Things used to be much simpler…or did they? It seems like marketers have so much more to track nowadays, from the typical direct mail campaigns, print ads, and commercial spots, to social media, search engine campaigns and text, voice and email marketing. However, the plethora of analytic tools that are available do most of the work for us.

Keyword searching, pay-per-click ads, referring sites, and conversion, click-through and bounce rates are enough to make your head spin. The goal is to know which of these to pay close attention to, and find the right tool(s) to keep on top of it.

Knowing these figures and how they relate to your business can certainly lead to more sales. If you’re not analysing the data that provides insight into the traffic to your website, then you’re not getting to know anything about the customers that buy (or don’t buy) from you. Here are 5 marketing metrics you should be paying close attention to.

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Keywords

Keywords
And I mean, targeted keywords. I saw a recent article that showed some statistics about long tail keywords, which are search phrases that use several words and are more specific than one or two generic keywords. In a nutshell, the results were that as the number of words increases, so do the conversions…up to a certain point, of course.

More people conduct online searches using more than just one or two words, and those results using 3,4 or even 5 words, yielded more conversions. So keep that in mind. Think like a consumer looking to BUY your product would think.

Referring URLs

Referring URLs
Where are your customers coming from? How are they finding you? If you notice that they are coming in from a particular website, continue to push content through that site. It may turn out to be an unexpected source that you’re not even spending money on. The best kind of marketing is free marketing.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your website after visiting only one page. Having a high bounce rate is like having a poor display in the front window of your store. People may stop to window shop, but if they don’t like what they see, or it’s cluttered and disorganized, they’ll keep on walking. It generally means that something is wrong with your site, and it doesn’t engage your visitors.

Take a look at your bounce rates. I like to use the 50/50 rule…if they are higher than 50% (for a multi-page website), then that means the majority of people are not interested in other content that you have to offer, and you should take some steps to fix that.

Sales Funnel

Sales Funnel
Get an idea of what motivates your visitors to make a purchase, and likewise, what turns them away. Looking at the series of pages that a customer visits on their way to buying from you, or where they may have left your site, will give you a clearer picture of your sales funnel, and its effectiveness.

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate
I’ve saved the biggest for last. Conversions are the most important thing for you to track. Most website owners don’t have a clue what the conversion rates are, but it’s a vital statistic for improving the health of your site. It measures the number of sales by the number of visitors to your website.

Paying close attention to your conversion rates on pay-per-click campaigns, for instance, can be an eye-opening experience. You’ll find out exactly how much a sale will cost you based on a particular keyword, and whether it needs to be adjusted accordingly. Better conversion rates equal more sales, and that’s why we have a business in the first place.

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