It’s easy to go down an inbound marketing rabbit hole with the quantity and accessibility of data available today. A combination of Hubspot and Google Analytics alone can lead to hours of investigation into who is doing what on your site.
Before spending hours or days analyzing every data point, think about the reason behind inbound marketing in the first place, which is to get more leads and sales. By focusing on your end goal, you can spend time on the metrics that are most important to your marketing success and avoid getting lost in a black hole of data.
Let’s say you need to make $100k in sales from your website to justify your inbound marketing spend. Each client you bring in is $50k and you need at least 10 sales qualified leads (SQLs) to close one client. In order to get those SQLs, you need at least 50 marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
1. The RIGHT Website Traffic
By backing into your end goal, you can see the first metric to focus on is site traffic. Boosting site traffic through blogging, influencer marketing and social interaction will get you started in the right direction. An increase in website traffic will improve your number of leads and ultimately sale, as long as it’s the RIGHT traffic.
Many SEO and marketing companies advise on creating constant, low-quality content to get a quick fix on a traffic boost, which is like ordering content off a fast food value menu. It might taste good in the short term, but doesn’t provide the nutritional value your website really needs.
In reality, an increase in visitors only equates to profit if you are getting the RIGHT traffic to your site. Here are the sub metrics to review to make sure you are getting the right traffic to meet your goals.
- Time on page – If time on page is improving; your content is speaking to your visitors.
- Pages/Session – If your content is properly optimized with links and calls to action it will deliver a great user experience that keeps people engaged.
- Bounce Rate – Are people finding you in organic search for specific phrases, but quickly leaving? If so, it’s time to evaluate your SEO strategy to make sure it aligns with getting the right traffic to your site.
2. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate, in simplest terms, is the ratio between the number of visitors to your website and the number of visitors who take some predefined action. The conversion rates to focus on tracking for your inbound marketing success are conversions that turn into leads. These can range from:
- Visitors who provide contact information in exchange for a gated guide or eBook.
- Visitors who fill out a Request a Consult form.
- Visitors who go direct to your Contact page and ask to speak to a sales rep.
In the example we are working from, you will need 5% of the 1,000 monthly visitors to take action and “convert” into a lead to reach the goal of 50 marketing qualified leads. As you increase the number conversion opportunities available to visitors, you increase your chances of getting a visitor to take action. You can test out the conversion rate needed to meet your goals by using Hubspot’s inbound marketing calculator.
3. Quality of Conversion / Close Rate
An increase in leads alone may tell you that you’re offering interesting content that people want to learn more about, but it’s important to look deeper and see if those are the people who eventually turn into a client or sale. By looking at your close rate, you have a good sense of the quality of each lead and can identify trends in which content pieces are most valuable and which ones need to be improved, or possibly ungated.
While the list of metrics you can report on could fill up a 50 page manual, focusing on these three will deliver the most important data on who is visiting your site, what actions they take, and what content is most likely to convert visitors to clients so you can meet your inbound marketing goals.