Digital marketing reporting is like shopping at your favorite online clothing store.
There are many good-looking things to try, especially if a new collection arrives. Many people just add several items to the shopping cart right away. Well, yeah, but…
You’re gonna have an overstuffed closet of clothes you might never wear.
Buying a lot of stuff can cause some budget problems.
Marketers often make this mistake in marketing reporting — they take all metrics they can get and stuff them into one document. “The more, the better” strategy backfires because the report becomes a mess.
The result: just like that overstuffed closet, marketers get an overstuffed report of metrics they never use.
Let’s avoid that, shall we?
In this post, find 22 essential and meaningful metrics that marketing folks should consider for effective online marketing reporting.
Digital Marketing Reports: Types and Goals
A digital marketing report is a document where you describe the progress of marketing campaigns and align them with marketing goals.
Common digital marketing report types:
- Web analytics report — contains the most important metrics related to website performance and conversions
- Marketing performance report — includes the data to assess the performance of a specific marketing campaign or the overall marketing metrics
- Website traffic report — displays the total number of visitors a website received, sources, and measurable events related to user experience (time on page, etc.)
- PPC performance report — includes the data related to the performance of PPC marketing campaigns
- Email marketing report — showcases the performance of ongoing email marketing campaigns or a specific campaign
- Social media performance report — shows either the overall brand’s performance on the chosen social media or a set of performance indicators for a specific social media campaign.
These digital marketing reports contain numerous metrics to help marketers and business owners track the performance of their businesses.
22 Essential Digital Marketing Metrics to Include in Your Reports
Here are 22 digital marketing metrics related to website performance, online advertising, SEO, marketing campaigns, and email marketing.
Website Traffic Metrics
1. Top Pages
The Top Pages metric shows the pages with the highest number of visitors.
Tracking these pages is important because they indicate the most appealing content to your users. For example, if your website has different types of content – blogs, reports, videos, etc. – Top Pages will help find the most successful ones.
Knowing your most successful content will be useful to adjust your marketing strategy to focus on the best-performing techniques.
2. New Visitors
This critical metric in Google Analytics reporting shows the number of new unique individuals visiting your website. Marketers use this data to assess the ability of the ongoing campaigns to attract traffic.
But tracking New Visitors can help with digital marketing in many other ways. If the conversion rate for the new visitors is low or declining, for example, you might want to check the content or page they see first on the website. Something might be hurting their experience.
3. Bounce Rate
Indicates how many of your website visitors “came, saw, and left.” A high bounce rate (40 percent and higher) may indicate some problems with the website, including:
- The content doesn’t meet visitors’ expectations
- Pages might be loading slowly
- A lack of intuitive UX
- A lack of easily accessible CTA buttons.
Bounce rate is also one of the major content marketing metrics. That’s why marketing teams treat it as an indication of content value for visitors.
4. Returning Visitors
Tracks the individuals who returned to your website after the first visit. Marketers use it in Google Analytics reporting to monitor and improve client retention, as a high retention rate (about 30 percent and higher) suggests that the website has valuable content.
Increasing the rate of returning visitors is crucial to the success of any online business, especially online stores. As research shows, returning visitors convert 73 percent more and spend $16 percent more per transaction than first-time visitors.
PPC Campaign Performance Report Metrics
Marketers use PPC reporting to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, discover new customer groups, and improve customer relationships.
5. ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
ROAS is a common metric in Google Adwords reporting that shows how much a company earns for each dollar spent on an ad campaign, ad, or keyword. It’s an essential indicator for insightful Google Ads reporting that helps with budget planning.
The way to calculate ROAS is to divide the campaign revenue by the cost:
Revenue / Cost
If you’re an online store running Google Ads campaigns, you can track purchases as conversions to define how much revenue a specific campaign has provided.
6. CTR (Click-through rate)
Displays the percentage of unique individuals who saw your ads, clicked, and went to the campaign’s landing page. A low CTR (less than one percent) indicates that customers might not be interested in ads.
In this case, some changes to the ad content are needed to make them more relevant and appealing to the target audience.
7. ROI (Return on investment)
Unlike ROAS that focuses on a specific ad campaign, ROI evaluates the overall effectiveness of your marketing. Simply, you’ll know how much you’ve made with all campaigns within a defined time period.
Google proposes to calculate this metric using this formula:
(Revenue – Cost of goods sold) / Cost of goods sold.
8. Cost per Conversion
This metric defines the cost of acquiring leads that also bought your products or services. Many digital marketing campaigns generate hundreds, if not thousands, of leads, but only a small percentage will become paying customers.
If the cost per conversion is higher than the customer lifetime value (see Marketing Campaign metrics below for definition), then your campaign is on the right track.
SEO Content Performance Report Metrics
Putting together SEO reporting documents can be quite challenging if there’s no solid plan to follow. Focus on these five essential SEO digital marketing metrics to create better reports.
9. Keyword Performance
Measuring this metric means monitoring keywords that bring in the most traffic to your website. Simply, it means tracking the position of your website on a chosen keyword.
You can use most keyword research tools like Ahrefs to track keyword performance. Low ranking might indicate poor quality content and a lack of proper website SEO optimization.
