Using KPIs to Improve Web Content
All marketing campaigns should meet certain goals, whether they’re related to acquiring new customers, increasing customer satisfaction, or selling more to existing customers. That holds true for content marketing initiatives – everything from social media posts to ebooks, and everything in-between. In this article, we’ll help you determine how to choose the correct KPIs to meet your business goals.
How do you measure whether a content piece (blog post, ebook, social media post, etc.) is meeting the goals it needs to? In order to meet these goals, you’ll need measurable indicators that can help you gauge the progress and make any necessary adjustments. These measurable indicators are known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
A KPI is a measurement or metric that helps you measure performance (for example, of a blog post) relative to the goals you want to achieve. When setting up KPIs, it’s important to be focused and set up KPIs that directly lead to your goal.
Focusing on the wrong set of KPIs can give you an inaccurate view of how your campaigns are performing. Far too many marketers have encountered disaster because they were tracking the wrong KPIs…resulting in large amounts of wasted budget and poor results.
With the correct KPIs set, you’ll be positioned to ensure your campaigns are highly successful.
How to Choose the Correct KPIs
There’s no one-size fits all KPI – the right one depends on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Keep the following factors and tips in mind when you’re setting up KPIs for your content marketing campaigns:
SET CLEAR BUSINESS GOALS
The primary function of KPIs is to help your content achieve your business goals by measuring their progress and contribution. As such, your KPIs can only work if you have clear and specific business goals that you want your content piece or campaign to achieve, such as:
- Acquire new customers;
- Increase ecommerce revenue;
- Generate more marketing qualified leads (MQLs);
- Generate more sales qualified leads (SQLs);
- Generate more leads that convert into a purchase.
UNDERSTAND YOUR REVENUE MODEL & SALES PROCESS
Websites typically fall into one of three broad business types: ad-driven, ecommerce, and leads-driven. This article will focus primarily on businesses who need to generate leads or drive ecommerce revenue.
If your company focuses on driving ecommerce revenue, this is usually pretty easy to track. Google Analytics and other solutions have built-in features for directly tracking ecommerce revenue.
If your company focuses on generating leads that are contacted and closed by a sales team, the picture is a little more complicated. It’s easy to track leads, but savvy marketers do much more than that – you’ll need to have a full understanding of the sales process, and how leads are tracked through each step.
For example, a professional consulting firm might have a sales cycle that looks something like this:
- User reads a blog post;
- User downloads an ebook or other resource;
- User receives a series of emails;
- User interacts with salesperson;
- User receives a proposal;
- User decides to purchase the consulting package offered.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SET DIFFERENT KPIS FOR DIFFERENT CAMPAIGNS
Most likely, your company will have multiple sales processes, with each one being a little different depending on the type of prospect, which campaign they responded to, what you’re trying to sell to them, and so forth. You’ll likely need a slightly different set of KPIs for each sales process and/or marketing campaign you launch.
THE GOAL IS TO GET TO THE NEXT STEP
Here’s a good rule of thumb when choosing KPIs for content pieces: the purpose of each piece of content is to move the user to the next step in the sales process.
Set a KPI for each piece of content that measures its ability to get a user to the next step. Using the same example as above:
- User reads a blog post; KPI is conversions to download an ebook or other resource.
- User downloads an ebook or other resource; KPI is % of users who click on the CTA and contact a sales representative.
- User receives a series of emails; KPI is % of users who contact a sales representative.
- User interacts with salesperson; KPI is % of users who request the proposal.
- User receives a proposal; KPI is the % of users who purchase the proposed solution.
- User decides to purchase the consulting package offered; it’s a win!
Before you can set KPIs for a given piece of content, you need to know where in the buying process the content will interact with users, and what the next step is!
DIFFERENTIATE ULTIMATE CONVERSIONS & MICRO-CONVERSIONS
For most websites, the ultimate goal is revenue, whether it’s gained via ecommerce or via generating leads that close into sales. That’s your ultimate goal, and revenue should be the ultimate KPI you use to track the success of marketing campaigns.
But it doesn’t necessarily make sense to track each content piece’s performance based on the ultimate KPI (revenue). As mentioned above, you’ll likely have different KPIs for each step of the sales process – these are often called micro-conversions or KPIs.
But always keep an eye on how your micro-conversions relate to your ultimate goal. If you’re seeing good results achieving your micro-conversions but you’re not achieving your ultimate goal (i.e. revenue) that’s a red flag that there’s a problem with your campaign targeting or strategy.