With most endeavors, the numbers tell the story. Inbound Marketing is no different. Of course, it’s very easy to get caught up in looking at the high level numbers. For most inbound marketers, that’s overall traffic, lead conversions, and customer conversions. We’re not here to tell you that’s not important, or accurate.
However, we will say that there are some numbers within the numbers that you should be monitoring. By keeping an eye on these under-the-radar stats, you can make adjustments that impact the big ones—yes, the large black-and-white ones—that your job as a marketer depends on.
Below are four numbers to track for inbound marketing performance. Hopefully you’re already tracking them. But if not, we’re willing to bet they’ll give you the insight you need to raise your marketing return on investment (ROI) exponentially.
Your site’s bounce rates represent a definitive number within a number. Having a high level of traffic to your site is fantastic, but it’s just as valuable to know which pages your visitors are staying on, and which ones they’re not.
Here, higher is not better. A page with a high bounce rate is a page that’s wildly ineffective. Only by setting your landing pages side-by-side will you be able to determine which ones are keeping visitors locked onto your Internet home, and which ones are driving them away. This allows you to experiment with new ideas—and to mimic the ones you know are already working.
As the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.” Once again, getting leads from your website is a beautiful thing. However, knowing which specific pages are converting visitors into leads can help you get more.
Particular pages of your site are designed to gather key information from your visitors, and it’s critical to glean which offers are most effective. Perhaps receiving a free sample is resonating more with visitors than downloading a free e-book is. Only by comparing your pages and offers will you know which ones are conversion superstars.
This is a case of “where” being just as important as “how.” You need to know which marketing channels are driving traffic to your site. If we lived in a perfect world all of your channels—like a symphony—would work in harmony to deliver traffic equally. However, the worldwide web doesn’t work that way, and you need to know which channels are humming along and which ones need some work.
Traffic will come from all angles, with different success rates. Tracking the sources gives you a bird’s eye view from atop your sales funnel. Maybe you’ve upped your blogging efforts, or just launched a new social media marketing campaign. Tracking traffic not only lets you audit channels accordingly, it delivers micro-metrics on the efforts you’re taking to address lagging channels, too.
Like all of the previous metrics, tracking keyword success is no different; it gives you insight into the precise words visitors are searching for—the ones that funnel them to your site.
While you probably had a strategy within your content, tracking keywords lets you know whether or not you’re making the grade. Often, businesses find they might get traffic for a keyword they didn’t even optimize. Only through analysis can you uncover keyword holes and goldmines.
When all of these numbers look good, your overall traffic probably will, too. But the Internet keeps us honest. If you start feeling too good about your traffic and forget to keep an eye on the internal metrics, it’s easy to get left behind.
While the numbers are important, they belie a critical message: the stats allow you to continually adjust your integrated strategy. Maintaining a strong marketing ROI begins with measuring metrics to see where you stand. Raising it is dependent on what you do with the knowledge you’ve uncovered from them.
Diona is a managing partner at Knowmad. Her areas of expertise include digital marketing strategy, project management, brand management, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising, inbound marketing, content marketing, conversion rate optimization, social media marketing and website design.