What is KPI ? Sometimes, when you have a business, you are not entirely sure what the variables (or Key Performance Indicator) should be that you should use to evaluate the evolution and result of all the marketing techniques that you are implementing in it.
This ignorance, about what works or not, will have a negative impact on our entire marketing plan since, not knowing what factors we should improve or putting more emphasis on, we cannot know if we are taking the right steps or, therefore, scale our deal.
What’s more, today there are many people who, although they have heard or read it on the Internet, do not fully understand what is KPIs are or what they are used for or how these units of measurement are chosen. But, first, we go in parts:
What Is KPI in Marketing And What Are They For?
A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a key development indicator, that is, a unit of measure or objective variable that provides us with data on the operation of a certain aspect of our strategy over a period of time.
Depending on their results, we will be able to make strategic decisions that make us pivot and put even more emphasis on everything that is currently giving positive results and, in turn, establish corrective actions on those points that are “failing.”
How About We See An Example Of What KPI is To Clarify It A Little More?
Imagine that we add one more social network to our Social Media plan to increase the traffic of your website and you want to know if your work on this new platform is giving the expected results.
In this case, using as indicators the number of new users within that channel, the percentage of visitors who come to your website from this social network and the topic of the publications that are getting the most traffic are reliable measurement units.
These metrics will provide you with relevant and objective information about the performance of that new channel.
What Characteristics Should KPI’s Have?
Although these units of measurement or indicators are normally related to the same characteristics that the objectives of our marketing strategy should have, those that respond to the acronym SMART :
- Defined in time.
These acronyms (in English) are the qualities that best define the specific role that those we choose should fulfill in our strategy and, in general, in any self-respecting business.
1. Measure Only Objective Factors
Whatever indicators we use, remember that they must measure objective aspects, that is, supported by demonstrable evidence.
The main idea when setting a representative and objective KPI is to get data and numbers that we can use to quantify the performance of some specific and important point for us.
We can measure the number of “I like you” or interactions that we have achieved with a publication on a social network, because it is an objective piece of information, but we cannot measure the degree of user satisfaction with that same publication, if we have not associated or assigned a more reliable indicator.
2. They Must Be Realistic Units Of Measurement
It is useless to choose KPI indicators that do not fit the real capabilities and characteristics of our project and its digital marketing strategies.
A lack of truthfulness and objectivity in the choice of these variables, as they are not really achievable and measurable, will make them inconsequential.
3. Provide Only Relevant Information
Although the more representative elements of our work we measure, the more data we will have to make better-informed decisions, each of these units of measurement must be able to provide us with information separately.
Imagine that you take the bounce rate on a blog as a representative indicator.
Although you can probably relate the information obtained to other variables that give you a more complete view, the bounce rate is an independent piece of information and has great value in itself.
4. They Must Have Continuity Over Time
It is important that the indicators we take to measure that objective element can be compared with the data obtained in other subsequent measurements.
Although a KPI throws information by itself, we need to compare the results with those obtained at other times in our marketing strategy, to know if we are meeting the objectives that we have set for ourselves.
How to choose my units of measurement? This question, and from this very moment, will be the base on which I will focus what remains of this guide. Because, the lack of precise knowledge about what works and what needs to be improved, is one of the main deficiencies of many companies in the network.
And knowing how to choose the right variables can be a first step to strengthen this weakness in our business strategies.
In this way, after helping you to better understand what KPIs are and what they are for, and to see some examples and characteristics of them, now I will continue to teach you how to choose them within your different Internet strategies.
What Are The Best KPI Indicators?
Have you ever noticed that you can’t find out if your projects are working well or the changes you’ve made to them?
In any digital marketing strategy, a good measurement is the key to face the most appropriate decisions in each case or to avoid falling into the typical situation of having to make those decisions blindly.
IMPORTANT : both to quantify future objectives, as well as to know strengths and weaknesses of our projects, we have to measure very well all our actions and their results.
This is where we reach the point where we would have to choose the most important ones to measure, although for this we should first understand the basic foundations of these parameters or indicators.
How To Choose The Main KPIs in Digital Marketing?
One of the great advantages of online marketing compared to traditional channels is the ability to measure our actions in a much simpler and more reliable way.
When measuring the impact of a traditional marketing campaign, we find it difficult to locate objective, measurable and value-bearing data for itself (beyond the simple increase in sales), but carrying out these measurements in Digital Marketing is perhaps much easier if we choose the right KPIs.
New technologies have led to the birth of many analytical tools that, better or worse, allow us to know more objective data about the aspect we want to measure.
Normally these tools are focused on working in a specific and determined area ( traffic to a Web page , social networks, email marketing, etc.) and, therefore, we are going to talk about the most appropriate variables in each of these 3 main fields .
