Understanding your brand's performance is a multi-faceted task.
There’s no single metric that will tell you the whole story, and some will tell you the wrong story, or no story at all.
So which metrics matter, and how do you measure them?
Here are some important areas to track:
1. Understand Consumers by Analyzing Social Media
Social media metrics will tell you a ton about your brand’s reach, its level of engagement, and its overall influence. But because metrics on social are so vast and varied, it’s important to keep in mind your objectives and goals, so you know what you’re looking for as you mine through all that data.
Maybe you want to build overall brand awareness, or perhaps your primary goal is to increase engagement among loyal followers. Once you have a point of focus, you can hone in on the appropriate KPIs better, such as follower growth, click-through rates, or mentions on Twitter.
Whatever your goals, a solid social media platform like NetBase or Brand24 is essential to gathering accurate insights. And you've got to be sure your approach is on point. Social networks are consumer-centric, meaning brands must change their focus from "Here's what we offer" to "What are you interested in?"
Any worthwhile tool will allow for analysis of sentiment and social languages like slang and emojis for context. This level of understanding is what enables brands to offer the individualized messaging consumers crave.
2. Manage Web Visibility With SEO Metrics
Consumer needs should also be the focus of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as Google now prioritizes sites that take the user experience into account.
And this is everyone's job, not just those in IT, at least according to Searchmetrics: "Full SEO integration is a team effort where all parts of a company are cognizant of the power and relevancy of SEO, and actively try to optimize their written content, webpages, etc. for search engines."
"Optimize" is the key word there, and really what SEO is all about. SEO is the means by which your brand's website is found in search. So you've got to work it every way you can by:
- Using social to boost SEO. 76 percent of marketers are already doing this
- Focusing less on keywords and more on satisfying user intent
- Ensuring your site is mobile-friendly
- Adding an emotional component to your SEO
The right tools will keep you informed, and your SEO on track. Not sure what to use? Backlinko has reviewed 153 free and paid options.
Related Article: Keeping Up With Content: How SEO is Changing in 2016
3. Know Where You Sit
As you build your reputation and increase traffic, you want to know where you fall in line amongst your competitors. For an overview it's good to know your Alexa Rank and Klout Score:
Alexa's "global traffic rank is a measure of how a website is doing relative to all other sites on the web over the past three months." The free Alexa toolbar gives you a decent snapshot to work with, including load time, bounce rate, keywords bringing visitors to your site, and more. The paid version goes deeper, but even the free data offers enough direction for fine tuning your site optimization.
This measures your influence across top social channels, assigning a value from zero to 100. The higher your score, the more influential you are. Identifying influencers is a top goal of marketers, so knowing if you are an influencer is smart. Connecting your networks for a unified presence helps on this front.
For a more specific understanding of what consumers are drawn to at your website, and what needs more attention, you've got to understand individual PageRank as well. According to SEO Worx, "PageRank is still the most revealing and critical metric that governs a domain’s ability to rank. But since 2013 Google have chosen not to update and share this information any more in an attempt to make their search results harder to manipulate."
Not to worry though. Just keep individual PageRank in mind as you sort out SEO solutions for your site overall.
Related Article: Get Found: How to Use SEO for Small Business Growth
4. Take a Closer Look at Your Revenue
Beyond knowing how consumers feel about you, and where you stand against competitors, of course you want to see growth in revenue, the most obvious indicator of success.
To evolve, however, you need to know more than overall changes in revenue; the patterns of those revenue changes are what inform growth. Measuring the number of downloads from your site, new registrations, and unique subscribers are just a few of the KPIs that will tell you about the patterns of your revenue growth so you can better target specific areas for improvement.
And that's what each of these metrics can do for your business, inform on where you are, so you can get to where you want to be.
Just as no chapter alone can tell the whole story of a book, no single metric will give you the full picture of your brand. Using these metrics as your foundation is a great start toward writing the next chapter of your brand’s story.