23 Digital Marketing KPIs we use to grow client revenue

January 23, 2023

23 Digital Marketing KPIs we use to grow client revenue

Includes free template. Discover the top level metrics we track every month to ensure our agency clients see reliable revenue growth.

01
01

The 23 digital marketing KPIs we track for every client account, every month

When you look after the health of your website by eliminating errors and reducing warnings, it contributes to stronger organic rankings and better user experience.

1. Site health score

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 …

By publishing four blogs each month we are helping our clients' sites "seed" organic traffic growth.

2. Number of blogs published

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.

It can get a little addictive seeing the number of page views grow for a site, month on month. Monitoring this is one way we keep track of organic traffic growth and revenue per thousand impressions, for our agency clients' sites.

3. Number of page views

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.

A new website "session" for a user starts after 30 minutes of inactivity, or at midnight.

4. Number of sessions

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).

Make sure to track how many users' sessions on your brand's website initiated an "Add to Cart" event, so that you can measure KPIs through the customer journey.

5. Number of sessions Add to Cart

We track, from the sessions, how many instances of “Add to Cart” events are initiated, so that we can calculate it as a percentage.

Conversion optimization work is essential on every clients' website, to ensure the maximum number of site visitors become customers.

6. Percentage of sessions Add to Cart

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.

7. Number of sessions Initiating Checkout

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.

The KPI we like to see a client site meet is 55% of people who add to cart go on to initiate checkout.

8. Percentage of sessions Initiating Checkout

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.

Of course, the reason any business is in business is to make sales. We calculate the total number of sales for each client each month, across all channels.

9. Number of sales

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.

When a customer gets as far as initiating a checkout, it's likely they are a serious buyer. So if the percentage of customers not finishing their purchase is higher than KPI, we work with clients to have their site optimized, to address this. There's no point leaving money on the table!

10. Percentage of Initiate Checkout events that complete the Purchase

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?

Even though we work with ecommerce and lead generation clients, rather than niche sites that run display ads, we like to keep track of a client's site's RPM to help gauge the quality of traffic, offer, and the impact of Google updates.

11. RPM

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.

Once a client has spent ad dollars to bring a customer to their site, we want to do everything we can to increase the average order value, in a way that makes sense for the customer. Even the slightest increase adds up over time to bring extra profit for the client.

12. Average order value

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.

We calculate revenue across all channels where our clients' brands are active so that we can calculate Market Efficiency Ratio.

13. Revenue

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.)

Too often, business owners come to us and are not aware of the amount they have spent on Facebook (one founder saw only transactions on her bank statement, but the full billing cycle was not complete). Knowing exactly what is spent each month helps us calculate our clients' return on investment.

14. Ad spend: Facebook

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.

You'll find a lot of discussion in the direct-to-consumer industry regarding attribution and return on ad spend. We use clear UTMs for Google Analytics, and stick to Facebook's Ad Manager for uniform results ... knowing that there are inevitable delays at times in attribution.

15. ROAS: Facebook

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.

We review ad spend for each client, each month in Google Ad Manager so that we can clearly calculate the return on investment.

16. Ad spend: Google

Take this right from the Google Ad account.

We divide the revenue generated from Google Ads by the amount spent in that account to show the return on ad spend.

17. ROAS: Google

Calculate from the revenue shown in your Google Ads Account, divided by the spend.

We review each client's Tik Tok ad spend in their account each month, so that we can calculate their return on investment.

18. Ad spend: Tik Tok

Take this straight from your Tik Tok ad account.

For WooCommerce and Shopify, it's simple to calculate return on ad spend because the tracking works nicely. For one of our clients using Mindbody that has nowhere to implement the tracking code, there's a little more involved.

19. ROAS: Tik Tok

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.

We ensure that we account for ad spend across each channel for our clients, every month. Presenting it as a total as well as in segments allows us to create the eROAS figure for the client.

20. Total ad spend

Self-explanatory - add it all up … make sure to catch it all ;)

Some agencies refer to this KPI as MER, others to eROAS (we think Depesh Mandalia may have coined the second option.so h/t there).

21. eROAS

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).

While return on ad spend is important, we keep our agency fees top of mind when calculating our clients' return on investment.

22. Agency fee

We keep this in mind every day, to make sure we’re bringing genuine value to each client.

As well as taking ad spend into account, it is important for us to track clients' revenue after our agency fees.

23. Revenue after agency fee and ad spend

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.

02

The blend of sales we aim for, for every client

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.

02
03

Over to you …

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.

03
04

04
05

05
06

06
07

07
08

08
09

09
10

10

Profitable Marketing for Small Businesses

Join 500+ subscribers to the Wednesday Wrap.

Every Wednesday morning you'll get one actionable tip to make your marketing more profitable.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Apply to
Work With Us

Click here to fill out our client application form
& we'll take it from there.

Begin your application