What are KPIs in Marketing? - 21 KPIs to Measure for Success

What are KPIs in Marketing? - 21 KPIs to Measure for Success
KPIs (key performance indicators) provide a unique insight into your marketing performance, enabling you to make data-informed decisions and drive impactful results.

So, let’s unearth the answer to the question “What is a KPI in marketing?” to improve your SEO strategies.

What is a KPI?

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, in the context of marketing, refer to measurable values that help you track, analyze, and identify the effectiveness of your marketing tactics and strategies.

Marketing KPIs serve as a navigation tool, steering your marketing efforts in the right direction. They provide clear, quantifiable metrics which enable you to assess if you're meeting your key business objectives and, if not, guide you in tweaking your tactics to achieve the desired results.

For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, a valid KPI might be the number of new visitors to your website. Alternatively, if your goal is to boost sales, then your conversion rate could be a crucial KPI to monitor.

Why are KPIs Important to Your Marketing Plan?

There's a popular saying in business: "If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it". This statement holds particularly true when it comes to your marketing plan. 

Here's why KPIs are vital to your marketing plan:

🔥 Guide Strategy: Marketing KPIs enable you to decipher which tactics are working and which ones need improvement. By monitoring them regularly, you can make data-driven decisions and shape your marketing strategy accordingly.

🔥 Align Goals: KPIs can align the marketing department’s objectives with the overall business goals, ensuring everyone's efforts contribute to the larger company vision.

🔥 Resource Allocation: By identifying successful marketing channels and techniques, KPIs help in allocating resources more strategically, thereby ensuring cost-effectiveness and improving ROI.

🔥 Performance Evaluation: KPIs act as a scoreboard, providing tangible feedback on whether your marketing efforts are yielding desired outcomes or not. This enables teams to recognize achievements and address shortcomings in a timely manner.

marketing kpis symbolized by arious elements

How Can You Choose the Right Marketing KPIs in 5 Steps?

Not all KPIs work for all businesses. The pick of KPIs significantly depends on your business goals, marketing approach, and industry vertical. 

It's easy to get caught up in measuring everything possible. However, to avoid information overload and to keep your focus sharp, it's critical to choose KPIs that align directly with your marketing goals and provide valuable insights.

The KPIs you choose should be relevant, understandable, actionable, consistent and purposeful.

Here are some steps on how to choose the right marketing KPIs for your strategy:

✔️ Step 1: Identify Your Business Objectives

The first step to selecting the right KPIs involves defining your business goals. Concisely outline what you aim to achieve through your marketing strategy. 

This could be anything from increasing brand awareness, boosting website traffic, improving conversion rates, or enhancing customer retention. 

Being clear about your intentions aids in the selection of KPIs in sync with your goals.

✔️ Step 2: Specify What Success Looks Like

Once you ascertain your objectives, illustrate what success would signify for each goal. 

This creates clear performance standards and facilitates the selection of KPIs that could effectively measure these standards.

✔️ Step 3: Differentiate Between Output, Outcome, and Process KPIs

Before choosing your KPIs, it's critical to distinguish between output, outcome, and process KPIs. 

Output KPIs monitor the completion of actions (like number of blog posts published), outcome KPIs gauge the effectiveness of these actions (like lead generation from blog posts), and process KPIs assess the efficiency of activities (like cost per blog post). 

Identifying these differences help in selecting a comprehensive KPI set which covers all aspects of your marketing.

✔️ Step 4: Assign KPIs to Roles within Your Team

For larger marketing teams, it could be beneficial to assign responsibility for particular KPIs to different team members. 

This ensures direct accountability, encourages ownership, and drives performance improvements.

✔️ Step 5: Review and Refine

Finally, review your KPIs regularly and refine them as required. As your business evolves or as market situations change, your KPIs might need to change too. 

