Marketing KPI are an imperative tool that every successful company, no matter it’s size, to measure their marketing results. So we’ve put together 37 popular marketing KPIs that everyone should be tracking.
It is often said that 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of your input. The same rule applies in marketing. You need to know where you should focus your marketing efforts and resources. To do this, you should evaluate the performance of your lead generation, social media, advertising and SEO strategy.
A Marketing KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a measurable value that marketers use to evaluate success across all marketing channels. Popular marketing KPI s include Cost Per Lead, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), and Website Visits Per Marketing Channel.
Many digital marketers rely on marketing KPIs to make decisions and assess their marketing data in a more organised and informative way. With the help of a marketing KPI dashboard and marketing tools, you can get a comprehensive overview of your marketing performance and make informed decisions to improve your results month-over-month.
There are five categories of marketing KPI ‘s:
- Lead Generation marketing KPI ‘s
- Website & Traffic marketing KPI ‘s
- SEO Optimisation marketing KPI ‘s
- Paid Advertising marketing KPI ‘s
- Social Media Tracking marketing KPI ‘s
For lead generation, you need to focus on providing potential customers real value in the form of free tools or content before you ever ask them for anything. To evaluate whether your lead generation tactics will be successful, you need to monitor the cost-effectiveness of your lead generation channels and customer acquisition.
This widely used metric indicates the number of new leads acquired in the past month. A new lead can be someone signing up for a free trial or creating an account on your online retail site.
Monitoring lead generation metrics month-over-month hint to whether your marketing efforts are moving in the right direction.
How to measure: Use pipeline management software to get the latest data and filter leads by dates to see the number of new leads during a particular time period. With HubSpot for example, you can customise your pipeline to match your sales process.
How to improve: Increase the budget of cost-per-click ad campaigns, create SEO-optimised content, try new marketing tactics such as short-term social media campaigns and temporary discount offers, use the data from marketing KPI ‘s to make data-driven decisions to improve productivity, understand and improve your customer journey, test and keep testing then act on the results and lastly, spend your budget wisely.
By monitoring the number of qualified leads you can see if your marketing campaigns are effectively focused on targeted leads or just generating traffic that’s not your prospective audience.
Prospects who have the potential to become a paying customer can be categorised into three groups.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) – Leads that marketing team has evaluated and decided to forward to the sales team.
Sales-Accepted Leads (SAL) – Prospects that the sales team has accepted and will follow up on.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) – Leads that the salespeople consider prospective customers, leading to focused attention and moving the leads further into the sales cycle.
How to measure: Categorise all leads in your sales funnel by using CRM software (like HubSpot!). Filter prospects by tags and dates to see the exact number of monthly qualified leads in each qualification category.
How to improve: Create highly targeted campaigns to reach the right audience, formulate an explicit value offer to avoid misunderstandings, develop more web content that is helpful and informative content, upcycle your existing content, use progressive profiling to gain more information about your leads, embrace AI chatbots (they’re much more useful than an FAQ page), revisit and refine your Ad Targeting, integrate Retargeting and lastly, standardise your approach to identifying qualified leads, ie. use the BANT qualification scheme:
Budget > Does the lead have the funds needed to commit to this purchase?
Authority > Does the lead have the final say in signing off on the purchase?
Need > Is there a pressing, well-articulated need that your solution can meet?
Timeline> Does the lead’s timeline align with what your firm can provide?
Every single marketer should monitor this particular marketing KPI. Cost-per-lead shows the cost of acquiring a new prospect. Complemented with cost-per-conversion metric, you can evaluate whether various marketing activities pay off the effort, time, and resources spent to attract new leads.
How to measure: Sum up the time, resources and money spent on marketing activities and compare the results to the number of monthly leads.
How to improve: See what types of free and paid campaigns work the best for you and increase the budget and time spent. Create and share quality content on social media to get (almost) free website traffic and new leads.
It is very important to keep cost in mind when you establish your internal marketing KPI’s.
Monitoring the time for leads to convert into paying users shows the effectiveness of your sales process. If the conversion time is too long, your prospects might lose interest in your service or product, and you might end up losing them to a competitor.
