De-mystifying digital marketing, one article at a time.
Creative Services
Online Services

What Is a Key Performance Indicator?

A Key Performance Indicator is a specific, mathematical metric that indicates whether or not you are meeting your marketing goals. You can monitor KPIs for your website, SEO, social media accounts, Google Ads, and more.

It’s always nice to feel as though your marketing efforts are making a difference. But in the immortal words of Boston, you want…more than a feeling.

You want to know (as clear as the sun in the summer skyyyyy) that your hard-earned money is going to good use.

Thankfully, there are concrete metrics you can monitor at every turn to ensure that your marketing team is getting the job done. Those metrics are called KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. And they can be found in virtually every subcategory of your overall marketing strategy. We’re talkin’ SEO, websites, social media, and all that jazz.

We’ll get into those details later on. But first, let’s talk about why KPIs are important.

Why Monitor KPIs In the First Place?

If you aren’t monitoring your performance metrics already, it’s time to start. Doing so will allow you to:

1. Boost Your Return on Investment

KPIs are forward-facing metrics that tell you where you’re going and how you’re doing. ROIs, or Returns on Investment, are backward-facing metrics that tell where you ended up and how you did.

You could wait until you’re at the end of the road to see how all your marketing efforts shook out. Or, you could do check-ins along the way and make adjustments when things seem off track. KPIs make that second (and far superior) route possible.

2. Generate Powerful New Leads

With KPIs, you can see exactly what is and is not working for you. From there, you can make assumptions about who is more likely to engage with your content and where you can find them.

We recommend that you pay special attention to KPIs like bounce rate tracking, conversion rates, and average time on page. These details will tell you how many visitors are leaving your website without checking out other pages, how many visitors actually paid for a good or service, and how long the average visitor stayed on your webpage. With this information, you’ll be able to determine how valuable the leads are and whether your efforts would be more effective elsewhere.

Which KPIs Should You Keep an Eye On?

When it comes to marketing-related KPIs, the world is your oyster. There’s no limit to the kind of details you can keep tabs on. But if you’re looking for a place to start, here is a quick rundown of the metrics we like to prioritize:

Search Engine Optimization

SEO: you know it, you love it, you kind of understand it.

But how do you know if it’s working? Keep an eye on . . .

  • Impressions on Google
  • Clicks
  • Click-through Rate
  • Average Position
  • Conversions

These details will help you improve your organic search results and boost your website visits and leads.


Your website. (AKA, your literal baby.)

How do you ensure she’s getting what she needs? Watch for . . .

  • Bounce Rate
  • Time On Page
  • User Flow
  • Conversion Rate

With this info, you’ll understand what it takes to keep Baby happy, healthy, and effective.

Social Media

Social media: liked by some, loathed by others. Essential to your marketing efforts regardless of which camp you call home.

How to make sure it’s working for you? Monitor . . .

  • Impressions
  • Engagement Rate
  • New Followers

These metrics will let you know whether your social media presence is providing a good Return on Investment.

Facebook (Meta) Ads

Facebook Ads. AKA, social media that you pay for.

Make sure that money is going to good use by watching out for:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Engagement Rate
  • Leads

These KPIs will track the efficiency of your Facebook Ads and keep you on the right track.

Google Ads

Google Ads. AKA, SEO that you pay for. Kind of.

Google Ads are highly effective when done the right way. Monitor these KPIs to make sure you get what you’re paying for:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Click-through Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Cost Per Conversion

These details will help you ensure that your message reaches the right audience

A KPI is a specific, mathematical metric that indicates whether or not you are meeting your marketing goals.

What to Do If Your KPIs Aren’t Up to Snuff

In a perfect world, monitoring the KPIs listed above will lead to good feelings and fat wallets. But that is sadly not always the case. So, what to do when your KPIs indicate that your strategy isn’t working?

Here’s what we recommend:

Revamp Your Content

Content is king. Always has been. Always will be. So if your marketing strategy isn’t working out, it might be time to kneel again at the metaphorical throne.

(That’s our dramatic way of saying you should probably rewrite some stuff.)

And listen, we know that copywriting is far outside the realm of what’s comfortable for most people. That’s why we’ve provided some helpful guides here, here, and here.

Check Out What’s Working for Competitors

Take a look at what other people in your industry are doing. What’s working? How does it compare to what you’ve got going on? If the heavy hitters in your market are doing something radically different, it may be time to take a page from their books.

Expand Your Marketing Team

Like it or not, marketing is not really a one-man job. So if you’re unhappy with your KPI results, it may be time to expand the team. You could hire a copywriter, a social media strategist, an SEO expert, or someone who wears all of these hats and more.

Remember that Results Take Time

Remember, KPIs and ROIs are two separate concepts. In other words, the numbers may not be quite where you want them, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get there. Sometimes, staying the course and letting time do its thing is the right way to go—especially when it comes to SEO. If you are confident in the work you’ve already put in, then by all means, stay confident! And let us know how it goes.

Share this article

Did you find this article useful? Share it up!