With all of the changes that happen in the digital world, a question I frequently have to answer is, “Which metrics should we track to ensure good performance?”
Through conferences, forums and Google, I realized that I’m not alone. Metrics are constantly swirling in the minds of digital strategists everywhere.
So, I thought to myself, why not list a few of the metrics that I keep up with for my clients and the reasons why in hopes that it may help someone else. And who knows, maybe it can spark up a conversation between social media/PPC gurus about which metrics are 10/10 and which are just fluff.
If you are interested in my opinion on which metrics to track and why, read on! And if you think something is missing, please let me know, as I am always looking to learn!
Page Likes or Followers:
You will hear many people say that page likes and follower count don’t matter. I believe in a balance. The argument is that the amount of followers or page likes you have doesn’t matter if they aren’t engaging with your content. It’s the whole “quality over quantity” argument. And I agree, however, I disagree when someone says that they “don’t matter”. Tracking Page Likes/Followers is important if you are trying to grow your brand. Ideally, you would like to see these numbers increase month over month. However, you want to see this happen organically. Keep in mind who the client is and monitor the engagement that their content receives so that you can adjust accordingly.
This metric is calculated through the following formula: Total engaged users/Total Reach. The benefit of knowing your account’s engagement rate is knowing whether or not the content is resonating with its audience. If the engagement rate is high, then great. If it’s on the low side it may be time to make some changes.
The caveat when it comes to this metric is that it can be difficult to find the variables needed to calculate it. For example, the formula I use to calculate engagement on Facebook is Lifetime Engaged Users/Lifetime Post Total Reach and there are several steps I have to take to find these two numbers.
To simplify the process of calculating this number across multiple accounts and platforms, I use an online tool.
This metric applies to the PPC side of the digital world. The click-through rate, or CTR, of a digital ad, is the percentage of users who click on the ad divided by the number of times the ad is seen. Depending on the industry that you are working with, you can typically find the average click-through rate for that specific industry on the specific platform that you are advertising for them on and use it as a benchmark. When evaluating my client’s ads, I consider a CTR above their industry’s average to be good, and anything below average needs some adjusting. I find this metric particularly valuable in A/B testing, as it’s a good indication of which message is resonating most with the client’s target audience.
Cost Per Click:
Cost per click is the monetary value of a user clicking on your ad. If your ad’s CPC is $1 and the ad gets 200 clicks in a month, you owe $200 to the platform that you are advertising on. There are a few reasons why keeping track of this number is important.
The first is because this number determines whether or not you will hit your budget or go over budget. The second is because when analyzed holistically with the other metrics of the ad, and especially in comparison to ads that are being A/B tested, you can determine whether the ad itself is worth continuing. For example, if one ad has a lower CPC and it also has a higher CTR, it may be safe to assume that that ad is working better than the other. Why? Because more people are clicking on your ad for a cheaper price. Third, a high CPC may indicate that there is more competition.
Again, these are just a few of the metrics that I find valuable in tracking for my clients. If there are any others you think should have made the list, please let me know in the comments and maybe we can start up a conversation!