Regular reviews ensure your KPIs remain relevant and continue to drive meaningful performance improvements.

rising rocket on the laptop screen

21 Vital Marketing KPIs and How to Measure Them

Routinely measuring and analyzing marketing KPIs will equip you with a better understanding of your marketing performance and guide your decision-making process

Here are some marketing KPIs that are core to most marketing strategies and how to measure them:

1) Average Engagement Rate

Average engagement rate represents user interaction with your content, be it likes, shares, comments, or clicks. It's a vital KPI to understand how meaningful and engaging your content is for your audience.

Consistent high-quality content will boost your average engagement rate.

🔍 To calculate the average engagement rate, divide total engagement by post impressions (or followers) and multiply by 100. 

average engagement rate formula

2) Backlinks

Backlinks are incoming links from external websites to your site. A higher number of quality backlinks is a positive signal of domain authority and page quality to search engines.

Prioritize acquiring more quality backlinks to strengthen your SEO efforts.

🔍 Use backlink analysis tools like SEOmator’s Free Backlink Checker Tool to keep track of your backlinks.

3) Click-Through Rate

Shifting focus to engagement, the Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of users who click on your content or ad after viewing it. A higher CTR suggests that your content or copy is resonating with the audience.

🔍 The formula to calculate CTR is straightforward: divide the total number of clicks by the total number of impressions and multiply by 100.

click through rate formula

4) Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is arguably the most vital KPI as it signifies the percentage of visitors who took the desired action (like filling a form, signing up, or making a purchase) after visiting your website or landing page.

🔍 Measure conversion rates by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of visitors and multiply by 100. Use tools like Google Analytics to track your conversion rate and identify areas to enhance your website for higher conversions.

conversion rate formula

5) Cost Per Acquisition

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) measures the cost to acquire a paying customer. It's an essential KPI in determining if your investment in customer acquisition is justified by the revenue these customers generate.

Aim for a lower CPA to ensure a higher profitability margin.

🔍 Compute CPA by dividing the total costs associated with acquisition by the total number of new customers.

cost per acquisition formula

6) Cost Per Click

Cost Per Click (CPC) measures how much you pay each time a user clicks on your paid advertisement. It's an integral metric in determining the financial feasibility of your PPC campaigns and their potential ROI.

Continually review and optimize your CPC strategy to ensure it aligns with your budget and potential returns.

🔍 Most advertising platforms, including Google Ads and Facebook Ads, provide tools to calculate the CPC automatically.

cost per click formula

7) Cost Per Lead

Cost Per Lead (CPL) calculates the average cost incurred for each customer lead. By balancing the quality and quantity of the leads generated, it helps optimize your lead generation strategy.

Aim for a lower CPL while ensuring the quality of leads.

🔍 Measure CPL by dividing the total cost spent on lead generation efforts by the total number of leads obtained.

cost per lead formula

8) Cost Per Mille

Cost Per Mille (CPM) or Cost Per Thousand Impressions is widely used in the advertising space, especially digital. It reflects the cost of one thousand impressions (views) of your ad.

A low CPM paired with high user engagement signals effective ad campaigns.

🔍 Track CPM using your chosen ad platform.

cost per mille formula

9) Customer Acquisition Cost

CAC is the average amount of money spent to acquire a new customer, which includes all marketing and sales costs associated with the conversion process. Lower CAC indicates efficient marketing and a faster ROI.

Periodical tracking of CAC is significant for budgeting, financial forecasting, and pricing decisions.

🔍 Calculate CAC by dividing your total marketing and sales expense by the number of new customers acquired in a specific period.

customer acquisition cost formula

10) Customer Leads

Customer leads are potential customers who have shown interest in your products or services. They form the lifeline of any sales funnel and are paramount to growing your customer base.

The goal is to increase leads while maintaining their quality over time.

🔍 To track customer leads, leverage your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or your analytics platform.

11) Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) represents the total revenue a business expects from a single customer account. It emphasizes the importance of nurturing happy, long-term relationships with your customers.

Focus on strategies that enhance customer loyalty to increase CLTV.

🔍 To calculate CLTV, multiply the average purchase value by average purchase frequency times and the average customer lifespan.

customer lifetime value formula

12) Follower Count

Follower count refers to the number of individuals who follow your social media accounts. It's not just a vanity metric; a higher follower count also improves your brand visibility and reach on social media platforms.

