Advances in technology are rendering a lot of traditional metrics obsolete. So what’s worked to measure marketing success the past few years won’t cut it in 2013.
Out with the old, in with the new
This article highlights outdated metrics you should no longer spend time tracking. It also points out more meaningful measures to replace them with. Here are three metrics you can abandon now – and better ones you should use in the new year:
1. Open rate
While your email open rate can help you assess the effectiveness of your subject line and timing, it’s very unreliable.
Reason: Email programs interpret opens in different ways.
One example: Some email clients have to load images for an email to be considered “opened.” So if users have images turned off in these clients, none of their emails will count as being open.
Plus, opens can’t tell you whether a recipient read your email or took any action because of it.
What’s better: Click-through rate.
Focus on whether your call to action is getting clicks. Little else matters.
These are feel-good stats. But the only thing they measure is the potential reach of your messages.
In reality, only a fraction of those fans/followers will see any given message from you.
What’s better: Traffic driven to your website.
Start asking yourself: How much traffic are our social media messages driving to our site? And if you have a Facebook page, check out your engagement stats (like the number of likes and comments your posts generate) using Facebook Insights. When your engagement stats rise, Facebook gives your posts a higher priority – which means they’ll appear higher in fans’ news feeds.
3. Page views
This is actually a good metric, but it’s often misused. Many look at page views as an indicator of how good the content on a site is.
But it’s really just an indicator of how well the mechanisms you use to drive traffic to your site are working.
For example: Page views are a great indicator of the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
What’s better: Bounce rate and social shares.
A better indicator of how well your site’s holding visitors’ attention is how many people leave after viewing one page (a.k.a., bounces).
If you have a high number of page views and a high bounce rate, it means your site’s not doing a good enough job retaining visitors.
In addition, the amount of people clicking on your social sharing buttons will tell you whether people feel your content is worth promoting to others.
About the Author: An experience b2b writer, Christian Schappel is Editor-in-Chief of The Internet Marketing Report, published by ProgressiveBusinessPublications.com. Learn more about Progressive Business Publications on LinkedIn.
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