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What is a KPI? How can you track KPIs effectively?

KPI is one of the most important issues in digital marketing. This is an important topic that everyone who does marketing should know.

KPI, that is, “key performance indicator“, is the measure of the performance of the established company or firm depending on its goals. The values of the KPI are mostly numbers, it can be a ratio or an integer, but in some cases it can be positive or negative.

Determining KPIs is an important step for both newly established companies or companies that have been in the market for a long time, to ensure healthy and successful growth. For this, the company’s goals will need to be determined in advance. This is important as the KPI shows how the company’s performance is relative to the set targets.

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But another issue to consider here is that companies, especially those with large and different departments, cannot have a single, specific KPI. Each department’s KPI should be different. For example, the goals of the digital marketing department and the human resources department cannot be expected to be the same, so their performance should be evaluated according to different goals.

Determining KPIs in companies is one of the important steps that should not be skipped. KPI shows the situation of the company at that time, any problems and roughnesses, and accordingly, the steps that can be taken to eliminate them are decided. In the same way, the areas and subjects in which the company is successful are also taken into account and the methods that work are repeated.

KPI determination is an action that directly affects the growth and success of companies, especially in the field of digital marketing. For those who are not in the digital marketing industry, success is something that can be observed in a tangible way, but it is not a simple case for those inside the industry and company founders.

Especially if it is considered that there are too many different parameters in the digital world and that successes in these can mean different things for different sectors, different units will be required to measure success. This is where the help KPIs offer comes into play.

In order for KPIs to be seen, companies must first set goals for themselves. It is important that these goals are as realistic and selective as possible. It should be clear in which area you want to see growth in the digital market. It could be the number of visitors to your site, the amount of interaction they give, or even the number of incoming emails. Demanding all of them at once will not only be unrealistic and will cause extra effort and time loss on the way to success.

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Setting appropriate targets depends entirely on the goals of the owners and what product or service they are selling. For example, some products can be sold through the interaction of followers on social media, and some services when asked for a price via email. That’s why before determining the KPI, the company’s product or service should be considered and necessary research should be done. The KPIs determined on this will not only clearly show the success of the company, but also will warn the company owners and employees against possible future dangers and will help to take the necessary measures for this.

Specifically for the digital marketing field, KPIs are determined as the ratios of different digital metrics to each other. For example, it can be the ratio of the number of visitors or interactions the website receives to the amount of sales made or the amount of money earned. It is recommended to measure the numerically equivalent values. What should not be overlooked here is that the measured values ​​are compatible with the targets set, otherwise the results may not be useful for guidance.

Of course, there is no need to measure every parameter when determining KPIs, some of them can be a waste of time. It won’t make much sense to measure things that don’t change, things that your company can’t change.

Some of the determined KPIs should be specific to the channels used, what should be considered here is which social media tools are used and the conditions under which visitor interactions of these channels occur.

For example, if the channel used is social media, your leading indicator will be your number of followers. Your KPIs are the amount of interaction, the number of visits from your social media page to your website and, in fact, their conversion. On the other hand, if the channel you use is visits from other sites, your leading indicator will be the number of these visits, while your KPIs will be site visits, conversions and final revenue. The important thing is that different channels have different KPIs. While you can expect direct profit from SEO, that is, search engine optimized content or your email list, it will not be realistic to expect your social media pages to directly affect profit while you can target it and set your KPIs accordingly. Goals such as reaching more people and creating brand awareness are more suitable options for your social media channels.

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KPIs may seem unnecessary to some at first glance, but comparing data about your company to each other and to the goals you set will provide you with a lot of information that you would not normally notice. All you have to do for this is to pay attention to some points while determining your KPIs.

First of all, your KPIs should be free from uncertainty. For example, the “number of visitors” doesn’t mean much by itself, instead the number of visitors coming from certain social media channels or the number of visitors coming from your website refers to a much more specific group. KPIs determined with these data will provide you with the information necessary to guide your company.

For example, the “number of visitors” doesn’t mean much by itself, instead, the number of visitors coming from certain social media channels or the number of visitors coming from your website refers to a much more specific group. KPIs determined with these data will provide you with the information necessary to guide your company.

Another feature to look for in your KPIs is that they are measurable. Your data and goals should preferably be quantitatively measurable, if not at least recognizable if they are in a positive or negative state. Unmeasurable values, such as “customer satisfaction”, do not give you clear data, you cannot see whether you are getting close to your goals. If you want more specific and countable values, you can choose data such as “number of positive customer reviews on your website”.

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KPIs Should Be Followed Regularly

Balance is important in this regard. It is necessary to determine a good time period and check the KPIs at these intervals. If these time intervals are too narrow, no progress can be seen, even minor setbacks that are not significant, which can lead to misdirection. The time limit we mentioned above will already show you how close you are to your goals. However, regular checks will help you learn how your company reacts to the variables of the economy and the market you are in. This will help you take the necessary precautions.

Although the follow-up time period differs depending on the market of your product or service and the size of your company, generally recommended periods are one week, one month, and three months. Thus, you can change your weekly and monthly strategies according to the situation and minimize the loss of time and effort.

Tools to track your KPIs 

Google Data Studio

It is a data visualization and reporting tool that Google offers free to its users. By using Google Data Studio, you can collect KPIs from many different data sources in a single interface. You can simply share the interfaces you create with different users. At the same time, you can plan to share your dashboard with the users you want at certain intervals.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analysis tool from Google that allows you to understand the behavior of users entering your website. Google Analytics also allows you to create custom dashboards. Thus, you can create separate dashboards for your different goals.

If you do not want to create a dashboard from scratch or if you want to see how different users create dashboards, you can use the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery. You can integrate the drafts found here with one click into your own Google Analytics account.