Not sure what to track? These metrics are the among the most important:
Return on Ad Spend
This is the Mac Daddy of all metrics, but many businesses never try to calculate it. The formula is simple: just subtract your investment in advertising from the revenue you earn from those ads, then divide by your investment. This should include all spending on social ads, pay per click and other digital ad spending. To put it another way, divide what you make by what you spend.
Whenever possible, link your digital efforts to actual revenue that can be traced back to those efforts. Special landing pages, offer codes and cookies can tell you a lot about how well each of your efforts work. When you can’t make a direct link, find a proxy that will allow you to calculate your ROI.
Relying on a CPA alone does not account for the differences in order value across different channels, campaigns, geographic locations and other factors. By calculating your ROI, you can decide what is worthwhile.
The next step is making decisions based on your marginal ROI. Even if channel A has a higher ROI than channel B, that does not necessarily mean that the return on an additional investment will also be higher for channel A. By focusing investments where they are most likely to pay, you can get a better return and improve your net profits.
Eighty-eight percent of online shoppers say that they research online before making a purchase. If you don’t have good reviews, there’s a good chance they’ll pick your competitor instead. According to Harvard Business Review, a difference of one star in a typical online review can make a five to nine percent difference in revenues for that location. Multiply that by all of your locations, and losing those stars can cut significantly into your profits. You should always encourage reviews with signs, email signatures and other mechanisms.
When you are getting less than satisfactory reviews, do what you can to remedy the situation. By increasing user satisfaction, you can cut down on negatives and get more valuable repeat business. Respond to negative reviews or negative comments on social media promptly. This can often mollify disappointed customers and demonstrate to your potential customers that you value their business.
Remember to urge happy customers to leave honest reviews about their experience. These good reviews are a great form of social proof and can convince more new customers to come check out your location. A short note on a receipt or a sign in your store saying that you appreciate honest feedback can help you significantly increase your reviews, and reputation management tools can provide additional options.
Market Penetration/Share of Voice
In broad terms, share of voice is the percentage of all traffic that your site receives, divided by the total available traffic. Knowing your share of voice by location is vital if you are going to improve your performance. Is a specific region consistently performing below others? It could come down to poor share of voice in that region. By looking at share of voice for each region as well as for your brand as a whole, you can see which areas need more attention. If you already have high share of voice, it could be unwise to invest more, as you may have reached saturation.
In the context of social media, you can increase your share of voice by being highly responsive to the people who talk about your people online. For example, if someone posts a shot of one of your products on Instagram, then send them a quick thank you note. When it comes to paid search, AdWords offers a wealth of information about share of voice in the Auction Insights section. You can see how many impressions you won out of all the impressions you were eligible for, how many times a competitor’s ad appeared above yours, and many other valuable metrics.
It pays to look closely at your competitors’ share of voice by market as well. If you are able to increase your share of voice in an area where your competitors are weak, you can also increase your market share. Plus, you’ll be able to do it without having to spend as much as you would in an area where your competitors are more robust.
Honorable Mention: Keyword Search Volume
For multi-location brands, monitoring search volume for your brand is crucial. You can use Google trends to see your search volume over time. It’s also important to make sure you are targeting the right words. If you are spending all of your money on keywords around “servers” but all your prospects are searching “cloud storage,” that money is wasted.
When it comes to metrics, it’s okay if you can’t track everything. By focusing on the marketing metrics that are the most important, you can make data-based decisions about how your brand is doing and where you can improve and increase your success.