Includes free template. Discover the top level metrics we track every month to ensure our agency clients see reliable revenue growth.
It’s rough trying to evaluate which agency is the best fit for your brand, when the term “digital marketing’’ itself is so broad that people can be talking about completely different things when they hear it.
So in the interests of helping you get to know us - and on the way, sharing a tool you might find useful - here are the 23 “top level” digital marketing KPIs we track for each of our client accounts.
And if you’d like to do this yourself for free, you can make a copy of the template here (no email required).
Let’s go …
We built 4 blog posts/month into our package so that our clients seed long term organic traffic growth into their site. The concept is that once Google’s system recognises the site as an authority on a topic, the site will rank better in Search.
Those who dive deep into the world of niche sites will see that some site owners publish daily, or even many times per day.
Our clients’ resources sit comfortably with the 4 blogs/month cadence, and we find the “hockey stick'' traffic growth kicks in at about the 18-month mark. (Although, you can click through here to see where we achieved significant growth in just 12 weeks). In the meantime, we use the blogs we publish as a topic to vary up email campaign subjects, to run to warm audiences in paid ads (we often see very high ROAS on those) and they can be repurposed for other platforms too.
It’s also a safeguard to make sure nothing gets missed in our weekly schedule of work for clients … knowing those blogs are going out on time helps keep other aspects moving.
Keeping tabs on the growth each month helps keep the team motivated. It also helps us see the impact of any Google updates that can hit site traffic. Sites generally recover, but if alterations need to be made it’s an early signal.
This metric is also used in calculating RPM (Revenue per Mille, or thousand page impressions).
Publishers use it to measure display ad revenue.
We use it as a sounding-board to gauge quality of traffic in light of purchases, simply dividing revenue by page views, and multiplying by 1000.
This is different to page views, as one session may contain a number of page views.
It also differs from Users, as one user may create a number of sessions.
A new session starts after 30 minutes of inactivity, or at midnight.
We track sessions because it’s a useful metric against page views (your Google Analytics account will also show you the average number of page views per session, and time on site).
We track, from the sessions, how many instances of “Add to Cart” events are initiated, so that we can calculate it as a percentage.
Expressing the number of Add to Cart instances from sessions as a percentage allows us to see how the website is “earning its keep” according to the KPIs we like to see. If the percentage is too low we can make recommendations to the client on where conversion optimization work should be done.
Our goal for a website is to see 11% of sessions initiating an “Add to Cart” event.
Initiate Checkout is the next step in the buying process, where people have added products to their cart and are starting to buy. It’s in the checkout process that we capture contact details, so if they don’t finish their purchase, they are followed up via email.
Seeing this metric from Google Analytics 4 lets us cross-check our email flows, for volume.
Expressing the number of checkouts initiated as a percentage allows us to monitor the KPIs for this part of the site conversion. By breaking it apart in this way, clients can work with their web developer on this exact part of the process so that more people complete their purchases.
Website conversion optimization can bring significant extra revenue with the same ad spend.
The issue, without these metrics, is that brand owners don’t know where to begin.
Simple. How many sales were made in this period across all channels? For our agency clients, this typically includes Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, Tik Tok, Email and Organic.
Yes … you’ve got it … expressing the number of purchases as a percentage allows us to monitor the KPIs for this part of the purchase process. If people are starting to check out and not completing their purchase, what needs to be fixed on the checkout page to help them buy?
Thinking about the number of page views in light of actual sales, RPM (Revenue per Mille) allows us to keep an eye on fluctuations and gauge traffic quality.
To calculate RPM, simply divide revenue/page views and multiply by 1000.
Pull this from the website dashboard, or Google Analytics 4. If your average order value is dropping, think about what factors could be influencing that. Are there products with sizes out of stock? Is it a product affected by tougher economic conditions? What can you do to see that AOV increase?
Immediate options can include sending traffic to your higher-priced options first (if they want to spend less, make people click around for it), offering bundles, or offering incentives such as free shipping above a certain threshold of purchase.
Nice and clear. What money came in this month? (Tip: if there are a higher than usual level of refunds, find out why. If the refund level is “usual”, think about what can be done to lower it anyway.)
Take this straight from the Facebook Ad Account.
One business owner who recently started with us was a little horrified to realise more was spent than she realized. Because she looked at her bank statements only, she didn’t know there was more ad spend accruing in the ad account for that period.
Take this straight from the Facebook Ad Account, unless you’re using one of those fancy plugins that try to help track better than Facebook’s reporting. The key is to decide on one “single source of truth” and stick to that for consistency.
Take this right from the Google Ad account.
Calculate from the revenue shown in your Google Ads Account, divided by the spend.
Take this straight from your Tik Tok ad account.
Depending on your setup, you might be able to get this straight from Tik Tok, or need to calculate it. Some clients use Google Analytics 4 to determine which sales came from Tik Tok. Others can see attribution in their website dashboard. Still others, such as one client we have who uses Mindbody for bookings, at this stage has to look at overall revenue and ask clients, as they come into her spa, where they first heard of her business. We’re working on stitching some tracking together for this and will update asap.
Self-explanatory - add it all up … make sure to catch it all ;)
This is where you can account for all the fluctuations, with each platform claiming “rights” for sales and none of them being completely accurate. Simply take your total revenue, divide it by your total ad spend, to get your estimated return on ad spend (some marketers call this MER, or Marketing Efficiency Ratio).
We keep this in mind every day, to make sure we’re bringing genuine value to each client.
The truth moment. After all marketing activities, what’s the “dollars in hand” for the client?
You may notice there are no email marketing KPIs on this list. We track those for each weekly update for clients so that they can see the revenue come in, and measure the effectiveness of campaigns and flows. Our goal is >25% (because that’s average, and we want to be better than average) with our top to date being 48%. Beware though - depending on your business model, too high a percentage can mean something is off. The 48% came when one client’s Facebook ad account was inactive, so we were keen to get it moving again fast.
Same with paid campaigns. Each of our clients’ paid ad campaigns have their own set of KPIs at every level.
Ideally, we like to see about 30% of sales from paid and influencer campaigns because we know we’re driving the right kind of people to the site, fast.
Then we want to see about 30% from email marketing.
And 30% from organic, via our SEO and blog posting.
The rest? Sales from organic posts are good and customers often refer their friends.
Are your marketing KPIs in a healthy place?
These are top-line numbers for each aspect we cover. They bring a great “at a glance” opportunity for us to know where we need to drill down further.
Think of incremental improvements like compounding interest. Each aspect may not move the needle in a big way overnight, but a few percentage points here and there will add up to significant revenue improvements over a year.
Whenever you’re ready, we can help improve your marketing systems.
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& we'll take it from there.