7 minute read

Receiving hundreds or thousands of likes on Facebook is exciting, right? Other things such as an increase in web page views or comments on your blog post are also positive, right? While these are definitely good in terms of feedback for your marketing team, but these are most likely not what your boss actually cares about or wants to waste time discussing.

There are plenty of digital marketing metrics today, like total form fills or how many links your website has that your boss doesn’t necessarily need to hear about. They’re still important for you to measure as a way to determine what’s working best and which marketing strategies to use, but you don’t really need to talk to your boss about it unless it relates to engaging customer interactions and sales. So, let us take a look at some key digital marketing metrics from your boss’s perspective.

Certain metrics are going to matter to you more than others, depending on what your marketing role is. Tracking blog posts’ and social share numbers will give a better idea of the kind of content that is more “shareable” than others — but your boss is much more interested in metrics like conversions and qualified leads. So while it’s still good to measure social shares, they probably don’t have a place in the more analytical reports you have to present to your boss. We have added these twelve useless digital marketing metrics below (with help from our partners at Hubspot) to help you determine which ones you should bring to your boss, and which are ones you should keep to yourself.


Website Metrics

1) Page View

If one of your pages is getting significantly more views than others, your boss will want to know about it. Generally, you can leave individualized page views out of your more detailed reports.

While the number of views on your page is a good thing, it could be a little misleading in that maybe your viewer could be revisiting your page because they’re having a difficulty time navigating your page or confused with the information you are trying to relay. These factors would make it a bad engagement, not positive.

Your boss wants to hear about how page views turn clicks into actions, such as form completions into marketing qualified leads.


2) Time Duration Spent on Page

What is a “good” or “bad” amount of time that should be spent on your website?

Someone could spend a lot of time on a web page because they’re really interested in the content, or they could spend a lot of time on a web page because they got interrupted and never closed down their browser. The time spent on a web page is hard to measure because of these factors, therefore, it may not be an accurate way of determining potential customers. For these reasons, this may not be what your boss wants to hear unless actions are being taken like watching a video or you have an app and constant engagement is a goal.


Online Marketing Campaign Metrics

3) Digital Ad Display Click Impressions

Studies done by ANA showed that web ad purchases by 36 major U.S. brands were traced between August & September 2014 found that 11% of online display ads and 23% of video ads aren’t even displayed to actual people (robots were viewing the ads, not humans).

This study proves that the accurate number of interested customers is hard to measure, due in part to the increasing number of spammers and robots that are online posing as real people. This will not give you a correct number of potential customers; therefore, this number alone will not be what your boss will be looking for. Instead, they will want to look for which clicks turn into a purchase, or at least a step toward a purchase. Focusing on those numbers can help you improve your advertisement spending — a number your boss definitely wants to hear about.


4) Total Form Completions

The total number of web form completions aren’t great indicators of how well your landing pages or forms are doing. You’ll still want to keep track of the total forms completed (and giving a negative score to the spam ones), but your boss will probably care more about the number of marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads (ultimately customers) who come out of each landing page. These numbers are a better indication of which landing pages are “successful” and which needs to be revised; or even how to better qualify a lead.


Blogging Metrics

5) Social Media Shares

While viewing your likes and shares, you may say, “Wow, look at all these likes and shares”, but also keep in mind that people can easily share posts without ever opening up to view your page.

So, while it’s important for you to know which types of content are more likely to be shared on your social media platform, your boss is more interested in your posts’ reach and the leads they generated, which give you a better idea of how many people are actually reading and engaging with your content.


6) Comments

Your boss will likely want to see all of the comments from your blog, the good and the bad. These comments will reflect on how the general public perceives your company as a whole and will then, in turn, show your boss what areas are satisfactory and what areas may need improvements. However, the total number of comments may not be all that important to measure as a whole. For example, let’s say you have zero comments, but you are generating a lot of leads and purchases, then you have a successful blog. Keep in mind, blog post commenting settings can be set to close off comments after x amount of days.


Search Engine Optimization Metrics

7) Number of Inbound Links

The links coming to your website from another website are a big part of helping your website rank higher in search engine results, however, your boss cares less about the number of inbound links to your site, and more about the results that the number of inbound links has on search ranking.

Your boss will want to know the answers to these questions. How is the number of inbound links helping our website increase its ranking for certain keywords? Is the percentage of the true website visits and conversions increasing over time? Those are the digital metrics your boss actually cares about because link-building schemes or low-quality links can actually hurt your rankings in Google or Bing.


Email Marketing Metrics

8) Open Rate

This should always be measured because as an emailing marketer, you want to be able to engage with your customers through emails. The open rate is mostly the indicator of a successful subject line and the trustworthiness of the source who sent it. The open rate can be a bit misleading though, in that an email is only counted as “opened” if the recipient also receives the images within in the email, but a lot of email users have image-blocking enabled on their email client. So even if they open the email, they wouldn’t be included in your open rate. Also, if someone opens your email only in order to mark it as read or spam, this would count as open, even though it wasn’t even read. That means your reported open rate is usually a little off from the real number. The click-through rate is a better email metric to report on.


9) Unsubscribe Rate

Minimizing the unsubscribe rate should be a good thing, right? I can be, but also something is to keep in mind is that recipients now are simply choosing to ignore emails they don’t want to read, rather than taking the action of actually unsubscribing. Also, with the knowledge of hackers and spreading viruses via links clicked, people rather not click on any links at all. The unsubscribe rate should be notified to your boss if the number is higher than usual.

What your boss will be more concerned about will be the subscription rate and the number of new contacts that actually engage and will help the growth of your business over time.


Social Media Metrics

10) Facebook Page Likes

It certainly looks good to your boss, your company, and your audience when you have a lot of Facebook likes on your business page. According to Kissmetrics however, only 1% of Facebook likes to a business page will actually return to that page again. So generally, people liking the site will not go back and engage in the content unless it shows up in their news feed.

The amount of people that are engaging with your Facebook content is the number your boss will want to see.


11) Twitter Impressions

Impressions from Twitter do not give you an accurate method of measuring the number of meaningful actions. It is measured by how many times your tweet was displayed, regardless of whether someone clicks on it or engaged with it. They’re still being counted as impressions on those tweets. Again, your boss will care more about the engagement metrics such as click-through rate.


Product Marketing Metrics

12) Total Registered Users

Total users tell you how many people are registered to a particular service or app. However, this number, as a whole will include all of the active users and inactive users such as the people who tried it and may not have liked it. It is hard to determine.

While the total registered number of users is important to keep track of, the number of active users is a more meaningful measurement or how big or popular your service or app is.


So What Have We Learned?

Concentrating on the right digital marketing metrics will help not only your marketing team reach it’s goals, but also show your value to the boss while keeping them happy.

What digital marketing metrics do you and your boss want to hear about? Please let us know by commenting below.
If you would like to learn more about the most important marketing metrics, with formulas, examples, and what to do with the result check out our eBook and Cheat Sheet below.



eBook & Cheat Sheet - 6 Most Important Marketing Metrics For A Boss