Track it or Trash it: Important Metrics for Online Marketers

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For online marketers of all types, the great thing about the digital revolution is we can now track everything… absolutely everything. So, as an online advertiser, or a website publisher with so much information at your fingertips, how do you decide the most important metrics to track? With hundreds of different KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) offered by digital campaigns, focusing on the right ones for your company is important, and it all starts with understanding your goal.

Understanding Your Goal: The First Step for Online Advertisers

Usually, online advertisers start with one of two basic goals for a campaign: awareness or conversions. Having an unclear goal opens the potential for paying attention to the wrong metrics, and that doesn’t get you anywhere. For example, advertisers might be focusing too much on number of impressions or CTR (Click Through Rate) when all that matters the them is the actual page depth.

If the goal of your campaign is to increase brand awareness, impressions are important, but if you are trying to sell a specific product, or encourage download of a specific premium content asset, impressions are not as important as cost per acquisition. Every campaign should start with a well-defined goal that includes consideration of the planned spend as compared to the potential reward.

What Metrics Exist for Online Marketers?

Examples of metrics to track in your online advertising campaign include:

  • eCPA: effective Cost Per Acquisition
  • eCPMs: effective Cost Per Mille
  • CPC: Cost Per Conversion
  • CTR: Click Through Rate
  • Clicks (raw)
  • Page views on your website
  • Traffic sources
  • Time on site
  • Bounce rate
  • Revenue
  • Revenue per visit
  • Revenue per page

As an online advertiser, you have a lot of choices about what to track, but the key is to make sure what you are tracking relates to the goal of your campaign. If the two don’t match up, you are comparing apples to oranges, and if you’re not tracking anything at all, you are throwing money in the trash. The moral of the story? Track it or trash it!

Most of the metrics for online advertising come from either your own website analytics (usually Google Analytics), and from your online advertising platform. A good online ad network should be able to talk you through exactly how to measure the success of your campaign. With average 10:1 returns on good online advertising campaigns, it’s still a worthy endeavor. Make sure you track the metrics to back up your investment in online ads.

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