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The 23 digital marketing KPIs we track for every client account, every month

The 23 digital marketing KPIs we track for every client account

It’s rough trying to evaluate which agency is the best fit for your brand, when the term “digital marketing’’ itself is so broad that people can be talking about completely different things when they hear it.

So in the interests of helping you get to know us – and on the way, sharing a tool you might find useful – here are the 23 “top level” digital marketing KPIs we track for each of our client accounts.

And if you’d like to do this yourself for free, you can make a copy of the template here (no email required).

Let’s go …

When you look after the health of your website by eliminating errors and reducing warnings, it contributes to stronger organic rankings and better user experience.

1. Site health score

Paying attention to the health of your site in terms of errors and warnings is one aspect of providing a good user experience for your customers. This contributes to a healthier conversion rate for your site.

Start by fixing the errors, then address the warnings. 

SEMRush has a helpful article on that here.

By publishing four blogs each month we are helping our clients' sites "seed" organic traffic growth.

2. Number of blogs published

We built 4 blog posts/month into our package so that our clients seed long term organic traffic growth into their site. The concept is that once Google’s system recognises the site as an authority on a topic, the site will rank better in Search. 

Those who dive deep into the world of niche sites will see that some site owners publish daily, or even many times per day.

Our clients’ resources sit comfortably with the 4 blogs/month cadence, and we find the “hockey stick” traffic growth kicks in at about the 18-month mark. (Although, you can click through here to see where we achieved significant growth in just 12 weeks). In the meantime, we use the blogs we publish as a topic to vary up email campaign subjects, to run to warm audiences in paid ads (we often see very high ROAS on those) and they can be repurposed for other platforms too.

It’s also a safeguard to make sure nothing gets missed in our weekly schedule of work for clients … knowing those blogs are going out on time helps keep other aspects moving.

It can get a little addictive seeing the number of page views grow for a site, month on month. Monitoring this is one way we keep track of organic traffic growth and revenue per thousand impressions, for our agency clients' sites.

3. Number of page views

Keeping tabs on the growth each month helps keep the team motivated. It also helps us see the impact of any Google updates that can hit site traffic. Sites generally recover, but if alterations need to be made it’s an early signal.

This metric is also used in calculating RPM (Revenue per Mille, or thousand page impressions). 

Publishers use it to measure display ad revenue.

We use it as a sounding-board to gauge quality of traffic in light of purchases, simply dividing revenue by page views, and multiplying by 1000.

A new website "session" for a user starts after 30 minutes of inactivity, or at midnight.

4. Number of sessions

This is different to page views, as one session may contain a number of page views.

It also differs from Users, as one user may create a number of sessions.

A new session starts after 30 minutes of inactivity, or at midnight.

We track sessions because it’s a useful metric against page views (your Google Analytics account will also show you the average number of page views per session, and time on site).

Make sure to track how many users' sessions on your brand's website initiated an "Add to Cart" event, so that you can measure KPIs through the customer journey.

5. Number of sessions Add to Cart

We track, from the sessions, how many instances of “Add to Cart” events are initiated, so that we can calculate it as a percentage.

6. Percentage of sessions Add to Cart

Expressing the number of Add to Cart instances from sessions as a percentage allows us to see how the website is “earning its keep” according to the KPIs we like to see. If the percentage is too low we can make recommendations to the client on where conversion optimization work should be done.

Our goal for a website is to see 11% of sessions initiating an “Add to Cart” event.

7. Number of sessions Initiating Checkout

Initiate Checkout is the next step in the buying process, where people have added products to their cart and are starting to buy. It’s in the checkout process that we capture contact details, so if they don’t finish their purchase, they are followed up via email.

Seeing this metric from Google Analytics 4 lets us cross-check our email flows, for volume.

8. Percentage of sessions Initiating Checkout

Expressing the number of checkouts initiated as a percentage allows us to monitor the KPIs for this part of the site conversion. By breaking it apart in this way, clients can work with their web developer on this exact part of the process so that more people complete their purchases.

Website conversion optimization can bring significant extra revenue with the same ad spend.

The issue, without these metrics, is that brand owners don’t know where to begin.

9. Number of sales

Simple. How many sales were made in this period across all channels? For our agency clients, this typically includes Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, Tik Tok, Email and Organic.

10. Percentage of Initiate Checkout events that complete the Purchase 

Yes … you’ve got it … expressing the number of purchases as a percentage allows us to monitor the KPIs for this part of the purchase process. If people are starting to check out and not completing their purchase, what needs to be fixed on the checkout page to help them buy?

