Discovering Your Online Business KPIs for Marketing Optimisation

Online Marketing Business KPIs If we were to make two wagers with visitors to this blog, we’d suggest these two things:

  1. You have measurements in place of virtually every activity you do online, yet
  2. You are still struggling to discover which ones really make a difference

And that’s the challenge: It’s not about the data – it’s all there if you want it. Everything is to hand, BUT the more hay in the stack, the harder it is finding the needle!

Big Data is exactly that: big, ugly, unforgiving and frustrating. So, how can you slice through the fog? How can you discover your online business KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)?

Last month we covered some important digital marketing KPIs and examples of businesses who’ve got it wrong. Today we’re going to look at how you can find them.

Living in the Real World

We find real world analogies useful when discussing online for two reasons. Firstly, because when we can picture things in our mind’s eye, it becomes easier to make sense of it, and secondly because we need to personalise these clicks, visits, downloads, signups and purchasers. Your stats are REAL PEOPLE, not just pixels.

Picture a shop on a high street where you can just about discover anything and everything about the people in it: where they came from, their purpose for entering, where they go to in the shop, what they pick up from the shelves, whether they look at the prices, ingredients or materials, what size they are, their favourite colours and, ultimately, what they bring to the till to purchase.

With online all of this is possible. Yet if you tried to analyse all the data, you would end up chasing your tail. The large online stores have analytics teams to hand, but for most of us, we need to work smarter. We need to be much more incisive.

Sharpen the Saw for Marketing Optimisation

So, returning to our shop analogy, let’s think about the shop owner, what information would be useful for him. Here’s a list they could start with:

  • Where people came from to the store
  • Whether they are new or repeat visitors
  • What product areas in the shop were popular
  • What stopped people purchasing
  • What people purchased and their motives for doing so
  • What margin was there on the purchases

For each of the six items above, the online business KPIs can be picked up from your website and online marketing.

  • Where they came from: source of business, keywords in analytics and AdWords or Bing, emails and social referrals
  • New or repeat: analytics repeat visitors
  • Popular products: page visits versus traffic
  • Barriers to purchase: funnel exits, cart abandons, unsuccessful searches
  • What people purchased and motives: orders made, cross sells, post sale questionnaires
  • Margin on purchase: your commerce software or Excel spreadsheet

Marketing Optimisation Means Joining the Dots

The last thing to do is then to relate these different online KPIs to each other as taking these items in isolation can lead to the wrong conclusions – for example you may have a very popular product, but it could be because it’s run out stock being sold at a loss.

However, with online you can relate different items to each other. So, if you want an effective means of measuring what visitors really want from your site, then you can do this by isolating just the direct visitors to your website. This filters out promotions (e.g. PPC and Email) and gives you an indication of the ‘latent’ interest in your site, what people go to your site for and what they purchase.

Or how about isolating visitors from an emailshot and comparing their purchasing habits with what was promoted to them in the emailshot? It could be that the main promotion was the most purchased, but equally it may be that it was just a trigger for a visit and then the purchasing was spread across the site.

It’s Not Just About Ecommerce – Every Website Needs KPI Measures

Even if you run a non-ecommerce site, you still need to identify and focus on your own KPIs. If your site generates leads, app downloads, page impressions or audience reach, much of the list above still applies even if the way in which the data applied is different.

If you want to discover your KPIs and improve your digital marketing, then please talk to us and we’ll do our best to help you get the best plans in place for your marketing.