition, because they don’t convert), the first position on Google can take up to around 75% of the first page’s traffic. If you don’t have traffic, you have no-one to convert into buyers. Make sure your landing pages have great meta description tags, and if you’re second or third, you may get noticed more.
Of course, your clients will want to be top of Google. They always do.
2. SEO Scoring for Landing Pages
Make sure you have some sort of page scoring mechanism for all your landing pages at least, and preferably every page on your site. You should score high for having unique tags that match the keywords for which you are trying to rank, for using appropriate headers, titles and descriptions. You should have search engine friendly URLs, emphasised keyword and your page should be included in the xml sitemap. Score each page and amend until you have well optimised pages.
Monitor inbound links to each page. Make sure these links come from well-respected pages. If you have inbound links that you think are harmful, use Google’s Disavow tool. Make sure links are appropriate and bring link juice to the page. Don’t have excessive outbound links from a single page – this just implies visitors should leave the page or leave your site.
4. Traffic from Referring Domains
Measure how much traffic comes from each inbound link and from each referring domain (each domain may have multiple links to your site). Seeing which ones work for you and which don’t will help you formulate future link-building campaigns.
5. Number of Visits
How many people are coming to your site and which pages are they coming to. See which pages are having increased visits, understand why, then apply what you’ve learn to other pages on your site. For example, you may have a form in different places on different pages. If one pages received significantly more form completions that the same form on another page, understand why and amend the page or pages that perform less well.
6. Page Views
See which visitors viewed more of your pages than others. Did these visitors have anything in common? Did they come from the same referring website? Did those visitors use the same or similar search keywords to arrive at your site? Document what you find, learn from it and apply it to other parts of your site.
7. Average Time on Site
If someone spends a significant amount of time on a page, it’s likely that they’ve taken an interest and read it to find out more. What more could you have given them on this page to nurture the visitor from an opportunity into a lead? Maybe a free download, giving you an opt-in email address. One word of warning – 45 seconds on a page means they’re interested. 45 minutes on a page means they’ve gone for an extended coffee break!
8. Bounce Rate
Which pages are people immediately leaving from? What search terms did they use? Are they getting what they expected? Study, learn and improve.
9. Social Media Engagement
How many people are interacting with your social media campaigns? Split your efforts into campaigns and measure them individually. Is twitter working for you, yet Facebook not? Find what works and focus your efforts there.
10. Leads from Social Media
Monitor your social media campaigns. Which are bringing you visitors that stay and interact with your site? Which are bringing in qualified leads?
11. Email Open Rate
Are your emails going unread? Are you making sure only to send emails to opt-in email addresses?
12. Email Response Rate
Measure how many leads you get from each email campaign. Leart what works for you and what doesn’t, then continually improve what you do.
13. Leads/Emails ratio
Are you increasing the percentage response from qualified email recipients? If not, why not?
14. Costs of Each Inbound Marketing Channel – SEO, Social, Email
You need to know the cost of each channel, including the costs of employees assigned to tasks, to be able to calculate the return on your efforts. Social might bring double the leads of email campaigns, yet it might cost 6 times as much per lead.
15. ROI for Inbound Marketing
The ROI tells you how well your efforts are working. If you can measure and monitor a steadily increasing return on your investment, you’re improving and doing (at least some) things well. If you have a ROI of less than 1, you should pause and rethink what you’re doing.
Images: Measuring Money by Shutterstock