11. RPM

Thinking about the number of page views in light of actual sales, RPM (Revenue per Mille) allows us to keep an eye on fluctuations and gauge traffic quality.
To calculate RPM, simply divide revenue/page views and multiply by 1000.

12. Average order value

Pull this from the website dashboard, or Google Analytics 4. If your average order value is dropping, think about what factors could be influencing that. Are there products with sizes out of stock? Is it a product affected by tougher economic conditions? What can you do to see that AOV increase? 

Immediate options can include sending traffic to your higher-priced options first (if they want to spend less, make people click around for it), offering bundles, or offering incentives such as free shipping above a certain threshold of purchase.

13. Revenue

Nice and clear. What money came in this month? (Tip: if there are a higher than usual level of refunds, find out why. If the refund level is “usual”, think about what can be done to lower it anyway.)

14. Ad spend: Facebook

Take this straight from the Facebook Ad Account.

One business owner who recently started with us was a little horrified to realise more was spent than she realized. Because she looked at her bank statements only, she didn’t know there was more ad spend accruing in the ad account for that period.

15. ROAS: Facebook

Take this straight from the Facebook Ad Account, unless you’re using one of those fancy plugins that try to help track better than Facebook’s reporting. The key is to decide on one “single source of truth” and stick to that for consistency.

16. Ad spend: Google

Take this right from the Google Ad account.

17. ROAS: Google

Calculate from the revenue shown in your Google Ads Account, divided by the spend.

18. Ad spend: TikTok

Take this straight from your TikTok ad account.

For WooCommerce and Shopify, it's simple to calculate return on ad spend because the tracking works nicely. For one of our clients using Mindbody that has nowhere to implement the tracking code, there's a little more involved.

19. ROAS: TikTok

Depending on your setup, you might be able to get this straight from TikTok, or need to calculate it. Some clients use Google Analytics 4 to determine which sales came from TikTok. Others can see attribution in their website dashboard. Still others, such as one client we have who uses Mindbody for bookings, at this stage has to look at overall revenue and ask clients, as they come into her spa, where they first heard of her business. We’re working on stitching some tracking together for this and will update asap.

We ensure that we account for ad spend across each channel for our clients, every month. Presenting it as a total as well as in segments allows us to create the eROAS figure for the client.

20. Total ad spend

Self-explanatory – add it all up … make sure to catch it all. 😉

Some agencies refer to this KPI as MER, others to eROAS (we think Depesh Mandalia may have coined the second option.so h/t there).

21. eROAS 

This is where you can account for all the fluctuations, with each platform claiming “rights” for sales and none of them being completely accurate. Simply take your total revenue, divide it by your total ad spend, to get your estimated return on ad spend (some marketers call this MER, or Marketing Efficiency Ratio).

While return on ad spend is important, we keep our agency fees top of mind when calculating our clients' return on investment.

22. Agency fee

We keep this in mind every day, to make sure we’re bringing genuine value to each client.

As well as taking ad spend into account, it is important for us to track clients' revenue after our agency fees.

23. Revenue after agency fee and ad spend

The truth moment. After all marketing activities, what’s the “dollars in hand” for the client?

You may notice there are no email marketing KPIs on this list. We track those for each weekly update for clients so that they can see the revenue come in, and measure the effectiveness of campaigns and flows. Our goal is >25% (because that’s average, and we want to be better than average) with our top to date being 48%. Beware though – depending on your business model, too high a percentage can mean something is off. The 48% came when one client’s Facebook ad account was inactive, so we were keen to get it moving again fast.

Same with paid campaigns. Each of our clients’ paid ad campaigns have their own set of KPIs at every level.

The blend of sales we aim for, for every client

Ideally, we like to see about 30% of sales from paid and influencer campaigns because we know we’re driving the right kind of people to the site, fast.

Then we want to see about 30% from email marketing.

And 30% from organic, via our SEO and blog posting.

The rest? Sales from organic posts are good and customers often refer their friends.

Over to you …

Are your marketing KPIs in a healthy place?

These are top-line numbers for each aspect we cover. They bring a great “at a glance” opportunity for us to know where we need to drill down further.

Think of incremental improvements like compounding interest. Each aspect may not move the needle in a big way overnight, but a few percentage points here and there will add up to significant revenue improvements over a year.

Whenever you’re ready, we can help improve your marketing systems.