By Anthony Long
Small businesses have to do more with less: less time, less money, and less staff. This also means that simplicity, or a laser focus on the things that really matter, is imperative.
So what are the most important marketing metrics, specifically digital metrics, that any small business should measure? Through our work with lots of small businesses across a multitude of industries, we’ve found that the following metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) can give a good read on the health of a small business:
• Search engine queries on your brand: This is a great proxy for brand awareness and level of interest—how many people are trying to find you online. How do you get this data? Try typing your business’s name into Google Trends to get an idea of how often users are searching for it.
• Visits (or sessions) to your website: This metric is an early indicator of your customer pipeline. How many people are doing research on your business, which could lead to a purchase down the line? Is that number growing or declining? You can get this data by setting up a Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools account tied to your business or through your website.
• Visit to conversion rate: Out of those people who visit your site, how many of them are actually taking the desired action, whether it be booking an appointment or purchasing something? This is easy to measure if you’re selling something online, but can be a little more difficult if you have to integrate online and offline data. The visit to conversion rate is a signal of how compelling your product or service offering is to people—either the product itself or the marketing of that product.
• Referrals: How happy are your customers and how likely are they to refer a friend or colleague to you? This can give you a good sense of the current state of your customer base and your ability to grow the business organically, with little or no marketing investment. Many major corporations use the Net Promoter Score to measure their customer satisfaction, and small businesses can get the same result by polling their customers once per year and tracking the results.
By monitoring these four metrics and making adjustments to your business based on them, any small business can make better decisions more quickly and effectively.