Professional Guide to Digital Marketing Metrics & Measuring Effectiveness

This guide covers the most important metrics to measure in digital marketing and how to measure the effectiveness. This is a professional guide on how to measure and evaluate effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns, we won’t be talking much about things like Google analytics. The following methods work best for blogs but can work for almost any page on the Internet providing it is publicly accessible.

The main topic here will be around how you can effectively measure user engagement and ultimately the performance of the of your marketing. User engagement is difficult to measure, standard metrics such as bounce rate and time on page can be used, but the best method is user signals.


Key Digital Marketing Metrics

Here is an effective strategy to monitor user engagement by utilising user signals –

1) Quantity Social Signals

2) Quantity of domains linking to the page

3) Quantity Web 2.0 links/mentions (please don’t shut down on this one, we will come back to it)

4) On page comments

5) Bounce rate

6) Time on page

If you are a seasoned SEO you will have spotted at least two things in here that look like spam, unfortunately these two methods have been abused by spammers and hence have got a bad name. Please hang on and let me explain…


Measuring Effectiveness

we have covered six key topics in measuring the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns. Although Google analytics is a very useful tool its ability is limited when it comes to evaluating the true performance of a marketing campaign, read on to find out what you can use to measure the true performance and impact of your digital marketing.


1) Quantity of Social Signals

Onto the first one, you’re thinking it sounds like 2008 search engine optimisation spam. And yes, making use of what the industry has called social signals is an old-fashioned search engine optimisation tactic, it may have worked a few years ago, it certainly doesn’t now – at least not directly. When I say directly, that is where the catch is! The reason people think social signals work is they obtain exposure for content that gets people’s attention, they then start to like, comment and share, that is what search engines like. Therefore, social signals have the appearance of helping organic SEO.

There are many tools available to check the quantity of social shares on a given page, the one I recommend is BuzzSumo.

This is what a good set of social signals looks like…

This is where the magic happens, if you’ve produced a worthwhile article and done a little promotion, social media will generally do the rest. So, if a page on your site is getting plenty of likes, shares and comments on social media the chances are it is worth talking about, and in turn this indicates users like it! You can use the social signals to evaluate how successful your content has been.


2) Quantity of Domains Linking to The Page

Again, assuming you know at least a bit about search engine optimisation the quantity of links pointing to a page is another strong indicator of good content, especially if they come from different domains. This leads me onto the next topic Web 2.0 links & mentions, please don’t go away, I am not talking about spammy link building. Please read on to get the full context…


3) Quantity of Forums, Web 2.0 links & mentions

I am talking about industry forums not about the traditional Web 2.0 locations such as BlogSpot and Tumblr.

If you have had anything to do with internet marketing or of ever had an in-depth conversation with somebody that does search engine optimisation, you have probably heard of this strategy that involves building links using Web 2.0 links. Nowadays it hardly ever works but plenty of people still sell it.

Web 2.0 sites are sites that are user generated content and a community of users that interact with the content mostly by liking and commenting.

Industry forum websites are an excellent way to evaluate your products, services and content.  Some very heated discussions can take place, and the major plus point is you get very little in the way of spam compared to social media platforms. Generally, the only people on specialist forums are the ones that are very passionate about their interest, getting links and recommendations on sites like these have very positive effects.


How to Find Forums That Talk About Your Website

Finding forums that mention your website is a lot easier than you may think, the easiest way is a Google search using custom search parameters.

Do a Google search with the following (replace with your own website domain name): “” inurl:forum

It should look something like this…


4) Quantity of On Page Comments

This one probably doesn’t really need explaining, it is simply where users can comment on a blog post or page and the comment can be seen publicly. Ultimately the more you get the better, it lengthens the page which will help the page to rank for extra keywords. It will also prove to Google that this content is active and engaging.


5) Bounce Rate

For any professional reading this, bounce rate won’t need explaining. For those that haven’t come across the term yet it is simply a ratio of people that exit the page without taking an action.

Having a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily bad, it simply means the user hasn’t clicked on any more buttons or links on the page and has navigated away after a period of time. It is very important to understand that a high bounce rate doesn’t mean your content hasn’t been read, it simply means they haven’t taken any further action.

Here is a classic example…

This page has a super high bounce rate but a long time on page, this can mean an issue with the page, often technical, however this page actually performs extremely well! Time on page is circled in green, and bounce rate is circled in red. This is a “how-to” page it performs consistently well ranking for a number of keywords in Google and generating a number of leads.

This proves that bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Of course, we could do some optimisation to pull people further into the site therefore having a good time on page and a low bounce rate.


6) Time on Page

Again, this won’t need explaining to anyone that does Internet marketing, it is what it says, the time in minutes and seconds that someone has spent on a specified page.

Time on page is subjective and will vary depending on the length and complexity of the page content. For the most part the more time spent on the page the better, but like bounce rate this can be a double-edged sword!

A long time on page may be good, but it could indicate the content isn’t well laid out or explained, so the person reading it must spend more time than is necessary which of course is frustrating for the user.

On the flipside, a very short time on page can indicate a problem.

There is a characteristic that goes hand-in-hand with an on page technical issue, that is high bounce rate and a low time on page. This of course says that a user is coming to the page and immediately going away, it could be the wrong content or a technical problem with the page.


Understanding Bounce Rate vs Time on Page

Here are the scenarios and their probable meaning…

Long time on page Short time on page
High bounce rate You are most likely answering the searcher’s query and they don’t require any further information. Long content: Most likely indicates a technical problem

Short content: You are most likely answering the searcher’s query and they don’t require any further information.

Low bounce rate Indicates the user is being led further into the site to get more information or take a further action. You are answering the searcher’s query and they don’t require any further information.



By using the above six metrics you will gain a far more in-depth analysis of your marketing efforts and what is effective and what isn’t. We suggest you create KPIs, put in place a system to measure and monitor. We are definitely not suggesting you abandon your analytic software it is a great tool to use alongside. If you combine the above methods along with platform analytics it should give you in-depth understanding of the effectiveness of your digital marketing.

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