How to measure: Use your customer database software to collect data about the dates of acquiring a new lead and turning them into a paying customer. Calculate the average time between becoming a lead and converting into paying client (or have your CRM tool do it for you).
How to decrease: Make time-sensitive discount offers and provide helpful guidance throughout the buying process. Use remarketing ads to remind your leads of your product.
To decrease the time that an average lead spends in your sales funnel, collect ideas from a list of lead conversion strategies.
How likely is a client to recommend your product or service to a friend? According to Net Promoter Network, there are three levels of customer advocacy:
1. Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who praise your company to others and drive your sales
2. Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who leave when they see a better offer.
3. Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who spread negative information about your company and can damage your brand image.
How to measure: This marketing metric can be measured on a ten-point scale by conducting customer surveys and interviews. The easiest way is to ask this question in the follow-up email of a product order or new subscription.
To calculate the Net Promoter Score, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Share the results with other teams as it can also serve as an important sales metric.
How to improve: Provide the best customer care you can think of. Offer benefits and information that your customers didn’t even expect to receive, encourage internal buy-in – if your employees love it, your customers will too, make it easy for people to promote your brand, don’t ignore your promoters, engage with your detractors, respond to your customers, be consistent across the board and make sure you keep monitoring your score.
You should be monitoring the number of visits to multiple page categories such as your homepage, services and prices page, blog, landing pages, etc. Use those figures to evaluate which parts of your website have the highest conversion rate and apply the best practices to other pages as well.
How to measure: Use Google Analytics to see the monthly traffic of all your web pages.
How to improve: To increase your website traffic you should start by making sure you know your current traffic statistics and check it often, create a better (and well documented) content marketing strategy, optimise your website content, use social media, do content outreach and guest posting, create a system that allows you to get recurring traffic and repackage, repurpose your content, use eye-catching photos, make sure you have internal linking and lastly, make sure to conduct regular content audits.
What’s your bounce rate looking like? Are visitors arriving and staying or are they leaving as soon as they get there? Pages per visit is a great marketing KPI to measure because it shows whether your site navigation is set up in a logical order and includes those all-important call-to-actions. With these marketing KPIs, you can see if your visitors are attracted to your content. If they are, they’re more likely to return!
How to measure: You guessed it… use Google Analytics’ behaviour tool to see how many pages an average visitor is visiting per session.
How to improve: Similarly, to website CTR, you need to include more call-to-action messages to your landing pages and lead visitors to the information they’re looking for. Make your website as easily navigable as possible.
Measure only the quality links from pages with high page rank. The number of inbound links shows whether your content’s shared on other sites. It can also indicate whether you’re considered to be an industry expert in a certain field. Google valuably weighs links back to your website from quality sites in your niche. The fastest ways to get those quality sites to link back to your site is to produce valuable, free, informative content. And as that trust builds in your content, you’ll begin to build a network of influencers who trust your work.
How to measure: Use SEO tools such as SEMrush (our favourite) or Moz to crawl the web and see all inbound links to your website.
How to improve: Inbound links come with a reputation, so establish your brand as an industry expert to be included in news, articles and reports. Take up guest blogging to get targeted inbound links from other brands’ websites. Ask for specific links from your suppliers, find complementary products or services, get inbound links through content marketing, create infographics and publish them online, use social media, research your competitors, get profile links, sponsorship links, link out to other websites, generate internal links, submit press releases, subscribe and submit your links to niche web directories, create and submit guides and e-books to specific sites.
This SEO metric is extremely important as it shows the number of monthly website visits that come through search engine results from Google, Bing, etc. Organic search is highly beneficial as it’s free and generates targeted leads.
How to measure: Check Google Analytics and Bing SEO Analyser to see how much of your monthly traffic comes from organic search.
How to improve: Optimise for your personas, not search engines, use your blog, use long tail keywords, get your meta sorted, consistently create quality content, use internal links, encourage incoming links, use social media, exploit metrics and ultimately, give your customers what they want – quality advice, information and insights.
See how many leads from organic search convert into paying customers. This marketing KPI shows whether your keywords that rank high in search engine results are linked to your value proposition. Low organic conversion rate indicates that you might have high-ranking keywords that confuse the audience and deliver wrong messages about your service or product offer.
