Digital Marketing

How do I choose KPIs for digital marketing?


Marketing is all about presentation. What looks good sells. It’s so easy and so difficult. However, there are many steps to take before the final product reaches the audience. There are ways to track the progress of this end product and this is where digital marketing KPIs come in.

What is a digital marketing KPI?

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. These are essentially measurable units that you can use to determine how accurately your marketing campaigns are performing.

In digital marketing, certain KPIs can help you track your goals and make sure you stay on the right track. Marketing campaigns are more effective when you know which parts exactly need more work and therefore can work harder in those specific areas.

Importance of a KPI

When developing strategies, you already have certain expectations of the outcome. The importance of KPIs is that they help you keep track of these goals and ensure that you are actively contributing to their achievement.

They are units that help in tracking the development of marketing campaigns or strategies that are critical to digital marketing effectiveness.

Things to Consider When Choosing Metrics

These points will help you choose KPIs and metrics

Align KPIs with your goals

These goals can be roughly divided into two areas: channel-based decisions and general business goals. This will help you narrow down your choices and make better decisions.

For example, suppose your goal is to increase sales by x percent in a given time period. You can choose KPIs based on conversion rates, get more traffic and increase sales. Keeping your goals measurable will only make it easier.

Indicators provide valuable insight into “conversions” that become even more important during the recession as you need to determine what exactly is working and what is not. During this time, an early indicator is particularly helpful, with the help of which economists decide where the economy is going.

Understand the metrics for different channels

The different channels like advertising, SEO and social media serve different purposes. They are not all going to generate revenue directly or have the same primary goal, so their primary KPIs will be different.
In addition, this is where your decision-making skills are tested as you need to assign specific KPIs to specific channels and make sure you make the right choices in order to get the most out of them.

For example, the leading indicator for social media is the number of likes and the primary KPI are conversions, while the leading indicator for SEO impressions and the primary KPI are sales.

Make your KPIs SMART

Before going any further, you need to know the full form of SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

The five initials taken together are pretty easy to understand and just underscore the importance of choosing your goals when it comes to KPIs as this can make all the difference. Since there can be multiple interpretations of the same goal, this can lead to different decisions regarding KPIs.

This is where SMART comes in. With this marketing technique you can concentrate better and more structured on your long-term goals. The SMART approach ensures that you make the right choice when there are two conflicting options.

Always pay attention to the limits

When setting your SMART KPI goals, you only have two outcomes in mind – either a success or a failure. There is no gray area. The expected results are estimated to be very detailed and accurate. However, if the expected results are only slightly different from about 2 percent, the interpretation is yours.

It’s either almost a success or a total failure. However, a good KPI prevents such a scenario from becoming a problem. This is achieved by establishing an agreed setting in advance.

You can set boundaries and record them using Excel’s traffic signaling system.


According to the RACE model, a customer’s journey consists of four steps:

(I reach: Promotion of the content. (Actions: Unique Visitors, Followers, etc.)
(ii) Law: Be found and encourage your audience to buy. (Measures: leads, retention rate, etc.)
(iii) Convert: Make sure you buy them. (Measures: sales, average order value, etc.)
(iv) Engage: Satisfied customers can then help spread the word. (Measures: customer satisfaction, repeat purchases, etc.)

The primary KPI for Reach is the number of impressions, for Act it is the download of the white paper, for Convert it is the conversion rate and for Engage it is for returning website visitors. There are others too, but these follow suit.

This will help you keep track of your customers’ entire journey and make sure you make it as smooth as possible for them.

Top 5 segments of KPIs for digital marketing

KPIs in digital marketing have been divided into five categories. Their functions as well as some examples of each are listed below:

Lead generation

All leads are tracked, from cost efficiency to customer acquisition. This digital marketing KPI helps ensure that all lead-based strategies pay off. Examples:

  • Cost per lead: Amount spent on acquiring each new lead.
  • Cost per conversion: Amount spent converting leads into paying customers.
  • Retention rate: How long your customers have been using your products and whether they will make repeat purchases.


This is one of the most effective channels for KPIs in digital marketing. The focus of the metrics here is on driving organic traffic and reaching your target audience.

  • Traffic from organic search: How much traffic can you get from search engine results like Google and Bing?
  • Incoming links to a website: SEO tools like SEMrush can help you determine whether your website has been shared or not on other websites.
  • Organic search conversions: It’s important to understand that not only is it important for conversion to include keywords in your content, but it is also important to ensure that you don’t confuse your target audience.

Social media

Social media is one of the best kpis for digital marketing as you can determine how effective the various social media platforms are in creating awareness and achieving customer loyalty.

  • Social media traffic: Keep track of how much traffic you are generating from social media.
  • Engagement rate: How many people are actively involved in your profiles (like, share, comment, etc.)
  • Mentions, tags, followers: All of these will of course help you understand your reach.


Paid advertising is a tricky business because it is money at stake and companies are making a mistake here because they fail to consider ROI (return on investment). KPIs help to better plan and use these resources.

  • Lead and Conversions: The number of leads and conversions you can get from paid advertising.
  • Click rate for PPC advertising: Measure how effective your pay-per-click campaigns are.


The website is also one of the best kpis for digital marketing as it helps track how effective the content is in generating traction and driving more traffic to the website.

  • Monthly traffic: How much traffic do you get in a month? This can be determined with Google Analytics.
  • Average time on page: How much time does your audience spend on your website?
  • Website conversion rate: People can visit your site endlessly, but it doesn’t mean much if they don’t convert. You can test various pieces of content to see which clocks can improve this metric.


Whenever you start a business, regardless of size, you have a goal that you want to achieve. The light at the end of the tunnel. KPIs are like those tiny guiding lights that can help you achieve that goal.

“Business goals” are just the checkpoints you have, which are broken down and therefore easier to achieve using KPIs. Not only do these provide vague numbers, but also research-based numbers that will get you right in this data-driven world.

After all, they’re important not only to tracking your progress, but also to improving employee morale and fueling personal growth. So don’t just choose, choose wisely, as a lot depends on your decisions.


Jeffrey Rabinowitz