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Digital Marketing Analytics: Metrics You Need to Know as a Business Owner

As a business owner, you keep track of a lot of moving pieces such as product inventory, when to post on social media, shipping details, and the list goes on! 

One of those moving pieces is digital marketing analytics. Digital marketing analytics are how you track the performance of various marketing campaigns across your digital channels like Instagram, your website, newsletter, and more. But with all that data to consider, it’s sometimes hard to understand which metrics are the most effective to track. 

In this blog post, we’ll break down the most important digital marketing analytics to pay attention to so you’re making the most effective content decisions for your business. Let’s get started! 

Why Are Digital Marketing Analytics Important? 

Digital marketing analytics can be tricky, especially if you’re not quite sure what you’re supposed to be looking for what to do with the data. But the good thing is, there’s a lot of data to choose from and each specific metric tells a different story. Not only do digital marketing analytics track your performance, but they also serve as a guide to figuring out what you might need to do differently in order to serve your customers and community better. Studying your analytics on social, web, and email can lead to increased sales, engagement, and follower growth. 

As a business owner, the most important channels to pay attention to are the ones you have. Here we’ll break down the 3 topmost used channels business owners use: 

  • Email Newsletters 
  • Websites
  • Social Media Channels (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Twitter) 

#1 Email Newsletters Analytics 

Open Rate
  • What it is: Open Rate is the percentage of newsletter subscribers/customers who opened your cold email out of the total number of subscribers it was sent to. Open rate can improve and decline over time and it’s important to monitor it for each email. Your email's subject line, subscriber list, and the time the newsletter was sent can determine open rates. 
  • Your Opportunity: Consider all factors that could affect your open rate.  For example, the subject line; if your subject line isn't catchy enough to pique interest. Girlboss writes amazing subject lines that immediately make the reader open the newsletter to find out what they're referring to. They're "open-baity." Also, consider timing. If your customers are mostly moms then sending emails on the weekend or in the mornings might not be the best time to send out an email newsletter. 
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • What it is: CTR is the percentage of people who clicked on at least one link in your email. To calculate it you must divide the number of people who clicked the link by the total number of successful deliveries and multiply that number by 100. 
  • Your Opportunity: Make sure your email is easy to read and digestible. Does it match your branding? Are the links correct and are the call-to-action (CTA) buttons clear and to the point?
Conversion Rate
  • What it is: Conversion rate is the percentage of people who completed an action after reading your email. For example, if you asked them to take advantage of a promotion or purchase a new product in the newsletter and they did, then that’s a conversion.
  • Your Opportunity: You can hyperlink certain text or create CTA buttons that prompt readers to do something like “download now” or “sign up."
Bounce Rate
  • What it is: Bounce rate measures the percentage of emails that get sent back to you because the email can’t reach a subscriber.
  • Your Opportunity:  Ways to improve bounce rate is by updating your subscriber list to make sure your email newsletter is only going to valid emails or add a subscribe now window to your website for people to add correct emails to your subscriber list. 
Number of Unsubscribers
  • What it is: The number of people who unsubscribe from your email newsletter list after receiving your newsletter.
  • Your Opportunity: A lot of unsubscribers can be discouraging. However, it helps finetune your email list and ensures your email is only getting sent to people who want to read it and who are more likely to take action.

#2 Website Metrics 

Number of Visitors
  • What it is: The number of visitors represents how many people are visiting your website. 
  • Your Opportunity: There are a number of ways to improve website traffic, but a few simple ways are by advertising, writing a clear call-to-action on all of your content, making sure your links work, and more. For example, on Instagram, all accounts are allowed to use the link sticker which is available via Instagram Stories. This is an easy way to lead people to your website to read a blog post or check out a product, or promo code. 

Related: How to Add A Link to Instagram Stories Using Link Stickers

Bounce Rate
  • What it is: Bounce rate represents people leaving a webpage after finding it from search engine results. This happens when they realize what they were searching for isn’t on your website so they leave or “bounce.” A high bounce rate can affect your SEO rankings due to the fact that Google or other search engines don’t think what’s on your website is valuable. 
  • Your Opportunity: Write valuable content on your blog using keyword targeting to meet users' search intent. 
Session Duration
  • What it is: Session duration calculates how long people are spending on your website or page. The more clicks they make, the higher the session average will be. And that means the people on your website are likely interested in your content or products.
  • Your Opportunity: Update content so it's relevant. Whenever there's a new update on your website, like product inventory, make sure customers are aware when they get to your site. Add rich media like beautiful imagery for people to continue scrolling through and enjoying your website. 

#3 Social Media Metrics 

  • What it is: Reach is the total number of unique people who see your content. The higher your reach, the more eyes on your posts! 
PLANOLY Pro-Tip: Check out our best times to post feature that analyzes when your audience is most active on Instagram, so you post at the best time. 
  • What it is: Impressions are how many times a post shows up on a timeline. 
  • Your Opportunity: Post evergreen content (content that is timeless) like how your product solves a problem. Create funny memes that are shareable and will encourage engagement. The more shares you get on a post, the more potential of someone seeing it. 
  • What it is: Engagement is an umbrella metric. It can be broken down into the following categories: Individual engagement metrics, engagement rate percentage, account mentions.
  • Your Opportunity: Likes, comments, shares, and clicks are individual engagement metrics for single posts. For example, likes or retweets add up and can vary between posts. These sort of metrics can show you what type of content your audience gravitates towards. However, they can also be affected by the time of day. Engagement rate percentage is calculated by totaling the number of likes, comments, and saves on a post then dividing that number by your follower count. A high rate shows that your audience is interested in your content. But these rates can be specific to account size and following so don't compare your engagement rates to big brands (yet) because they're on a totally different playing field. Try to find brands that are similar in size to your brand.

Account mentions are when accounts mention your brands in a post. Organic mentions are when they're unprompted and this signals that you have good brand awareness.

Instagram Engagement Rate = [(Likes + Comments + Saves) / Followers] x 100

Related: Instagram Engagement Rates: Do More Followers Lead to Better Engagement?

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How to Monitor and Maintain Your Digital Marketing Analytics

To continue improving your digital marketing metrics, consider various factors that could be affecting the above metrics. Consider your industry, target audience, and when they'd most likely want to receive a newsletter. On social media look at posts, and see what type of content is getting the most engagement. Conduct A/B testing. A/B testing two versions of the same newsletter to see which one the audience responds to best. This can help you decide which changes worked and which didn't. 

To get a headstart on your social media metrics for Instagram, try out our analytics feature, PLANOLY analyze, which provides you with premium Instagram analytics. 

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Carrie Boswell

Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

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