Every actionable step you take during a marketing campaign comes with data, and you’re presented with hundreds of tools to measure that information. The problem is, some metrics just aren’t that important.
The reality is, it’s these metrics that pop up immediately when you read your analytics, and they can lead you into a false sense of reality. These are called vanity metrics, low hanging fruit that you need to be wary of.
Data such as page followers, views, subscribers, and other flashy analytics that look good on paper but don’t actually add that much value. They provide positive reporting, however, offer no context for future marketing endeavours — something actionable metrics can do.
Here are five vanity metrics that need less attention, and actionable metrics that you should be following instead.
Work out your open rate like this:
Open rate = emails opened/ emails sent — bounces.
Open rate is indeed a reasonable metric to follow in order to ascertain the effectiveness of your email’s subject line and timing. However, there are technical limitations to consider. Many clients or prospects have to load images for it to count as an open, and many people have images switched off by default. Track it, but don’t obsess over it.
Actual Metric To Measure: CTR (Click Through Rate)
Focus on one CTA within your email that brings users to your landing page, and measure those click-throughs. A high CTR for an email that entices users to download something on your website, for example, tells you the email campaign has high lead-generating power.
People are reading your blog which means you’ve created great content which is a good first step in any inbound marketing plan. The truth is, however, page views don’t tell you where those views are originating from, whether or now your blog answered any questions, or how long a user even spent on the page.
Actual Metric To Measure: Bounce Rate, Social Shares
Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit one page on your site and leave without clicking any further. A high bounce rate is a big problem. Maintain attention with a good call-to-action, as well as links to other content and areas of your site. A bounce rate in decline is a great metric to report because it suggests your blog is growing in its interest to your visitors.
You need to consider social shares as well, as search is social!
Search engines like Google and Bing now take Tweets and Facebook shares into account within their algorithms. How many individual page viewers are also sharing your content on their social networks is now a more viable signal of extended SEO benefits from a popular blog post.
It’s easy enough to measure how many people have converted into a trial user or agreed to receive your newsletter. But are people actually consuming your content? Quite often, this product demo or email goes unseen or unused.
Actual Metric To Measure: Path to Conversion, Active Users
What you need to track is how many people return to use your product every day. These are termed ‘active users’. Within Google Analytics, metrics like visitor loyalty and recency are helpful depending on your product. As for an e-commerce based business, take note of repeat customers and retention.
In addition, measure which content drew in leads that converted to qualified contracts or even customers – as well as what actions said leads took within your website before the conversion happened. You can track this by adding tracking links to your CTAs so you can view where a user came from as they moved through the conversion path!
The more that companies post content on Facebook, the more newsfeeds need to share their space, and the less users see and therefore consume content from any one company.
Regardless of how many people have clicked ‘like’ once they’re on your page, the vast majority never return and never see or simply scroll past your content in their newsfeeds.
Actual Metric To Measure: Engagement Rate
Instead, make use of Facebook Insights to monitor which posts generate the best engagement (including comments and shares of specific posts).
The higher the engagement level, the higher the EdgeRank score (EdgeRanks is sort of like SEO for Facebook)
Think about the content and conversations that produce the highest engagement and impressions, and produce a plan for how you can best replicate this going forward.
On Twitter, it really shouldn’t be about your follower count. People typically follow a myriad of accounts for reasons unrelated to their actual interest in them. Many users, for instance, follow you in hopes a follow back. And if they don’t get it you lose that follow shortly after.
Actual Metric To Measure: Competitor Followers
With FollowerWonk, you can compare your followers to those of your rivals. If there are people following them and not following you, those are potentially missed prospects!
Examine what type of content is most engaged with on a competitor’s page. Then, compare it to your own to see where you’re going wrong. It may even be worth reaching out to those not following you and demonstrate the value of following you, too.
Of course, you shouldn’t disregard any of the aforementioned vanity metrics! Before you can add or erase certain data from your analytics reports, ensure you and your team have defined your goals and the data points you’ll use to measure whether or not you’re achieving them!
At GMT we’re experts who take pride in providing our clients with the full spectrum of data behind their campaigns. Not just the flashy stuff! Call us today on 1300 332 256!