The 3 Key Inbound Marketing Metrics to Track in 2014

Are you looking for a better, more efficient and all around more valuable way to track the growth of your business online? Is your current metrics letting you down when it comes to showing you the true opportunities and threats your business is facing?

Read on to learn about a 3 key marketing metrics that you need to be tracking as you move forward in 2014 and beyond.

1. Referral Traffic

Referral traffic is a type of metric that is used to track the total number of visitors that are coming to your website from external sources. Any time a person finds their way to your key marketing metrics for social trafficsite thanks to a backlink this visit is attributed to referral traffic.

Referral traffic can come from nearly anywhere. For example:

  • A person talks about you on a forum and posts a link to your site.
  • A blog reviews a product or service that you offer.
  • You are a guest on a podcast, and a link to your site is in your bio.

Referral traffic is arguably an even more important metric to keep track of than overall traffic. Overall traffic contains paid traffic, social traffic and organic traffic while referral traffic is much more specific and, therefore, valuable.

2. Social Traffic

Social traffic is a metric that tracks visitors who arrive at your site from a social channel. These include popular channels like:

  • Facebook pages
  • Twitter feeds
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+

There are also many smaller social sites, and niche specific sites that can send social traffic to your site.

Social traffic is an important metric to follow because it lets you know where your customers are spending a great deal of their time. If you find out that the vast majority of your traffic is coming from Facebook, this can tell you two specific pieces of information.

  1. Your current Facebook social efforts are paying off. All of the time and attention that you’ve been putting into your Facebook page is generating traffic and revenue, right back where it belongs.
  2. Other efforts might not be working quite as well and deserve some investigation into whether you need to change your strategy to exclude them, or change the type of content being shared.

Social traffic is also valuable because it tells you where people are having conversations about the products and services that you’re offering. You can pay more attention to the social sites that are driving traffic and interject yourself into conversations more naturally as a result.

The nature of social media – public, real time, immediate – and the abundance of data collected on users, activity and engagement, provide a greenfield of opportunities to use social data to enhance and support marketing data. – Uri Bar-Joseph,

If you are just getting started, which social channels should you focus on first?

  • B2C companies are smart to start with Facebook and Twitter.
  • LinkedIn is the most productive for B2B.

Add additional social channels over time and carefully study your metrics to see if you are getting a return on your efforts.

3. Backlinks

Did you know that you MUST continually monitor your backlinks? Here’s why:

  • They represent important sales opportunities.
  • Search engines constantly change the way that they value backlinks when they determine where your site will appear in their search results. If new backlinks violate a rule, your site could be penalized.
  • It’s easy for a competitor to demolish your search ranking by playing havoc with your backlinks. In order to torpedo your search ranking and send your site down into the depths of “Page 2” and beyond in search results, all a competitor would need to do is create backlinks that violate the search engine rules.
  • It is a great way to find new and legitimate sites that have suddenly taken an interest in the product or service that you have to offer. These are relationships that you should be nurturing, which is something that would be very hard to do if you didn’t know they existed in the first place.

Key marketing metrics change frequently. By understanding the key marketing metrics that you need to pay close attention to in 2014 you can make sure that you’re doing your part to help your business thrive.

What other key metrics are you using right now? Have you gotten any surprises, good or bad, by using the metrics we discussed here?


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