1.What is KPI: KPI Indicators In The Social Media Area
Without ever forgetting that in social networks we interact with people and that, therefore, our actions should focus on users (not machines), there are many aspects that we must measure, to check whether we are achieving the objectives that we have set or if, on the contrary, our strategy must change.
Taking these development indicators into account is one of the most important tasks of the Community Manager, because a good analysis of the data produced by the chosen Key Performance Indicators is essential when proposing a change of strategy in social networks.
We could divide the KPIs of social media in each of the active platforms but, although it is essential to take into account the particularities of each of them, I think it is more useful to establish the division of performance indicators , taking into account the purpose of our presence on these platforms.
»KPI’s For Social Media Interaction
Those referred to the measurement of interaction with other users and closely linked to the engagement that we are capable of generating.
In Instagram , taking into account that it is the largest social network of images in the world and its particular characteristics, there will be some data similar to the others and others specific or different. Good indicators are: the number of comments on the photos, the “I like you”, the scope of the publications, the clicks on the link in the profile, the number of people who see our Stories , etc.
On Facebook it is similar, always bearing in mind that each social network is different and the way they are used, too. Good indicators are: the number of comments on the posts, “I like you”, times the post has been shared, etc.
We can count the comments on Pinterest , the “repins” achieved, the number of “likes”, etc.
What data can we measure to analyze the evolution of interaction on Twitter? Number of retweets, FAVs … achieved in a period of time or divided among the published tweets.
»KPIs Related To The Growth Of The Social Community
We will use them to quantify the increase in followers in each of the social networks in which we have an active presence with our project.
As in the previous case, we can take as a reference a certain period of time, to check how our work has attracted new followers and, therefore, has grown the Online community around our brand or our profile on social networks.
»KPIs related to visibility on social channels
It is very likely that one of the great objectives that you pursue with your constant work on social networks is to increase your visibility and these channels.
To measure and analyze how your presence evolves, it is more useful to take as indicators the KPIs that mark to what extent your message (and therefore your Personal Brand ) manages to amplify itself.
The number of social bookmarks in our content, the number of times it has been shared, the number of mentions received or the number of retweets can be some good indicators or units of measurement for this parameter.
2. The KPI Indicators Of a Website Or Blog
They are the indicators that show us how traffic on our website evolves and how users navigate our site.
Maintaining strict control of these is essential to optimize the design and operation of the web at all times and be alert to possible problems that may arise.
As a practical example, imagine that you regularly monitor the visitors who come to your website from Twitter, to see if your strategy on this social network is paying off.
If at a certain moment, you detect that the visits have suffered a very sharp sudden drop, you can review your work and see where the error has been, in order to resume the appropriate strategy, if you do not set this KPI as an important indicator and do not carry out a constant monitoring, this will be impossible.
We are now going to see 5 of the KPIs that you should always review, to be aware of the current state of your website and the strategies you apply to it.
»Users, Sessions And Page Views
Once we started working with Google Analytics, we found ourselves in the control panel with three main metrics that, in principle, attract a lot of attention.
It is important to be clear that each one of those units of measurement does not refer to the same thing and that the information of each one is valuable by itself. So how do they differ?
It refers to the number of visits received when adding new and recurring visitors, that is, if the same user visits us twice, the tool will count a single user but two sessions.
refers to the number of people (or rather devices) that visit our website in a period of time. It is difficult to speak only of different people, because our analytical tool will detect two new users if, for example, we visit the same Web from the computer and then from the mobile.
- Page views:
It indicates how many pages of our website or blog have been visited between all sessions, in a given period of time.
Do you know how many of the visitors that come to your website leave you without interacting with any element?
This variable represents the bounce rate, the percentage of visitors who consume the information and “bounce”, that is, they leave your “site” without interacting with your content.
This KPI indicator informs us to a great extent about the level of satisfaction of the user who visits us, with respect to what he finds on our page (a unit of measure that Google uses to give more or less SEO relevance to our content).
»Channels That Bring Us More Traffic
It is not an independent KPI, since to have more complete information, among other things, we should differentiate each of the social networks as a different channel of entry for visitors.
Knowing and controlling this parameter is vital to be sure that we are achieving the visibility of our content and the expected web traffic, through the different sources that we work on in our strategies to achieve said traffic.
One of the best ways to quantify this KPI is through the “Traffic Analytics” tool , belonging to SEMrush, which gives you a metric that is very close to the reality of the weight that each source has within our total traffic.
In this way, you can vary your strategy, so that you can increase the type of traffic you are interested in getting
»CTR (Click Through Ratio)
These abbreviations “CTR” refer to the ratio of clicks that our publications get among all the impressions received in Google searches.
It is a KPI that is not talked about as often as others that are more commonly shown by web analytics tools (visits, users, sessions …).
But that, in addition to its increasing importance for SEO positioning , is a good indicator that we are managing to present our work in an attractive way for users.
»Time Spent On The Web
The residence time is a very important KPI, because a good analysis of this metric gives us a lot of information about the visitors who come to the website of our business or Online project.