Engage actively on social platforms to organically grow your follower count.

🔍 Monitor your follower count using native social media analytics tools.

13) Impressions

Impressions mark the number of times your marketing content or advertisement was displayed to a user, regardless of whether it was clicked or interacted with. It offers a preliminary insight into your brand's potential reach.

High impressions indicate visibility, but don't necessarily imply engagement or conversions.

🔍 To track impressions, leverage platform-specific analytics, like Search Console for websites, Facebook Insights for social media, or Google Ads for pay-per-click campaigns.

total impression numbers on search console

14) Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings refer to the positions your website ranks for specific keywords in the search engine results. Higher rankings improve online visibility, increasing organic traffic to your site.

Try to rank higher for relevant and high-traffic keywords for better results.

🔍 Use SEO tools like SEOmator to monitor your keyword rankings

SEOmator dashboard to use for monitoring organic ranks

15) Open Rate

Open rate is a measure of how many recipients open the emails you send out. It's a direct reflection of how well your email subject lines are resonating with your audience.

Continually optimize your email strategy for better open rates.

🔍 To calculate open rate, divide the number of opened emails by the number of sent emails.

open rate formula

16) Organic Sessions

Organic sessions are the website visits that result from users clicking on a link in an organic search engine result. It's an essential indicator of your website's SEO performance.

Continually improving SEO strategies will yield a higher number of organic sessions.

🔍 Google Analytics can track the number of organic sessions.

sessions metric on Google Analytics

17) Return on Advertising Spend

Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) calculates the effectiveness of your paid marketing campaigns. It allows you to determine which ad channels work best so you can allocate your ad budgets wisely.

A high ROAS implies efficient and profitable ad spend.

🔍 To calculate ROAS, divide the total ad revenue by the total ad cost.

return on advertising spend formula

18) Return on Investment

Return on Investment, or ROI, evaluates the profitability of your marketing efforts. 

It determines whether your investment in a specific marketing channel, campaign, or strategy is paying off.

🔍 The formula to quantify ROI is: subtract the total cost of the marketing effort from the total revenue generated by it, divide the result by the total cost, and then multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

return on investment formula

19) Return on Marketing Investment

Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) assesses the profitability of your marketing investments. It provides a comprehensive measure of marketing success beyond just sales numbers.

Endeavor for a high ROMI as it indicates strong marketing efforts.

🔍 Calculate ROMI similar to ROI but take into account only market-specific costs and revenue.

return on marketing investment formula

20) Search Engine Rankings

Search engine rankings denote where your website or web page appears in search engine results for specific keywords or phrases. Higher rankings increase visibility, boost organic traffic, and improve brand credibility.

Regularly monitor changes in your rankings, understand what's causing any shifts, and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.

🔍 To measure search engine rankings, use tools like SEOmator’s Free Google SERP Rank Checker.

SEOmator's free serp checker tool

21) Subscribers

Subscribers represent the number of individuals who have opted to receive updates from your brand, be it via newsletters, blogs, or social media updates. Subscribers are a captive audience and a vital source of recurring engagement.

Strive to continually grow your subscriber numbers through authentic engagement and high-quality content.

🔍 Monitor your subscriber list using email marketing tools. 

Final Thoughts

KPIs are not just dry, number-crunching metrics. Instead, they form the very backbone of your marketing strategies. 

Choosing the right KPIs is a pivotal aspect of a sound marketing strategy. It requires thought, analysis, and constant fine-tuning. However, when you hit the nail on the head, it can provide priceless insights, drive decision-making, and translate marketing efforts into quantifiable business results. 

So, establish clear KPI goals, avoid overload, leverage automation tools, review regularly and adjust accordingly.

Marketing is a mix of science and art. While KPIs provide the scientific analysis, the art lies in creatively designing and executing strategies that strike a chord with your audience!

🔍 You might also want to read:

- SEO Forecasting in 7 Steps with Case Studies

- How to Find Your SERP Competitors

- Crawl Depth: What Is It & How to Make It More Efficient