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What These 5 Digital KPIs Say About Your Business

Below, I’ll dive into what your 5 favoured KPIs say about your business and provide suggestions to help you determine whether your KPIs echo the targets you care about.

Charles Hsuan




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.

Storyteller, digital strategist, and an unshakable optimist. He works with other entrepreneurs to help them grow and build a business of value. He is a guest contributor & was the digital media manager at Entrepreneur Magazine. He has a Master's in Marketing and Diploma from Digital Marketing Institute. Currently freelancing at Digital Candy Consulting. Find him on LinkedIn or e-mail him at

Compete to Win

How You Can Over-Deliver To Gain The Advantage

Go over and above for the people you serve, and you will enjoy the benefits of an abundant relationship.




Wise, established entrepreneurs know that over-delivering value — which simply means going above and beyond for the people we serve to deliver more satisfaction for our service and thus exceed expectations — is crucial to a business’s survival, growth and future. It represents the core of a company’s foundation. And without a solid foundation, a business is always vulnerable to a person or company that does over-deliver.

To ensure you don’t ever forget the importance of over-delivering value, here are three ways it will give you and your company a distinct competitive advantage:

1. Creates abundance

Success comes most to those who are surrounded by people who want their success to continue. When you over-deliver value, people may be sceptical at first, thinking that you are expecting something in return, but when you are consistent and genuine with your intentions, they begin to trust and appreciate that you are just thinking of them.

Related: Your Questions Answered With Alan Knott-Craig

You never know the value of the value you are delivering. But I’ve learnt that if you are consistently delivering greater value to people, your value becomes more and more aligned with the immediate needs of the people and companies you are serving — and abundance in the relationship is created. This is what over-delivering value is all about.

2. Earns respect

Entrepreneurs who take the time to over-deliver value are the ones who earn respect. Typically early-stage entrepreneurs tend to find ways to be the recipient of someone else’s value in a search for momentum.

You never know which transactional seed is going to grow, but when adding value to others, this type of seed is never forgotten.

For example, every quarter, I deliver a white paper to clients with the intention to challenge their thinking. My goal is for them to know that regardless of whether I am conducting business with them or not, I am thinking of them and thus strengthening our long-term relationship. And since my white papers focus on predicting future leadership trends and business strategies, when a related topic arises in one of their strategy meetings, they don’t hesitate to call me to discuss an opportunity for us to engage.

3. Enables distinction

Entrepreneurs who add value to others create and sustain a distinction in the minds and hearts of those they are serving. After all, most people are simply doing what they’re told to do inside the box they are given. Entrepreneurs can’t afford to do that.

Related: 7 Steps To Optimise Your Cycle Of Customer Service

We are the originators, the innovators and the opportunity seekers. We live our lives constantly in search of ways to add value to make things better. We disrupt the status quo. We are not in the business of fixing the old ways of doing things. We create new ways of doing things. If entrepreneurs are technically the experts at adding value through our products, services and brands, why can’t we add value through the people we depend upon most for our success?

Over-delivering value is the key not only to being a successful entrepreneur but also to the entrepreneurial mindset we must continually cultivate in ourselves and others. No one is successful alone. We must see the value in over-delivering value by being other-directed and connecting dots of opportunity with focus and purpose to become smarter and wiser, while making ourselves invaluable to the people and businesses we serve.

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Compete to Win

How Netflix Is Now Disrupting The Film Industry By Embracing Short-Term Chaos

One wrong move and Netflix could have been nothing more than a footnote in the history of entertainment. But by staying ahead of the curve and embracing disruption, the company is threatening some very entrenched competitors.

GG van Rooyen




Attendees of the annual Cannes Film Festival are typically not afraid to be vocal in their dislike of a new film — booing and hissing are both surprisingly common — but the recent film Okja possibly set some sort of record. The crowd was booing and jeering before the film had even properly begun. In fact, all it took was the name of the studio behind the film: Netflix.

Why the animosity? Netflix is disrupting the film industry, and the traditionalists aren’t happy. After debuting at Cannes, Okja wasn’t released in cinemas. No, instead it was released right to Netflix, free to stream as long as you have an account.

