Setting Digital Marketing Goals that Actually Get You Results

“The greatest danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo, about his latest social media campaign.*

Everyone knows that to get great results, you need to set goals. So we’re not going to harp on about how it’s been proven again and again (and again) that setting specific goals consistently leads to higher performance than just a general intent to give it your best shot.

We’re also not going to remind you that setting realistic goals help you evaluate and thus really understand your current position. And we’re certainly not going to go on about the bonus of SMART goals (go away you specific-measurable-attainable-relevant-timebased nancies).

So, because you’re all smarty-gurus who already clearly know what the deal is, we’re instead going to suggest some metrics that you may want to include the next time you sit down to evaluate your digital marketing goals.

For those who want to…

Drive traffic to your website

  • Total site visitors – a no brainer. Your website’s total visitor count is crucial to keep track of, for an overall understanding of your traffic situation, and to track how effective your campaigns are. This number should rise steadily over time (…duh), but also check for peaks or troughs  these could indicate changes in your campaign and are worth checking out.
  • % new visitors – A great way to ensure you’re engaging new visitors and expanding your audience, rather than purely catering to your existing audience (both are great, but for different reasons!). If you’re getting lots of new visitors but they don’t seem to be returning, you might want to consider how to make your website more *buzzword* “sticky” – i.e. the ability to compel visitors to hang around and get lost in the beauty of your content
  • Average session duration – Speaking of stickyness – this is the metric for that bad boy. Average session duration is the average time spent on your site; a number which you want to be in minutes, rather than seconds
  • Channel-specific traffic – These metrics allow you to know where your web visitors are coming from, allowing you to identify which channels need extra effort
    • Organic/search – These are the visitors who have found your page via a search query. We like these visitors very much because they found your website organically (meaning zero dollars were spent getting them there), which is reflective of great SEO.
    • Social media – people who came to your website via a social platform (IG, Facebook, etc), a great indication of how engaging and relevant your social content is

Increase conversions on your website

  • Total conversion – ‘Conversions’ is a rather vague term that can roughly be translated as the completion of a pre-defined goal, such as a website visitor converting into a paying customer. Other types of conversions aside from making a purchase could be a website visitor downloading an ebook, creating an account, clicking a download button, or signing up to your newsletter.
  • Conversion rate – (Number of sales / Number visitors) x 100. This is the number of people that visit you site and actually complete the action you want them to (yaaas!).
  • Bounce rate – This is the percentage of people who leave your site without clicking onto any other pages. If your goal is conversion, then a high bounce rate will make that difficult, as it means your visitors are bouncing right on outta there before they can convert.

Boost blog performance

  • Total page views – Another obvious one, but page views on your blog is essential for a big-picture idea of how your blog is tracking.
  • Interactions – The number of likes, comments, discussions, clicks, new subscribers and social media shares speaks volumes about the worthiness of your blog content and how popular it is with your audience.
  • % of both new visits and % of repeat visits – Whether you’re trying to attract new readers and grow your following, or trying to maintain a happy blog community (we recommend you aim for both!) these metrics are crucial to track.

Improve email marketing

  • Open rate – The number of times your email has been opened gives a great indication of factors such as the best subject/headline to make people actually want to open your mail and the best day/time to send emails, as well as an idea of how many people in your email list are actually responsive to email marketing.
  • Delivery rate/bounce rate – Delivery rate shows what percentage of your email marketing campaign makes it into your audience’s inbox (i.e. doesn’t get caught in spam filters!). Bounce rate shows how many emails bounced right back because the email addresses can’t receive mail (indicating a fake email or perhaps misspelled) – those that continuously bounce can be removed from your mailing list.
  • Click through rate (CTR) – Most of the time you want your email readers to engage with your mail and click through to another page to take action, such as making a purchase or signing up to an event. CTR tracks how often your readers are actually engaging like this.
  • Unsubscribe rate – If you’re getting lost of people unsubscribing to your mailing list, you might want to rethink your strategy in terms of email content, frequency, and purpose.

Nail event hype

  • Social media interactions – The volume of social media interactions (think posts, mentions, shares, tweets, retweets, event-specific hashtag usage) shows how engaged and excited your event audience is. These can be tracked by event hashtags and geolocation filters, and encouraged by things like Q&A sessions conducted via social media platforms, and competitions.
  • Platform usage – Aside from the usual social media, there are a multitude of platforms available to encourage interaction at an event. The rate of engagement with platforms such as live polling and event-specific applications shows how involved your audience is in the moment.
  • New followers – The amount of new followers gained across all of your various social media channels throughout and after the event is a great indication that the hype is real.
  • Satisfaction surveys – When the buzz of the day has died down, it’s always essential to follow up with a satisfaction survey to understand what attendees did and didn’t like, to make sure you can deliver an even better experience at the next event.


Feeling motivated? Want to take all of that motivation and put it in one place to remember for the day that you have as much motivation as a hungover checkout-girl on a Sunday morning? Download our social media planner!


*Probably. What? You weren’t there jeez. P.S. Michelangelo was too busy being an art-wizard to utter that particular phrase so it’s actually properly attributed to Ken Robinson, some poor British fellow who has the blessing/curse of his words being stolen by a dead artist. Now THERE’s a dinner party fact that you should whip out absolutely never.