Studying this indicator, we can get an idea about whether the user who reaches the web finds the information they were looking for or, on the contrary, abandons us because we have not been able to meet their expectations.
»Relevant Keywords That Bring More Traffic
Knowing what are the keywords that are giving us the best performance and the average traffic that these keywords could get, are two of the important indicators to evaluate the development of our SEO positioning strategy .
The objective is to detect if our website, blog or Landing Page manages to attract the necessary visits so that our digital marketing strategy is more successful.
These metrics are not the only ones that we can measure on our website (far from it).
The most suitable Key Performance Indicators will depend on our objective and the information we need at a given moment to know a specific aspect of our site.
You may be interested to see: What Is Keyword Research, What Is It For And How To Do It Step By Step?
3. Most relevant KPI indicators in Email Marketing
One of the best ways to contact our potential customers is automated Email , since it is a direct way because of its great segmentation capacity, and because we can surprise our subscribers with added value as thanks for registering.
But, unlike this technique, we also have at our disposal the “mailing”, another technique for sending emails that, unlike this first one, is much more massive and less segmented.
Measuring and analyzing the results of our Email Marketing campaigns is also especially important, especially when we talk about measuring and obtaining KPI indicators that give us a state of health from our actions in this digital area.
If we manage to mark the appropriate «Key Performance Indicator» , we can see how small variations in the title, content, arrangement of the elements, tone of the message, etc., manage to better capture the user’s attention and improve the opening rate. and conversion.
To analyze email marketing in a comprehensive way (see it as a “whole”), it is important to distinguish between the different phases of a campaign and measure the most important aspects in each case.
What Are The Top 3 Metrics Related To Subscriber Lists?
Why are we going to jointly measure two actions as different as subscriber acquisition and the campaign itself? It doesn’t make much sense. Therefore, to analyze subscriber acquisition we can measure:
- Subscribers achieved in a given time:
We start with the simplest. How many people have we been able to add to each of the lists in the last month (or week, or day)? This indicator, in addition to being fundamental because we need to expand our database to reach our message to the maximum number of interested recipients, we can interpret it in conjunction with other actions (types of content, offers, layout of the form) to try to discover what moves the users to become subscribers.
- Lost subscribers:
It is the same way as in the previous case, where we can investigate what actions have motivated subscribers to unsubscribe from our mailing lists.
For example: you may have sent too many emails in a short time and you have collapsed the inbox of your subscribers’ Gmail account . Another very common reason for the increase in losses is the inclusion of uninteresting content, resorting to the false rule of “more is better”.
So, the analysis of this KPI will help you realize what you should not do more or that you have to improve if you want to stop losing subscribers.
- Geographic location:
This metric becomes more important, in the event that our business objective is to attract subscribers in a certain place and, due to its limitations, it is useless to attract new users in other places.
Imagine a business that uses Email Marketing to advertise promotions in its physical store. Depending on the situation, this geographic location may be vital or of moderate importance if we target a broader target audience and have no locational constraint.
»Now we have to analyze how the shipments have worked.
- Email opening rate:
It is the one that establishes the relationship between the number of shipments and how many have been opened, that is, what percentage of them have captured the attention of users.
A low open rate is usually closely related to an unattractive email “subject”, inappropriate hours, or poor subject segmentation. The test A / B are an extraordinary way of knowing how to capture the attention of subscribers and increase the opening rate.
- The click through rate on the links:
Once we have gotten the user to open the email. The arrangement of the elements, the format or the way of addressing the subscriber within the Newsletter will mean that the rate of clicks on the links that most interest us varies.
Therefore, it is a KPI that will indicate to a great extent if our Email-Marketing strategy is achieving the expected results.
- Users who have unsubscribed from the list:
Since March 30, 2012, a royal decree establishes that companies are obliged to enable procedures for users to revoke their consent to receive email notifications.
In addition, since May 2018, the date on which the new GDPR came into force , you must take special care with this type of subject and attend to each of the precepts that this update dictated.
As against this law, we can do nothing but take care and pamper our subscribers. That is why we must try to carry out a strategy so that the rate of users who unsubscribe is as low as possible.
This will indicate to what extent the subscribers do not agree with the theme , frequency or content of our email marketing campaigns.
To fight this, good segmentation and customization could be the best solution.
Going back to the question with which we opened the post, if you ever notice that you do not know very well if your project is working correctly or is somewhat stagnant, or if you are not sure that the changes you have in mind will work, the measurement and analysis are your best allies .
If we do not measure our actions well, our Online presence or the operation of our campaigns we will not be able to optimize our work, because it will be difficult to find objective data to serve as a guide .
I hope this post has helped you familiarize yourself with the subject of KPI’s (or units of measurement). Because knowing a little better how to deal with the measurement of your actions on the Internet and above all that is useful for you to start taking into account metrics and analysis for the future.