Of course, few would have guessed a few years ago that Netflix would ever get into the business of making its own television shows and movies. According to industry lore, entrepreneur Reed Hastings launched Netflix because he was annoyed with the exorbitant late fees of video/DVD store Blockbuster.

Instead of having to return a movie once you’ve watched it, he conceived of a business that would ship DVDs right to your door through the mail.

Related: Meet The 40 Richest Self-Made Entrepreneurs On Earth

It was a clever idea, but not one that seemed terribly disruptive. The whole process could be a bit of a hassle, and it required you to schedule your entertainment well ahead of time. Blockbuster even had a chance to buy Netflix, but decided that it wasn’t worth it.

The rise of streaming

Even as Netflix was hitting its stride in the early-2000s, the tide was already turning. It was becoming increasingly clear that the Internet was going to be an incredibly disruptive force, but many companies failed to notice. Or, if they did notice, they failed to take adequate action.

By 2007, the potential of streaming TV shows, films, music and books online was clear, but the DVD business was still doing well. However, Netflix decided to prepare for the future (and disrupt its own operations) by launching a streaming service. It did this by going to the traditional movie studios and television networks, and asking to licence their old content.

In the view of these studios and networks, old pieces of entertainment had run their course, so they were pleased with the new revenue stream.

This brings us back to Okja. Netflix has been creating its own content for the last few years because it realised that studios and networks would eventually catch on. At some point, they would understand that they were giving Netflix the ammunition needed to disrupt the industry. Why have Netflix stream your content if you could create your own streaming service?

“The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us,” Hastings said of one of the most popular American cable channels back in 2013.

In a mere 20 years, Netflix has gone from a low-tech operation that sends DVDs through the mail to one that not only streams content online, but is also producing its own content — content from some of the most respected actors, producers and directors in the world. All of this is costing Netflix hundreds of millions of dollars, and it remains to be seen if this strategy will ultimately pay off, but betting against Netflix is risky.

Related: How To Make Money Investing, According To Ashton Kutcher

Netflix has shown itself to be uniquely capable in drastically shifting its business model. Here is how Hastings explains it: “Short-term optimisation about being efficient is the death of long-term success and innovation. Building Netflix, we created a company that tolerated some short-term chaos, and we manage right at the edge of chaos. The value of that is keeping and stimulating the amazing thinkers, so when the market shifts, like DVD to streaming, or licence to original content, we have in Netflix all kinds of original thinkers, and that is the long-term optimisation that all of us in organisations want.”

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Compete to Win

SME Leaders: How You Can Manage Growth

Fresh growth is all around us this Spring – find out how you can powerfully manage growth as you provide leadership to your SME.




In the transition from start-up to scale-up, a critical factor for a growing business is the quality and strength of its leadership team.

Learning to trust and empower staff is a crucial step for SME leaders who wants to grow their business upwards.

As a business grows, one of the biggest challenges for the business founder and leader is the hand-over of an idea from the founder to the people who work there, The brand moves from being one person’s idea to being the professional focus of a whole group of people.

Without effective leadership, small businesses will be held back, more than three-quarters of SMEs provide no leadership development for their staff. What does this mean for you?

Related: We Went up Against A Highly Regulated, Entrenched Industry. Here Are 4 Tips For Getting Your Foot In The Door

If you lead your business with vision and clarity, you set yourself apart from your competition. Here’s how.

Lead the pack

A growing business creates more work than a leader can handle alone.

As the team grows, founders often react by micromanaging the details of their business. In trying to take on everyone else’s job, the founder often leaves the most critical position vacant: strategist and vision-setting.

Learn to trust and empower others in the organisation and you will find you have room to innovate, which is critical for business growth.

Related: What I Learned About Dating That Will Transform Any Business

Steady the ship

An effective leader will also engage others in the business to embrace and adapt to change as growth continues.

  1. Vision: First, plot the course for where the business should go in the short term, and the long term.
  2. Change: Understand what needs to be put in place to grow the business. You might need to source better business operating systems to streamline this growth, or change a few internal business processes, or rethink how you calculate your hourly rates.
  3. People: Growth equals change, and change equals pain, so if you want growth, budget for pain. Understand that you will need to guide and coach the staff into changing their mindset and adapting to these growth changes.

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