How to measure: Use your CRM tool and categorise your paying customers by dates (e.g. past month) and lead sources (organic search). First, you need to find a tool with all the required CRM features and many categorisation options – HubSpot is great for this.
How to improve: Create an SEO strategy to rank high for highly targeted keywords. Next, ensure that your lead-to-customer strategy is efficient and makes people want to sign up for your service or order your product (consider improving the customer service and offer discounts), increase numbers of pages indexed and create compelling search snippets.
Videos increase the amount of time that viewers spend on your website so that metric is boosted which improves your SEO ranking. In other words, including video means people stay on your site longer, which will help you rank higher on Google.
How to measure: Like previous SEO metrics, this marketing KPI can be monitored with an SEO tool. Simply look for the traffic that comes from video sources (add “video” tag to all video links to quickly filter report results).
How to improve: Upload videos directly to YouTube, embed the video onto your website and create a video sitemap. Read a helpful guide by Neil Patel to rank high with video content.
As a business, you should never forget to evaluate your Return on Investment and profitability. Many businesses forget this and that’s where their failure at paid advertising comes from. Add some of the advertising KPIs to your monthly marketing KPI overview to improve your ads and save resources.
As acquiring leads and customers through cost-per-click advertising can be quite expensive, it is highly important to monitor the ROI. You might even go as far as to include this metric among other financial KPIs monitored by your company.
Compare the number of cost-per-conversion with your customer lifetime value to ensure your campaigns are profitable in the long term.
You can also monitor the cost per acquisition, but it’s cost-per-conversion that reflects the actual profitability of paid campaigns.
How to measure: This marketing KPI should be calculated with a two-month time gap as it takes time for leads to convert. Calculate the monthly cost of all resources, time and money spent on paid advertising campaigns. Divide it by the number of that month’s leads that have converted to paying clients.
How to improve: Target paid keywords with little competition (find highly targeted long-tail keywords). Improve your landing page experience and provide helpful sales materials/customer support.
Are your social media leads also prospective customers or did they happen to click on your posts simply out of curiosity? To measure how well-targeted is your social media lead generation, track the number of leads that become paying customers. The conversion rate shows the actual ROI of your social media marketing.
How to measure: After you’ve used a CRM tool to collect data about your leads and conversions from social media, you can easily calculate the conversion rate by dividing the number of leads with the number of conversions.
How to improve: Create highly targeted social media campaigns, target your competitor’s audience, improve your sales process. A/B test your ad elements (you can A/B test using HubSpot! )– design, copy, CTAs, etc.
Engagement rates show the number of people who have actively engaged with your posts (shares, likes, clicks, etc.) Measure it as a percentage of your total number of followers.
How to measure: Use marketing tools (like HubSpot etc.) and social media reports on engagement and use the data about your total followers to calculate the engagement rate.
How to improve: See 21 tactics to increase your social media audience, including tips for increased engagement by CoSchedule.
Find your formula for measuring social media ROI. You can choose to include social media marketing budget, staff payroll, development and design costs, etc. The benefits can be new leads and customers, increased awareness and social proof.
How to measure: As social media has many advantages that can’t be measured in numbers, you should evaluate your social media ROI according to your goals and advantages.
How to improve: Find the social media channels with highest ROI and focus your marketing efforts there. According to Alexa, Facebook is accountable for 8% of all page views on the internet. LinkedIn and Twitter are responsible for about 1% of all page views. This means that you’re likely to get a higher ROI on Facebook than any other social media channels.
Now that you’re familiar with the numerous options of digital marketing KPIs (the ones mentioned in this guide are only the tip of the iceberg), you can set up a monitoring system and start to track relevant business metrics. In order to compile a marketing KPI report, you can use a KPI dashboard tool, or set up a spreadsheet with all important metrics you’d like to measure month-over-month.
Only track marketing KPI ‘s that are measurable and can be improved with a clear action plan. This way, you can use the data to improve your marketing strategy and focus your time and resources on the most profitable lead sources.
To understand how marketing KPI’s fit into the wider marketing system, please do head over to check out our Inbound Marketing page and start a dialogue with us.