Which Online Marketing Metrics Matter?

In the world of online marketing, anything can be tracked and measured. Most people would find it scary how much information is gathered about them across the web. For the purposes of our small business websites, we don’t need to worry about gathering this level of data.

You only have so much time in the day, so it’s important to stay focused on what’s important.

With so many choices, it’s easy to get caught up in the “vanity” metrics. For example, how many Likes your last Facebook post received. Even though it’s fun to pay attention to numbers like those, it may become a waste of time if you prioritize them over other metrics.

There are a few key metrics that can help you determine how well your online marketing is performing. The important metrics are the ones that are related to your overall goals.

First look at the main phases in your online marketing system. (This article has a good overview of each of these phases.) Choose a metric within each phase that is representative of the outcome you’re hoping to achieve in that phase.


The Attract phase is all about attracting visitors to your website. This could be through advertising, social media, or other avenues. In this phase, you might want to track the number of Facebook followers, or the reach of your advertisements.


This phase is all about getting your website visitors to engage with your content. You may track overall website traffic, or focus on lowering your bounce rate.


The Interact phase contains your first main conversion goal. This phase occurs when someone changes from a website visitor to a lead. It’s common to track email sign-ups in this phase. You may also track the conversion rate: the percentage of website visitors who sign-up through your opt-in form.


In this phase, your leads convert into clients. An easy metric to track is the conversion rate for the number of leads who became clients. You will likely also want to track overall number of clients, revenue, or churn rate.

By tracking 1-2 key metrics from each of these phases, it’s much easier to know where to focus. This will give you a big picture view of the health of your online marketing system.

Each area is important, and if you only focus on one phase without the others, it’s possible your marketing system won’t perform as well as it could.

The goal is to focus on the areas that are driving results for your business. If Instagram isn’t important to your overall plan, then don’t spend much time fretting over your Instagram follow count.

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches by concentrating your efforts only on the metrics that matter.

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