It’s Time To Stop Obsessing Over These 4 Marketing Metrics

It’s Time To Stop Obsessing Over These 4 Marketing Metrics

Marketers today rely on a plethora of tools, programs, and software systems that offer a wide variety of metrics. After all, a large part of marketing is being able to measure and report on the ROI (Return on Investment) of an initiative to the bottom line.

The internet has numerous ways to capture and analyze traffic, and for marketers, wading through these metrics to determine which ones are most relevant to them can be overwhelming. Some metrics that seemed important in the past have outlived their usefulness and should not be used as core KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your objectives.

Here are 4 marketing metrics it’s time to stop obsessing over.

1. Keywords

Keywords are often the first thing people think of when it comes to SEO. In the early days of Internet marketing, clients would give an SEO company a list of keywords, and it was the company’s job to make sure the client showed up for those terms. This led to some unscrupulous tactics and gave SEOs a less than stellar reputation for gaming the system.

But even today, many marketers and business owners are focusing too much on keywords and trying to “fit” as many as possible into the content of their posts, websites, and other pieces. The obsession with keywords has caused spammy, keyword-stuffed content, and keyword rankings have decreased in value as the search engines (like Google) have caught up.

Location, personalization, search history, and other factors all influence search results now. Rankings fluctuate all the time and are in a near constant state of change, which is why the outdated practice of focusing on where a keyword or keyword phrase ranks as a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) should not be the main focus of your marketing strategy.

2. Facebook Likes & Follower Count

Just like the search engines adapted and changed based on what was happening with keywords, Facebook also changed the way content was delivered to its organic users. Facebook’s organic reach for brands now sits around, oh, I dunno, zero? Marketers who report on fan count as a means of showing their worth to their clients are not focusing on the right metrics. Engagement metrics with a brand is a better strategy and a better indicator of value.

3. Ad Impressions

One major advantage that online advertising has over other forms of advertising – like billboards and flyers – is that it allows us to see how many times our ads are viewed. But while it sounds helpful to know how many people are seeing your ads, this metric doesn’t say much about behavior beyond the ad.

Digital marketers who sell their services on putting an ad in front of as many people as possible are at best, behind the times, and at worst, deceiving uninformed clients. Ad impressions are best used in conjunction with other metrics – such as clicks, calls, and conversions – to gain deeper insight into the customer’s decision behavior.

4. Reputation Scores

As the Internet landscape has evolved for businesses, so too has the digital marketing space. Many such companies use a “free scan” to pare down a company’s online reputation to a single number, which they can then “fix” with their services. These scores often do not take into account search engine best practices, and many of these services are geared more towards brick and mortar businesses, not service area businesses.

Taking something as complex as a company’s online reputation and whittling it down to a single number or grade should not be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. It’s more important to know the different facets that factor into the score, rather than aiming to get the number above an arbitrary threshold.

The Big Picture

Here’s the thing: any metric used in isolation without any additional context will not provide much insight into how, and if, you are reaching your business objectives. The above metrics are just pieces in what comprises an online strategy. To truly know how well an online strategy is performing and get an accurate measure of KPIs, marketers need to take a look at several metrics in combination. Learning which metrics are relevant to your business or your client’s business and focusing on improving them will help you see the big picture and separate you from the competition.

Instant Gratification and Organic Rankings Do Not Mix

Instant Gratification and Organic Rankings Do Not Mix

You order fast-food, and within minutes, it’s ready for you to eat. The advances in the Internet and Internet service providers enable us to fly through web pages with a few simple clicks. Our computers, cell phones, and tablets allow us to multitask on a variety of programs and apps at once.

These are just a few examples of how modern day technology has spoiled us and gradually conditioned society to expect instant results.We live in a fast-paced world that only seems to be getting faster. With this comes the expectation that every action we take has an immediate and instant reaction.

  • When we click to view a website, we become impatient if it doesn’t load within five seconds.
  • We become irritated when our food doesn’t arrive as fast as we think it should.
  • We grumble when our computers update or take too long to open a document.

The conveniences afforded by modern day life have been focused around getting what we want, when we want it.  These advances in speed and convenience are all great, but when we get delayed in even the smallest of ways, we tend to get upset.

In the arena of business, however, patience is still a virtue. Shipments of materials and finished goods take time to be delivered. Business relationships and partnerships take time to develop and grow. Patience is especially needed when it comes to Google and organic search rankings for a business.

The word ‘organic’ implies natural growth. When a seed is planted in the ground, it could be weeks before a sprout can be seen. The same principle applies to Google search and rankings. It can take weeks before new pages on a website are indexed and recognized by Google. The reality is that: correctly building a presence online takes time and patience.

Of course, your patience can be further tested when you are paying for these services to waiting to see results. Many small business owners spend all of their time immersed in the daily operations of their business and require the help of a marketing agency for search and marketing efforts.

These business owners often expect to see immediate results from the efforts they are paying for because it’s what they are used to seeing in other aspects of life. And it makes sense, given that those who pay a marketing firm to represent them online cannot directly see all the work that gets put into those services.

But the truth is: there is no magic switch that can be flipped in Google to make your business automatically rank higher. Building the online presence of a website and business is a marathon and not a sprint. In fact, knee-jerk reactions to Google’s rankings do not usually play out well. So yes, make sure you have a high degree of trust in your marketing firm, but be patient. It’s a long, steady building process, but in a world where everything is getting faster, some things are just worth waiting for.