More than ever, number crunching gives businesses insights into their operations, their performance, where they can improve, and even how they can improve. Inbound marketing’s no different: You need to know your campaigns are effective and driving the results you want—and how to fix them if they’re not.
The problem: There are so many inbound marketing metrics available. You can track almost any statistic you want. Tracking everything is overwhelming and time consuming. Worse, it’s probably not worth the effort. Sort the fluff from the vitals with these five inbound marketing metrics.
5. Conversion Rates
A conversion rate is one of the most common and popular inbound marketing metrics available—and one of the most important.
The conversion rate tells you how many customers or prospects have taken a desired action, whether that’s actually purchasing something from you, downloading free content, or simply clicking a link. In a marketing campaign, your goal is often to get people to act, so the conversion rate is incredibly important.
While it’s important to track traffic, such as post views and website visits to your social media profiles and blog, it’s more important to measure how much engagement you’re getting. Are people commenting on your posts and sharing them? Creating engaging, shareable content is key for any business today, no matter what you do. It increases your brand visibility and gets people interacting with your firm.
Engagement creates organic brand ambassadors: people who trust your content enough to share it with others in their networks. Comments are perhaps even more important, because they often show a higher level of engagement—most people share posts without reading or after simply skimming through. A commenter likely has read the post.
3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Would your customers recommend you to their friends and family? A net promoter score allows you to determine which of your current customers are likely to act as organic brand ambassadors for you, giving you free word-of-mouth promotion.
Sharing your content is just one way your customers act as brand ambassadors. By measuring the NPS, you can get an indication of how successful your marketing truly is; a number that’s trending upwards shows your marketing efforts are increasing your reach.
2. Time on Site and Bounce Rates
These two inbound marketing metrics are tied up in each other. A bounce rate lets you know how many viewers hit your homepage and then simply leave. A time-on-site measurement can reflect the bounce rate, but it can also demonstrate how long potential customers spend on your site. More sophisticated inbound marketing metrics also tell you what those people do and how they’re using your site.
Both of these inbound marketing metrics give you a glimpse into how compelling your content is. An ad might be effective in getting people to click through to your homepage, but do they stick around? How long do they spend on your blog posts—a couple of minutes? If people are leaving your website quickly, they’re not being enticed to stay, which may mean you need better design, a more engaging presentation, or better content.
Return on investment is a classic metric and not merely for inbound marketing. Essentially, you measure how much you earn back (your return) over your initial investment. If you put $10,000 into your marketing campaign, how much did your sales or profit increase as a result? Did you earn new customers?
If so, using a customer lifetime value measurement can help you calculate your return: Each customer is determined to be worth so much over the customer life cycle, and you can compare that number with your upfront investment in the campaign to acquire them.