It is often in life that people think more equals better. In a marketers world, more traffic, more visitors means more customers. Yet in many areas of marketing more doesn’t always equal better.
You know all those metrics you track? They’re probably worthless. I’m not saying they have absolutely no value, rather don’t rely on them for real dollar value. With only so much time in your day, you can’t afford to spend it analyzing data that won’t help you make better marketing decisions. The trick is knowing which ones are valuable and which aren’t.
In this blog, I’ll highlight metrics that don’t matter, along with a few actionable ones you should be tracking instead.
If you’re running email marketing in your company, I’m pretty sure open rate is one of those metrics your boss is always asking you to report. It’s assumed that open rate will provide an understanding of how many people are interested enough in your emails to actually open them.
However, this can be a very misleading metric. Based on the email client your contact is using (Gmail, Outlook etc.), an “open” is counted when the images load in a recipient’s email. But what if an individual has their email preferences setup to not allow images to download? Or what if someone receives a text based version of your email? Those people won’t be counted toward your overall open rate.
Instead, start reporting on the click through rate (CTR). This metric accounts for both opens and individuals clicking on your email. That should help you better understand your audience engagement with email marketing.
Just because someone likes your Facebook page doesn’t mean they are actually clicking through to your website and engaging with your brand. Yes, a Like is exciting and it does certainly show that an audience is interested in your content, plus having more Likes means you could show up more often in the News Feed. But the main reason you’re on Facebook is to drive clicks to your website.
The next Facebook post you create, think about how your content can drive clickthroughs. Can you include an action oriented image or use certain words in your copy to inspire people to click? Facebook Likes are great to show your content to more followers, however, the true metric to track is actionable clicks to your website, and better yet conversions from those clicks.
You’re racking up impressions by the thousands, this is great because every time someone “sees” your ad a new impression is added. Yet, counting when a person actually sees your ad is much more complicated than it sounds. For example, some ad programs count an impression every time a page is loaded. This can be added to your impression count even if the user never scrolled down the page to view your ad. Or maybe your leaderboard ad did load, however, due to banner blindness the user didn’t even notice it. Or what if the user is using an Adblocker - even though they aren’t seeing your ad they are being counted toward your total impressions.
Ad impressions is an unreliable metric, and again it’s better to look at the actual CTR and conversions. It’ll give you a much better understanding of how well your ad is performing.
Rankings can be awesome! As an SEO, your number one goal is to be #1 on Google, right? We simply grind our content through the latest SEO best practices so we can land on the first page of search engine results and get the lion’s share of clicks for a given keyword search.
However, I believe that Google is rapidly changing, personalizing their methods, updating their algorithms and learning about real human to human interaction with their service that traditional SEO has become irrelevant. As stated by Will Reynolds, some SEO clients want links, rankings and traffic, but smart SEO clients want revenue.
With more importance being placed on user search history and brand loyalty, in today’s SEO world keywords and content don’t really matter anymore. And being #1 on Google doesn’t necessarily translate into conversions. Try building a sales funnel and stop wasting time tracking rankings.
A/B Test Results
Congratulations! It has been found that A/B testing is pointless, and you can remove this strategy from your marketing plan in 2018. Peep Laja from CXL, tested a ton of experiments and found that A/B testing is worthless if you have less than 1,000 conversions, per month. Yes, that’s the minimum for any worthwhile testing.
Because an A/B test is typically created off of your own opinions and assumptions and this opens up the door for biases to damage your results. I mean does a few extra conversions on one test really prove that it’s the winning choice? It might seem like the right choice at first, but most likely these gains are not long lasting. WordStream calls this premature testing dilemma. It often happens because the total volume of conversions measured from a test is too low. You need more data to truly prove your results.
Some metrics matter more than others. And more doesn’t always equal better. In the long run, traffic, clicks, visits, impressions don’t matter as much because they don’t help when it comes to reporting actual revenue.
My recommendation would be to focus on the one metric that really matters - money. And spend your time tracking fewer, better metrics. The ones that count. This will help you learn faster, optimize faster and eventually profit faster.
Do you find any of the metrics above valuable and worthwhile of your time? If so, prove me wrong and drop some comments in below!