To anyone who’s ever felt overwhelmed after looking at Google Analytics, know this: You’re not alone.
Even financial advisors, who make their living working with numbers, can find themselves drowning in a sea of open rates and visitor counts, page views and conversions.
It’s hard to know which metrics matter and which are just extraneous data points that reveal nothing about the successes or shortcomings of your digital marketing efforts.
Good data helps you build trust and credibility. It empowers you to convert leads to prospects, and prospects to happy clients. Bad data, on the other hand, does nothing but inflate your ego at best. At worst, it can blind you to pitfalls that have the potential to undermine your business’ success.
(Related: 5 Prospecting Methods That Really Work)
Here are three ways to tell the difference between the two.
Good Metrics Focus on the Funnel
You’ll hear many of us in the “martech” — marketing technology — space talk about “the funnel.” This is a series of outreach, design and content decisions that turn your website into a lead-generating machine.
Just like the checkout process on Amazon, your website should have a clearly defined system to attract visitors, turn them into leads, then prospects and, ultimately, clients.
Good metrics give you insight into the health of your funnel. They allow you to focus on each step of the process, showing you what’s working and what could be improved.
Good metrics tell you not just how many people opened your most recent email; they go deeper to reveal how many people clicked back to your website, as well as how many used your contact form to set up an introductory appointment.
Good Metrics Don’t Fixate on Visitors
At the top of the digital marketing funnel are visitors. These are the folks who come to your site, read a post or two and then click away to another domain.
I’m sure they’re lovely people. But when it comes to metrics, they don’t matter.
Marketers call information like visitor count “vanity metrics.” These are numbers that make you feel good about your business, but reveal nothing about the state of your digital marketing efforts.
Visitors don’t matter. It’s the prospects, leads and clients we care about. These segments make up only a small percentage of your total visitor count. By segmenting them out, we’re able to understand how they found our site, why they filled out our lead generation form, and what we did right to convert them to clients. We can determine which clients are always sending us referrals and which ones aren’t.
By focusing on the metrics related to your leads and clients, you’re able to make smarter decisions about how to spend your time, energy and money.
That brings us to the final way to tell the difference between good and bad metrics.
Good Metrics Drive Decisions
We discussed vanity metrics. On the other end of the data spectrum are what we call “clarity metrics.” These help us better understand our businesses and ensure that things are on the right track.
Most importantly, these metrics help us make decisions.
When we understand what’s wrong with our funnel, we’re able to fix it. When we understand which specific actions turn our prospects into clients, we’re able to replicate them again and again.
When we focus on the metrics that matter, we’re able to build trust and credibility, convert leads to clients, and keep our calendars filled with appointments.
A Final Word of Warning
Which metrics matter the least? The ones related to your competitors or the overall industry. These are even worse than vanity metrics. They provide zero clarity on what’s working for your business, what can be improved and what you should do next.
Your first goal is to focus on the internal metrics that measure your individual business’ success. Once you establish those, your next goal is to beat them.
— Read Increase Your ROI on Marketing Dollars with Partnerships on ThinkAdvisor.