Not every business owner is analytical in nature. When it comes to running and marketing our businesses, you may not automatically know what to measure, or sometimes even how to measure it.

One area where measuring and analytics are essential is in your marketing. How can you know if a strategy is working if you don’t compare before-and-after scenarios?

Here are the key performance indicators (KPI) you should start with to better assess your marketing results.

 Web Traffic

Ideally, your marketing should be sending more traffic to your website and your blog. Start by looking to see what your traffic is now, if you haven’t been doing much marketing. Or, look in your Google Analytics to see what it was several months ago and compare it to now.

 As you add in more marketing tactics (social media marketing, press releases, guest blogging) look back to see how those numbers change. The number of visitors is one indicator to pay attention to.

Another is where that traffic is coming from. If you dig into the referral data, you might see that much of your traffic comes from a single post you wrote for another blog. Or a social media site like Twitter. Or perhaps it is coming from Google.  Or maybe a big burst of traffic whenever you send out an email newsletter.  Seeing where your traffic comes from can tell you what outreach activities are working for you, and which aren’t.

Look also at time on site, and pages per visit.   See how long visitors stay in your site, and which pages they visit.  That may tell you something about the features visitors are finding most beneficial.  This can help you determine what kind of content is valuable in your site, and what kind you need more of.

Conversion rate is another important metric. After all, having millions of visitors to your website is completely worthless if none of them buy from you, fill out a lead form, sign up for your email list, download that whitepaper, or take whatever action you want the visitor to take. Here you want to see on average 4-8% (for B2B) of the traffic to your site converting to sales. If it’s lower, consider the user experience of your site and tweak it until you increase this number.  Perhaps you need to make your lead form more prominent, or simplify an important landing page so that people don’t get distracted.


Email is a fabulous marketing tool, but only if it’s providing the kinds of content your subscribers want. How do you know if it’s working? Look at your open rate and clickthrough rate. Your open rate tells you what percent of the recipients opened a given email. And clickthrough tells you — you guessed it — how many people clicked the links within your email. You can even see which links they clicked, which provides you with valuable data on what subscribers are interested in.

 Social Media

Everyone’s still arguing about the ROI of social media, but I say: choose some KPIs to measure to determine if your efforts are working. These could include:

  • Number of followers
  • Number of retweets and shares
  • Number of comments on a post

Remember, simply having tons of followers on social isn’t worthwhile if they’re not your target audience. You can do more with fewer, well-targeted followers than millions who don’t really care what your brand does.

You’ll quickly see the value to paying attention to more metrics in marketing, as they can help you direct your efforts and investment more smartly for better results.