By |Published On: June 10, 2016|

They say if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. If you’re a business owner or the person responsible for your company’s marketing, here are the key metrics to pay attention to.

In October-November 2014, BrightLocal conducted its annual SMB Internet Marketing Survey. Question 7 addressed the following:

What Metrics Should Business Owners Be Most Concerned With?

Not surprisingly, business owners value phone calls the most. After all, a ringing phone is a potential customer.

What does surprise me is the order the other metrics are ranked in—especially walk-in customers. Perhaps it’s because not every business serves customers at its location.

Or maybe it’s too difficult to connect the dots from a website visit to a store visit. But as a former business owner myself, I value face-to-face customer contact above website visits or search engine ranking.

With that in mind, here are the metrics I recommend you concern yourself with, in their proper order.

1. Profit

This is the true measure of your success. After all, it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep. If you’re flush with cash, forget the rest of these metrics and hop the next flight to Cabo.

2. Sales

Without sales, there’s no profit to be had—or anything else for that matter. Nothing happens until someone sells something.

3. Face Time with Prospects

Whether your customers walk through the door or you meet them at their location, nothing beats face time with a prospect. Not a phone call, an email or a request for proposal.

4. Phone Calls

The second best type of contact is a phone call. And the best salespeople manage to turn that into a face-to-face—by scheduling an appointment or convincing the prospect to come in.

5. Inquiries through Your Website

In my opinion, those who inquire by email through a website contact form are less serious than people who pick up the phone. (Unless, of course, it’s 3 a.m. and they’re in their pajamas.)

That’s not to say you shouldn’t follow up with website inquiries. The trick is knowing how much to follow up before giving up.


6. Website Traffic

Website traffic is one of those vanity metrics that can make you feel good without actually accomplishing much. Unless you know what happens after people visit, tracking website traffic as a lone metric is meaningless. It’s important to track, but only when taking the other metrics into account.

7. Ranking in Search Engines

Being number one on Google is priceless. Unless no one clicks through to visit your site, that is.

Don’t misunderstand. Being found online starts with your ranking in the organic search results. But like website traffic, it’s just one part of the equation.

Don’t Focus on Just One Metric

Lone metrics are like political sound bites—you don’t get the whole truth unless you hear it in its proper context. Likewise, marketers get off track by focusing on a single metric.

Or if you must obsess on a single metric, start with the most important one first. Then work backwards if something’s amiss. Only then can you fix the problem. If my son’s getting good grades, I’m not so concerned with the other homework metrics. But if grades are down, I start looking for missing assignments or low test scores.

Then I ground him. Which probably won’t work with your marketing director.

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