How to measure your digital marketing success



Now so many businesses operate online, getting the right digital marketing strategy is increasingly important. Whether you’re a web-based business, have an online shop, or simply have a website to support your offline business, digital marketing can offer great rewards, but only when it is used correctly.


It’s perhaps surprising, given how measurable digital marketing is compared to offline marketing, that so many organisations still aren’t making the most of the digital marketing tools on offer. You can receive detailed insights into your site’s traffic, customer behaviour, and specific campaign performances, allowing you to clearly assess the return on investment of each of your marketing efforts and see what did or didn’t work.


To maximise the benefits that digital marketing can bring, however, businesses need to find the most useful method of measuring their success. This is easier said than done as you can get lost or side-tracked by the different figures, and certain information will be more valuable to your business than others.


We have come up with some tips to help you keep track of your digital activity and measure your digital marketing success, showing how you can make sure your strategy is as effective as it can be.


Use Google Analytics


Google Analytics is a free and popular tool that many businesses use to analyse their digital performance.


It can give businesses a detailed insight into their customers, including age, gender, what device they used, how they reached the site (e.g. paid ad, organic search, social media), what pages they looked at, how long they spent on each page, and if they are a returning user. From these metrics, businesses can determine their most important traffic sources but, unless they know how to interpret and use the data, they could find it challenging to make sense of it all.


Inexperienced users may have a cursory glance at the data and see, for example, that their website traffic is rising and assume their digital marketing strategy is working. However, simply basing the success of a campaign on page views can be misleading, and this won’t help you to boost your return on investment. You need to look deeper into your site’s metrics to determine what percentage of visitors are engaging and converting into leads/sales, as it’s this which will bring the most value to your business.


Set up conversion tracking


Before starting any marketing campaign, you need to decide what your desired outcome is i.e. what your objectives are and what would be a “success” for your business. From this, you can determine your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) which will measure your progress towards these objectives, and set goals on Google Analytics accordingly. Goals enable you to track your site’s conversion rates and see which campaigns are most effective in converting page views/visitors into sales/engagements.


For some businesses, goal tracking will be the most suitable tool so they can see how many visitors complete a specified activity. Some examples of a completed goal could be when a customer fills out a form, signs up for an account, or downloads a document. These will help businesses see which digital marketing campaigns are generating leads, and highlights if they need to make any adjustments to their strategy.


If a business sells products online, ecommerce tracking would be a more useful method to assess their return on investment and the value of each web lead. By adding a tracking code to their web pages, businesses can create focused reports that detail exactly how users reached the site, what a customer’s activity is leading up to a purchase, the value of any transactions, and other data which shows how customers are responding to their site and marketing campaigns.


Create reporting dashboards


This information that Google Analytics provides is invaluable for businesses, but it can be hard to keep track of the progress you are making towards your goals. Creating a custom dashboard that highlights your main KPIs makes it easier to monitor their success and enables you to take action if you see one area is underperforming.


Google Data Studio is an ideal resource that you can connect to your Analytics account to get a quick overview of your key metrics and campaigns. It can also incorporate data from other sources, like your CRM (customer relationship management) system, so you have a complete overview of your marketing performance. Whether you want to track the effectiveness of particular campaigns or look at trends over the last weeks, months, or years, having a custom dashboard can help you instantly identify the points that are most crucial to you and your business. You can also set up alerts like automatic emails to keep you up-to-date on the latest changes.


Knowing what digital marketing success looks like for your business, and knowing how to measure it, will help you to achieve your overall business objectives. These tips are a starting point for any business looking to maximise their digital marketing potential, but how can you develop them for your own organisation?


By John Ellmore


John Ellmore is a Digital marketing expert, co-founder and director at








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