Metrics Small Businesses Should Track Part 0.2

In our last blog I explained the necessity of tracking metrics particularly when it comes to overall finances and conversions.

Today we’ll take a look at the importance of tracking Customer Acquisition Costs, Traffic Acquisition, Competition, Content, Customer Loyalty, Productivity and Mobile vs. Desktop metrics.

1. Customer Per Cost Acquisition Metrics (Cost Per Acquisition or CPA)

The cost of customer acquisition is a value that reflects the costs incurred to get a new customer. The simple way to get this value is to divide the total of your acquisition costs by the number of your new customers.

Once you do this, the resultant value will reflect whether your marketing campaigns are effective or not. As time passes and you build your brand image, this metric needs to decrease.

2. Traffic Acquisition Metrics

How are people getting to your website? Social? Organic search? Direct clicks? Knowing these metrics tell you where you should put more of your energy and what you should stop putting energy into.

If organic search is pulling in over half of your traffic, you’re in a great position. Let’s say your email newsletter is only bringing in 2%, however. You need to put more energy into improving your lists and the quality of content you send out.

Small lists will never build big traffic. So make it a primary objective to grow your list, and while you’re doing that, test everything to see what gets more traffic. (Your email service provider should have A/B testing available, so use it).

3. Competition Metrics

There are lots of reasons to keep tabs on competitors (one would be that you might learn a thing or two from them).

RivalIQ produces very nice reports that show you how you stack up with some basic SEO and SEM, but where it shines is in comparing social networks, social content, and social engagement.

4. Operating Productivity Metrics

Productivity is a critical factor for any business. Knowing the potential of your staff and ensuring that they are giving you their very best is essential to running an efficient business capable of growth.

If you don’t have a solid idea of what your operating productivity is, it will be difficult for you to manage your operations and you may also end up facing financial difficulties. Needless to say, your productivity figures should continuously rise in any given period.

I recommend the following tools for tracking efficiency and productivity:

•  We use Basecamp at 10twelve. Employees add their tasks for the day/week/month and check them off as they're completed. It helps management see what's on an everyone’s plate for the day and what they were able to get through without having to drill them.

•  DeskTime is another simple (but effective) tool with real-time automatic tracking capabilities. This allows management to categorize applications as productive, unproductive and neutral to truly gauge just how productive each and every employee in the organization is. The software also allows agencies to track billable hours among their employees.

5. Mobile vs. Desktop Metrics

This measurement helps you see what kinds of devices people used to visit your site, whether laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. You can even see which device your visitors are using.

If you’ve received emails from Google Webmaster Tools telling you your site isn’t mobile friendly, you can now understand why. One look at the numbers and you’ll see the necessity of having a mobile-friendly website.

Your mobile visitors are only going to increase, so don’t wait to fix this one. If you’re getting a new website designed, make sure it uses HTML5 and responsive design.

If you have a standard website, make sure you have a mobile-friendly theme. Your goal is to increase conversions and that includes the mobile environment (if you ignore this, you are ignoring a goldmine for your business).

Hint: Drip campaigns on all channels are an incredible way to drive more people to the website. Consider creating geo-targeted or demographic-targeted social and web ads as well. When well-executed (which basically just takes practice and testing) you can increase your conversion rather rapidly.

6. Content Metrics

Most of us understand that content is king, but do you know that it’s vital to see how your content is performing? It’s crucial to measure your content if you are going to understand how to make it perform better.

Studying the performance of other brands’ content, including your competitors, is one of the keys to getting your content to the next level.

BuzzSumo is essentially a search engine that tracks how content is shared and how it performs. I recommend it because it shows you who shares what content and who links to what content.

It can give you content ideas, influencers, and guest post opportunities.

Few business owners understand how useful it can be for monitoring content. Within the features is a tab called Content Analysis. Put in any search term, website or competitor and it will produce a report that shows you:

•  What network is best for you

•  What content type is best for you

•  What day is best to post

•  Average shares by content length

This kind of information can be gold for your small business.

The good news is that once you set everything up once and figure out the reporting you need, it gets a lot easier to run your business.

You end up seeing very clearly what you’re dealing with and making decisions based on fact, instead of just winging it.

However, if this seems like a monumental project to you, outsource your content metrics management to a marketing agency. You might find it’s the best money you’ve ever spend.