Conducting regular website SEO audits is one technique businesses use to discover optimization and keyword performance. A reporting tool of your choice can automatically check the website and send reports with results to keep you updated.
10. Organic/Paid Traffic
Organic and paid traffic metrics show website traffic that’s obtained organically, i.e., from search engines and through paid advertising. A report with this metric will be useful to see how often your website appears in Google’s search results and understand how effective it is at attracting visits.
Organic and paid traffic is responsible for 68% of all trackable website traffic, making this metric essential in any SEO report.
Often called “Organic conversion rate,” this metric shows the number of unique visitors who made purchases on your website.
Reporting tools typically require you to set a specific goal, or the so-called “conversion event,” to indicate what you consider conversions and track them. These events are purchases, email signups, or website form submissions.
12. Backlinks Created
Backlinks are links from a website to another. Having a bunch of backlinks from reputable websites is a major sign of trustworthiness and credibility for Google. That’s why the more quality backlinks a website attracts, the better.
Checking the number of backlinks is easy with reporting and keyword research tools.
Dana Evans, an outreach specialist from Subjecto.com: “Here’s an example of a simple backlink analysis from Ahrefs for Swydo. The website has attracted a total of 3.44K backlinks from 472 websites (‘Referring domains.’)”
Keeping watch on the number of backlinks in SEO reports means monitoring a website’s reputation, which is critical to improving its position in search engine results.
Businesses use content ideation strategies to get other websites to link to them. This means creating original content like reports, white papers, studies, and surveys on industry-relevant topics.
13. Top-Performing Pages
This metric shows which website pages – landing pages, homepages, product pages, etc. – enjoy the highest number of visitors. Knowing the most popular pages helps to understand which content gets the most engagement, therefore, has the best chance to convert.
You can optimize the top-performing pages with conversion elements like CTAs and top-quality content to get better marketing results. On the other hand, the best practices from the top pages could be applied to other pages to attract more viewers.
Marketing Campaign Metrics
14. Customer lifetime value (CLV)
This metric indicates how much revenue a single customer can generate throughout their time as a paying customer. To calculate CLV, you need to multiply the average monthly revenue per customer by the number of months they spent buying from you.
15. Customer retention rate (CRR)
CRR is a metric that shows the number of customers who continue to buy from a company over a period of time. It’s expressed as a percentage of existing customers in the current customer base.
Increasing CRR is an essential requirement for increasing profits. In fact, customer retention is the most important revenue driver for 53% of online retail businesses.
16. Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
CPA defines the cost of acquiring a customer on a campaign level. Keeping this metric at a low rate means managing the company budget efficiently and running effective marketing campaigns.
Total spending on a campaign or channel / new customers acquired by that campaign or channel
17. Cost per Lead (CPL)
CPL is the monetary representation of the cost of acquiring a potential customer. To calculate this metric, divide the total advertising spending by the number of leads you acquired.
Knowing the CPL of the previous and current campaign allows making better decisions about how much to spend on marketing.
Email Marketing Metrics
18. Open rate
The open rate indicates how many emails in your campaign were opened. For example, if you send out 100 emails, but only 20 people open them, then the open rate is 20 percent.
A low open rate suggests a lack of compelling email subject lines. In this case, businesses experiment with various subject lines to attract the attention of customers and convince them to open emails.
Here’s HubSpot data on open rates to give you an idea of typical rates in your industry:
19. Unsubscribe rate
This metric shows the percentage of email users who unsubscribed from your campaign after receiving it. An unsubscribe rate of less than one percent is considered good for most email marketing campaigns.
A high unsubscribe rate may indicate too frequent emails and poorly optimized and/or unengaging content. Decreasing a high rate often involves dealing with these common reasons customers choose to opt out from newsletters (Marketing Sherpa data).
Source: Marketing Sherpa
20. Click-through rate
This is the share of email users who clicked on a link in a campaign compared to the total number of people who received that campaign. It’s one of the essential digital marketing metrics that shows how engaging your emails are for customers.
21. Conversion rate
The percentage of customers who converted – signed up for a free trial, made a purchase, etc. – in an email campaign. The average conversion rate depends on the industry, audience size, and business and is around three percent.
Customer segmentation and other tactics are used to increase the email marketing conversion rate by increasing the relevance of email content to customers.
22. Return on Investment (ROI)
In email marketing, ROI is defined as the difference between how much you’ve spent on a campaign and how much you earned from it.
Tracking ROI is a must to evaluate the success of email marketing campaigns. Statistics show that emails have the highest ROI among marketing channels – almost $40 for every $1 spent.
Must-Have Digital Marketing Metrics: Summary
Here you go, 22 essential digital marketing metrics to focus on in reports about website performance, online advertising, SEO reporting, marketing campaign, and email marketing.
Choosing the right metrics to follow in each type of marketing report can be a bit challenging, but these are a must for every campaign kind. They will give the overview you need to evaluate your performance and make changes in a timely manner.
AUTHOR BIOMarques Coleman is a freelance writer and guest author with extensive experience covering all things digital marketing and learning. He is especially interested in writing about the ways to make digital marketing a channel for customer education. Currently, Marques is working on https://subjecto.com/flashcards/, an open-source educational project for students and educators.