Effective Marketing Performance Indicators

Which outcomes to measure – and how to set goals for them.

The law of focus applies to all goals.

That is, whatever you place your focus on – will grow, so placing your focus on revenue will effectively grow your top line, while placing your focus on profit – will deliver optimised actual income.

Most businesses start by placing a focus on top line activities, the wonder why they don’t have as much in their bank account as they thought they should, and zero in on cost management reduction – which usually leads to a focus on minimum benchmarks of revenue to optimise fixed costs and a focus on continual reduction of variable costs to increase potential margin.


Goal setting is generally inward facing, with some market considerations.

It’s unlikely that you will find out competitor revenue or costs with any real accuracy, so when it comes to revenue, margin, and overhead structure, it’s an inward focus.

We’ll explore the outward focused aspects of planning shortly.

To look forward, we must first look backward – and revenue goals are at the top of the goal-setting list, but not in isolation of other factors.

Those selling from a website need also some other data sets to set useful goals – the process is the same for both service providers and product based sites.

Key statistics for revenue analysis & goal settings are:

  • Total revenue.
  • Total number of purchases.
  • Average order value.
  • Total number of website visitors.
  • Percent conversion on website.
  • Percent conversion to second and third purchase.

From this information, you can assess how successfully your website has converted visitors at total level, and how many of your purchasers have returned to repurchase from your site, or in the case of service provider sales funnels, what percentage of your new purchasers have taken higher levels of your sales funnel.

For E-commerce, in particular, it is also very useful to be aware of a drill-down as follows:

  • Revenue by category.
  • Top five items for core categories.

Of course, you will need to trend this information to see whether it has grown or declined – then you will look for the reasons why, before starting to plan your strategy forward.

Next, take a look at Google Analytics (under Acquisition) to discover your main traffic sources & which is converting under and over average. To do this, you may need to activate Advanced E-Commerce in the settings – it’s well worth doing).

Note that not all website conversions are detected on Analytics, the best source of information is your website’s actual number of sales for your stats. This second layer is for you to evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO and Ad Spend.

Note your organic traffic – we are going to establish benchmarks for free traffic to your site next.


External Information

Monitoring some external factors is a part of goal setting that, while not in our control, does give us some excellent perspective.

In particular, monitoring competitor organic traffic & SEO keyword focus gives us a benchmark for SEO potential – and in the light of google trends, gives us a lot of useful insight as to where to place our core SEO planning for free traffic.

You can discover competitor keywords and organic traffic using a SERP tool. We recommend SE Ranking and include it in our membership plans, because we feel it is vital information for both your own site performance measurement and for measuring progress against core competitors.

Having this information also allows us to guestimate market share v competitors.

Use competitor site organic traffic and keyword search information in your planning as part of the SEO section (free traffic that converts well being the holy grail of website management). You can learn more about optimising SEO here.

While I do not ever advocate placing undue focus on competitors, being aware of core elements of the strategies for the top three competitors in your category will put you in good stead for nailing your own.

Core KPIs for monitoring your performance against other sites are as follows:

  • Total organic traffic to your site.
  • Ranking for your top ten keywords.
  • Share of searches for top keywords.

Once decided however, place your full focus on your own planning and delivery of your own brand position. It’s a big mistake to try to copy competitor positioning or tactics.

When your competitor zigs, you should zag!

If you would like a copy of my KPI planning template – just let me know where to send it below.

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