If you’ve sat in on a sales or marketing meeting, you are probably familiar with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), conversion rate, or ROAs (Return on Advertising Spend). These are all metrics that businesses use to assess how well they are performing. When it comes to business growth, a business often turns to their marketing and sales team. With the rise of ecommerce and technology, digital marketing plays a huge role in how a business meets the demands of today’s modern world.

There are many metrics to track and assess how successful a business is doing when it comes to their digital marketing efforts. In fact, 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one. It can become confusing for any business to know which metrics to focus in on and track for impactful business growth and success. For long-term business growth, having an internal or external marketing expert equipped with the right tools and training to assess metrics is an asset for businesses of any size. Here are some important digital marketing KPIs for businesses wanting to expand clientele, revenue, and brand awareness.

Need to Know Digital Marketing Metrics

While there are many lists online claiming they have the “ultimate list” of digital marketing metrics, it is not a one size fits all strategy. What determines the key metrics a business needs to track is their goals. Does the business want more eyes on their website? More followers on social media? More click-throughs on their email campaigns?

For example, if a business is trying to grow their Twitter followers and wants to invest some funding into paid advertising, they would want to track KPIs such as follower growth, profile visits, video content performance, mentions, and engagement rate. All the previously mentioned metrics fall under the organic social media metric category. Other measurable metric categories include:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Website Content  
  • Paid Social Media
  • Email Marketing

As the business grows and evolves, the metrics will, too. What is important to track in the early stages of a young business will be less important to track five years down the road, as more resources are available to invest in paid advertising, SEO, and SEM.

SEO and Website Content Metrics

“I don’t know, google it?” is a common phrase in 2021, and Google is a necessary place for businesses to market themselves to stay relevant. The mighty search engine, Google, accounted for almost 75% of all desktop searches during 2019, and shows no signs of slowing down. Not to mention, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.

Marketers who are trained and experienced in the tools, trends, and data analysis are more in demand than ever. Here are some of the SEO KPIs they focus on and questions they ask:

Search Traffic

Is the website optimized?

How are the new visitors and return visitors similar and different?

What are the most visited pages?

What are the demographics of each visitor?

Session Behavior

Can the user experience be improved?

How long does each visitor spend on each page?

How long does the average website session last?

What do visitors click on the most?

Bounce Rate

Why did the visitor leave on a certain page of this website?

Exit Rate

Where did the visitor lose interest in the website content after clicking on a link to “learn more”?


How many other websites consider the business a subject matter expert and link to the website?

Keyword Rankings

What words and keywords pull the business’s audience into the website and how do they rank?


Within the search engine, where does the business website fall in relevance and importance?

How a business is represented on a search engine is critical to their success. Google rewards websites with low bounce rates and better rankings, so it’s in every business’s best interest to invest in SEO best practices and website optimization.

Tips to reduce website bounce rate:

  • Ensure the website is responsive
  • Utilize high quality visuals and interactive content
  • Check readability (line spacing, font, easy to understand language, etc.)

Social Media Metrics

Organic social media is an excellent way for new and established businesses to share their brand story, engage with their audience, and release timely information. Organic social media is free content without any paid promotion and paid social media is content influenced by advertising dollars.

According to the 2021 Sprout Social Index, 78% of consumers are willing to buy from a company after having a positive experience with them on social and 55% of consumers learn about new brands on social. While there is no question that regular and quality content is an investment, it is a worthwhile one.

Here are some examples of social media metrics:

Engagement rate: This trust-building KPI is measured by likes, shares, comments and reactions. Engagement is how the content is resonating with the audience.

Follower Count: How many people have bought-in to the brand enough to follow, like, or subscribe? This KPI tracks how many people are joining into the social community of the brand across various platforms. Keep in mind that having 2k followers that never engage with the brand’s content isn’t an example of a quality audience. Much like life in the real world, meaningful connections are always best, and it takes time to grow an audience.

Impressions: This metric is all about impact of the brand and is the number of times content has been shown on a newsfeed or a persons’ timeline. The greater this number is, the better it is for the brand as it means more and more people agree the content is relevant.

Reach: This KPI measures how many eyes have seen the brand’s content through their news feed, or because a common connection interacted with the brand on social media.

Share of Voice (SOV): This thought-leadership focused KPI targets how much attention the brand has compared to those of its competitors. All brands want to be thought of as the expert in the service or product they are providing, and this is a way to monitor how many people are mentioning the brand on social.

Web traffic from social media: Last but certainly not least! The web traffic metric is probably one of the more important social metrics to track as it shows how many people are clicking on the call to action within the social media content and choosing to learn more or purchase through the brand’s website. The goal of most social media content will be to drive traffic to the website.

Content Tip: Post the right balance of educational and promotional content so the audience has more of a reason to interact with the content and click through to the brand website.

#4 Email Marketing Metrics

Marketing emails with scroll-stopping subject lines, compelling call to actions, and enticing graphics fill billions of inboxes every day. And for good reason, 90% of professionals check their personal email at least every few hours and 78% of teenagers use email for communication purposes. Email isn’t limited by social channel and directs traffic directly to the business website. The number of worldwide email users is expected to grow to more than 4.3 billion by the end of 2023. Depending on the goal of the email and if the intention is to welcome a new customer or communicate with stakeholders on quarterly updates with a newsletter, email is a great way to keep new and established clients updated with business news and promotions.

Here are some marketing email KPIs:

Open rate: This tracks the percentage of subscribers who open a specific email. Open rate tells gives the business insight into how engaged their subscribers are, as well as how effective different subject lines are.

Click through rate (CTR): This metric measures how many subscribers clicked on the links in email distributed. For example, an email campaign’s goal might be to promote free demos to subscribers who have not signed up for their service. A link in that email would direct to the business’s website to sign up for a free demo as any website visitor would. The CTR would track how many subscribers clicked through to the demo page on the website.

Conversion rate: While the CTR measures how many people clicked the link in the email, the conversion rate will assess how many people clicked on the link and then completed a specific action. Using the example above, the conversion rate would track how many subscribers from the email signed up for a demo on the website.

Bounce rate: This KPI measures how many subscribers didn’t receive the email. Soft bounces track temporary problems with email addresses and hard bounces track permanent problems with email addresses.

Number of unsubscribes: Unsubscribes can seem like a negative sign for any email list, however a refined and segmented email list is always the main goal for any business. This metric allows businesses to keep their list updated with any subscriber that wants to be removed from their list.

Tip to increase open rates: Avoid sending emails on Mondays or Fridays. Tuesdays are best!

Improve Your ROI on Marketing by Adding Smarketing to Your Team!

Successful digital marketing implementation and detailed analysis is a huge undertaking for any small to medium sized business. The metrics described above are a few among the many that empower businesses to pivot plans if needed to avoid wasting resources and make informed decisions that drive business forward. Adding Smarketing to your team will be your secret weapon in digital marketing, website optimization, and brand elevation. With Smarketing’s analytical experts by your side, you will be guided on a goal-oriented digital marketing plan that makes the most out of every investment. Our interactive heat map through our specialized email marketing technology allows us to see exactly where subscribers are clicking on every email you send out. Experience the Smarketing difference and contact us today to transform your digital marketing strategy!