It’s the age of analytics, but having lots of data isn’t the same as having information you can act on. For example, checking out your visitor count and page clicks can be fun, but those numbers don’t tell you how to get more ROI out of your next marketing campaign.
Setting up a marketing dashboard — whether in a standalone business intelligence app or directly inside of your marketing automation software — makes it easier to decode your data and use your analytics effectively. If you’re setting up a dashboard for the first time, make sure these five metrics are on your list:
1. Traffic sources
Sources report will tell you who is coming to your website and where they’re coming from. This is one of the best features you can use to determine the value of your marketing campaigns. The sources report could vary depending on which tool you are using, but in general you can expect a report to include traffic from organic search, referrals, social media, email marketing, paid search, direct traffic, and offline sources.
This metric can help you improve your marketing in several areas. The organic search data will show which keywords, social media platforms, and email campaigns drive the most traffic to your site. Once you start spotting patterns, you can improve your messaging across the board.
2. Social media reach
Many companies get hung up on expanding their social reach to more followers. The more important goal is that your followers become loyal, interact with your brand, and respond to your CTAs.
Most marketing dashboards include a social media metric that displays traffic from month-to-month or week-to-week. When you see a bump in traffic or views, analyze what you did differently that week. What types of messages receive more traffic? What topics are popular? Keep track of this information, and use it to improve your social media strategy.
3. CTA – ClickThrough Rates
After someone reads your content, you want them to take the next step by clicking your call to action (CTA). The the percentage of people who clicked on your CTA is your clickthrough rate. This metric should tell you how many times each CTA has been viewed and clicked on, and how often those views and clicks lead to further action, such as signing up for a subscription.
Of course, none of this information will mean much if you don’t act on it. Look at your highest conversion rates and try to determine what lead to success. Was it the formatting? The copy? The placement? Keep an eye on this metric, and you can adapt to improve all of your CTA messages.
4. Bounce rates
Your bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page) should change over time, especially if you’re taking steps to improve traffic, social media reach, and CTA messages. If you notice a huge spike or dip in your bounce rate, take a look at what’s happening with your content that day.
A higher bounce rate could mean your content needs to be updated, or your blog post topics don’t align with your organic search trends. In general, a high or low bounce rate won’t tell you the whole story. If you see a sudden change in this metric, start digging around to see what traffic trends you can find.
5. Progress to goal (monthly or quarterly)
You know that saying, “It’s easy to miss the forest for the trees”? That’s exactly what can happen if you get too caught up in day-to-day or week-to-week metrics.
Keeping an eye on your monthly goal progress can show you if small changes are adding up to overall success. You can also use this metric to compare goals from month-to-month to see how your changes impact your marketing strategy in the long-term. Common goal factors for a B2B marketing team might include MQLs delivered to sales, new marketing-attributed revenue, and revenue from existing business.
You should make it a habit to review and act on these metrics every week. Keeping an eye on your dashboard and adapting your strategy accordingly will make you a more nimble marketer, and a more profitable department.