As we look at the tech and social media landscape for 2019, there are some metrics that Whole Whale is keeping a closer eye on this year. While we will always champion having a north star metric with supporting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your organization, we also like using some of these other metrics to test assumptions.
Here is a quick summary of some metrics that are probably tracked periodically or ignored in your organization, but that will matter even more — perhaps even the metrics that matter most — in 2019.
1. Year-over-year Monthly Organic Traffic
Organic search traffic coming from Google is the primary source of traffic for almost all of our clients (as well as most U.S. websites). As a benchmark, we target a 20% year-over-year growth each month — consider setting a percentage growth goal for your own organization to measure content performance. To track the results, here is our downloadable dashboard for Google Analytics.
2. Cost per Acquisition (CPA) of Target Audience
Analyze your trailing 6 month ad spend to learn the market rate for engagement or for email acquisition. Knowing the Cost Per Acquisition for a user/stakeholder can then help determine if you can make money from the Lifetime Value of them as a customer. The CPA can then be used as a benchmark for any marketing opportunity considered by your team or sold to you by different vendors.
3. Facebook Spend Return on Investment
We should start with this public service announcement: Stop spending money on boosted posts! There are many social media teams that consider boosting posts as the main way to spend money on Facebook. This is actually the worst return on investment if the goal is driving web traffic and email acquisition on your site. While a boosted post increases on platform metrics like reach or engagements, is that the end goal of your organization? Come back to the CPA for your target audience and find out if money on Facebook might be better spent through intelligently targeted ads to a new audience.
4. Cross-platform engagements
As more social platforms create their own analytics reports to prove their value, it is important to benchmark these across all owned properties. Whole Whole tracks a universal count of Learning Engagements (15 seconds of measured attention) across content we create across the following platforms: Our website, YouTube, Facebook, Whole Whale University, Medium, conferences, and webinars. We can then evaluate the cost in time and money over the engagement. So, if you spend 15 seconds or more reading this post, congrats, you just counted as a learning engagement for us!
5. 90-Day Retention
This is a new feature inside of Google Analytics and is a fun look at your website’s audience trailing 90 day user behavior. This will help show you how super users are using your site. We love to look at this along with the New vs. Returning traffic segments, which show users that have been to your site in the past 2 years vs. people that have just found the site for the first time.
6. Republican vs. Democratic Segments
We created Republican and Democratic segments based on the 2016 state map. Use these segments to understand if your content is favoring one or the other and to understand what issues are resonating with each ideology.
7. Time of Day
Create a time of day segment to understand if users engage longer and take action on your site in the morning, afternoon, or night time. Then, adjust your ad spend and communications accordingly. Here are some quick segments you can use:
8. User Explorer
Click through some of the user journeys within the User Explorer section of Google Analytics. There is a wealth of user testing sitting in this view, so don’t spend on expensive user testing until you have reviewed the completely tracked sessions of people in Google Analytics. Bonus, if you’re curious about who the users in the explorer are, you can use our Google Analytics add-on GetLighthouse.io to match up your MailChimp email data.
We love writing about finding the metrics that matter for your organization. Keep swimming with some of our favorite resources at wholewhale.com/tips/impact/.