What These 5 Digital KPIs Say About Your Business

What These 5 Digital KPIs Say About Your Business


Consider this: When businesses owners take their brand and products seriously, their product can sometimes matter more to the business than to their customers – and the stats can often show this. So, how do you increase relevance and returns?

In digital paid search, there are five primary metric options to drive paid search toward, but not every KPI is created equal. Below, I’ll dive into what five favoured KPIs say about your business and provide suggestions to help you determine whether your KPIs echo the targets you care most about.

1Click-through rate (CTR) CTR explained by Google adwords

In digital marketing, we’ve seen the majority of brands in South Africa focus on CTR when they run a banner advertising campaign and for good reason. A higher CTR means better-targeted audience platform and lower cost per click (CPC). CPC explained by Google Adwords.

The formula is the number of times a user clicks on an ad divided by the number of times your ad is shown (impressions). It is shown as a percentage (Higher the better), this measurement is an indicator of whether or not a user finds your ad helpful and relevant and ultimately determines whether or not your ad design is effective.

What you need to remember:

In your banner design it’s important to avoid misleading messages in the hopes of a higher CTR. This will not only lower your conversion rate but damage your brand image in the process. Go with your gut – but keep to your company values.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Slashing Digital Spend Might Not Actually Save You Those Rands And Cents

2Impression share


You now have the banner, the message is aligned to your KPIs and you’ve aligned your company values. What now? You need to attract the right kind of eye balls.

This is a relevant KPI for businesses wanting to spread awareness about its brand to the right target audience that will actually invest in your product and be satisfied with your offer.

Consistently getting in front of users searching for queries related to your business offerings is important, and that visibility can sometimes come at the cost of less flashy metrics like return on ad spend.

What you need to remember:

If your focus is solely on impression share you might run the risk of discarding key information in pursuit of visibility. Online interactions ads can be tracked, as visitors can be cookied, online orders and other interactions such as email signups, abandoned baskets attributed to ad clicks.

3Return on ad spend

In business lingo, this is basically a Return-on-Investment (ROI). As a business, you care about profitability, what did you pay for your advertising versus what your business got out of the ad spend.

The challenge comes in on how you measure that return on ad spend? Is it last-click attribution, counting offline interactions such as calls received or store visits?

What you need to remember:

Simply put, not all return on ad spend measures are created equal, and the better a business can get at connecting value to ads, the more effective optimisation will be. Each business owner needs to put in the effort to get attribution just right.

4Increased customer acquisition

You’re focused on growing your customer pipeline; let’s look at a few ways.

One is making cost per new customer acquisition the primary KPI, while another strategy is to not show ads to all existing customers.

Try to work out whether there is any value to interact/upsell existing clients, or interactions with new clients should hold more value?

Related: 10 Things Successful SA Entrepreneurs Do Differently

5Search Visibility / Keyword Ranking

According to Moz (Well know SEO consulting firm and community) “The Search Visibility score is the percentage of clicks we estimate you receive based on your organic rankings positions, across all of the keywords you’re tracking in your campaign.” Read more at Moz here.

Aim for page one, as a business owner, you should cover your SEO rankings for different search terms, phrases, and keywords.

Run a search on Google (delete the specific search history first) this will show your current position in local search results for different keywords and potentially the amount of people searching using that particular keyword or phrase.

Remember search visibility goes beyond keywords. It shows how visible you business are in, Google Maps, social media, and review sites. Business should also be aware that Google Knowledge Graph would most likely dominate search results.

Finally, look at all 5 digital KPIs and focus on what’s important for your business

The great thing about paid search is that you can measure all 5 metrics at the same time.  However, you have to choose what’s most important to your brand.

In the grand scheme of things, businesses should keep track of all of these metrics (as well as others, such as conversion rate, bounce rate etc) optimise toward those that prove the real value for your business.

Charles Hsuan
Charles Hsuan, digital strategy expert. He has a Masters in Marketing and Diploma from Digital Marketing Institute. He was the digital manager at Entrepreneur Media from 2013 till early 2017. Currently a partner at Digital Candy Consulting and Digital Marketing Lecturer. He is a firm believer in “People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” Email him at charleshsuan@gmail.com or connect with him on linkedin.