When you’re running a business, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with everything you need to do. A lot of business owners look at marketing as an afterthought. They’re focusing on other things.
That attitude’s a common one – but it’s not a great idea to ignore marketing.
And while you might not have a ton of time to spend on marketing, there are a few basic marketing metrics that you should have at your fingertips all the time.
In fact, not knowing them can negatively affect your business’s profitability over time.
#1: The Size and Demographics of Your Audience
Your audience, whether they’re subscribed to your email list or following you on social media, is the pool from which you’ll attract most of your new customers. It’s also representative of the people who’re most likely to buy from you even if they’re not in your audience now.
There’s no denying those things are important. You should always know three things about your audience:
- The number of people in your audience
- Where they are
- What they have in common with one another
Let’s look at each question in turn. The number of people in your audience is probably the easiest thing to track, but you’ll need to check multiple locations regularly. For example, you can check:
- Your blog metrics to see how many readers you have, on average
- Your social media following on various sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram)
- Your email and text subscriber lists
Getting a handle on the numbers will also help you understand where your audience is. You may notice that you have far more followers on Facebook than on Instagram.
The final thing you’ll need to do is to analyze your audience. On Facebook, for example, you can view age, gender, and geographical breakdowns of your audience. You can also see what interests they have in common. Having this data at your fingertips can help you build lookalike audiences and do a good job of creating content that your audience will enjoy.
#2: Your Online Review Status
Online reviews are important to every business. Research shows that 86% of all consumers read online reviews, and that 89% read company responses to reviews. Those aren’t numbers you should ignore.
To get a handle on your online reviews, you’ll need to:
- Search for your company listings on review sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Angie’s List, and claim them.
- Update your listings to accurately reflect your current address, phone number, business hours, and prices.
- Set up a system for responding to all reviews, especially negative ones, in a constructive and professional way.
- Find ways to encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business.
Another related “must” is to set up alerts, so you get notified when there’s a new review of your business. You’ll need to respond quickly to show existing and potential customers that you care about them and their experiences.
#3: Your Google Ranking
The third marketing metric you need to know – and it’s a hugely important one – is your website’s Google ranking. You’ll need to conduct regular Google searches for your most important keywords and keep track of how you’re doing.
Your ranking for one page may be high while another page is down on the second (or third, or tenth) page of Google results. If that’s the case, you’ll need to improve your SEO and increase your visibility to improve your ranking.
Why does this matter? Well, research shows that the first result on Google’s SERP for any keyword grabs about 30% of clicks. The second and third positions can get as much as 10%, but after that the fall-off is precipitous. You’ll be lucky to grab 2% of the traffic.
The good news is that focusing on local SEO and voice search can help you improve your ranking – but you must know where you are now before you can attack the problem and rise in the ranks.
#4: Ad Performance
Whether you’re running just a few ads or juggling dozens of marketing campaigns, it’s necessary to track the performance of each ad. It’s the only way to know whether your marketing mix is right – and whether your money is going down the drain.
Let’s use Facebook as an example. Facebook provides tons of insights for businesses. You can see how many people your ads are reaching, get an overview of their demographics, and even track the days (and times of day) when your posts get the most engagement.
If you prefer an all-in-one solution that will allow you to track your performance on all social media accounts, you can use UTM tags to track them with Google Analytics. Or, if you prefer, you can use a social media tracking tool.
#5: ROI by Campaign
The final metric you should track is your Return on Investment, or ROI, for each marketing campaign. In case you don’t know, ROI is calculated as a percentage using a simple formula. Here’s how it works:
- Calculate your total revenue from the campaign
- Calculate the total costs associated with the campaign
- Subtract the costs from the revenue to calculate your profit
- Divide your profit by the cost to calculate your ROI
For example, say you spent $200 on an email marketing campaign. Some of that money might be from hiring a writer to craft the emails and the rest might be the associated costs from your email provider.
Email marketing has a high ROI (4400%, to be exact). Let’s say that your revenue from this campaign was $9,000. That would mean the calculation would be:
$9,000 revenue - $200 cost = $8,800 profit, and $8,800 profit/$200 cost = 4400% ROI
ROI calculations will help you identify the marketing campaigns that are earning you the most revenue. You can use that information to:
- Rethink your marketing mix
- Split-test and improve underperforming campaigns and ads
- Put more money into the marketing tactics that are most impactful
You don’t need to be a marketing guru to run a successful business. You do need to be aware of these 5 key marketing metrics – and know how to use them to attract new customers and increase your profits.