What Inbound Marketing Metrics To Track To Generate Leads
Inbound marketing turned marketing and sales into a science literally overnight. Along with a much more quantitative and metrics-oriented approach to marketing and sales came a set of numbers that reflect the health of your sales and marketing effort.
Much like the numbers you get on your personal health like weight, cholesterol (LDLs and HDLs), blood pressure, liver enzymes, triglycerides and morning pulse rate, now you have the same dashboard and KPIs (key performance indicators) for your marketing and sales programs.
Here are the marketing and sales dashboard numbers you should be looking at daily, weekly and monthly.
The daily focus is to quickly see what’s working now versus how the same tactics have been working historically. Here is a list of metrics that should be included in your daily inbound marketing dashboard.
- Visitors vs. last month
- Visitors vs. last year
- Site-wide conversion rate this month vs. last month
- Leads vs. last month
- Leads vs. last year
- Blog subscribers vs. last month
- Blog views vs. last month
The data is one thing, but the outcomes as a result of the data are what you’re actually going for, so the key to the daily dashboard is identifying what areas need your attention immediately. For instance, if you notice website visitors are down, then a guest blog article or two can drive visitor traffic up almost immediately. Short on leads in a given month? Adding a new offer sooner rather than later directly impacts your ability to get new leads out to the sales team.
Weekly metrics require a slightly longer time frame for you to review. This perspective is more about what we need to do to adjust now to impact next month’s performance. Here’s a list of the metrics that should be included in your weekly inbound dashboard.
- Monthly visitors vs. goal
- Monthly leads vs. goal
- Number of keywords ranked in the top 3
- Number of keywords ranked in the top 10
- Visitors from organic search over the past 30 days
- Leads from organic search over the past 30 days
- Ranking for selected keywords
The weekly perspective should be matched to more significant adjustments in activities. For instance, if you notice that your number of keywords ranked in the top 3 is down from the previous week, you need to adjust your content strategy to drive up those ranking pages.
These offer an even longer-term perspective for key performance metrics. On this view, we want to see what’s been working over time. These tactics typically take longer to realize results, like the optimization of new visitors across all the get-found tactics. This longer-term perspective also prompts you to look at the same time last year, allowing you to take seasonality into consideration and compare what was going on last year versus what’s going on this year.
Here's a list of metrics that should be in your monthly inbound marketing dashboard.
- Total visitors in a rolling 13-month view
- Total leads in a rolling 13-month view
- Total organic visitors in a rolling 13-month view
- Total social visitors in a rolling 13-month view
- Total referral visitors in a rolling 13-month view
- Total email visitors in a rolling 13-month view
- Selected landing pages: conversion rate vs. site average conversion rate
- Top-performing blog articles
This gives us the insight into which visitor-generating tactics are working best. It also gives us insight into which conversion pages are producing the most leads and which of these leads represents the best quality opportunities for the sales team. Finally, it’s starting to show us which content is engaging the most with our prospects and which offers are producing the most leads.
More importantly, these numbers are going to dictate what we do this month to impact performance and results next month. So, when we identify an under-performing landing page and we make adjustments to increase the conversion rate on that page, we need to let that page run for at least a few weeks before we assess whether the changes impacted our results positively or not.
Start Today Tip – It’s not about what you track, but that you track something. So pick a few of these recommended key metrics and start tracking them. Initially, you’ll have a baseline that illustrates your current level of performance. Now you’re ready to run a few experiments. Site traffic below expectations? Try two guest blog articles this week and see how you’re doing next week. Did the average visitors per week increase? If so, you have a lever you can use any time visitors are down. Don’t forget to consider outside influences like holidays, and make sure you have enough data over a long-enough time period to ensure that your data is an accurate representation of your program performance.
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