What happens when you don’t market your business? Nothing! No marketing = no business.

Small business marketing success hinges on developing a strategic marketing plan that includes the right marketing metrics to track according to your business objectives. Your bank account will tell you, in general, how well your business is doing. However, that’s a very high-level metric. We need more information than that, and by the time your bank account reflects what’s happening in your business, it’s almost too late to course-correct.

Today, we’re going to dive into the world of KPIs.

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. Good KPIs provide objective evidence of progress toward achieving a desired result, according to kpi.org. A good KPI will measure what is intended to be measured to help inform better decision-making and offer a comparison that gauges the degree of performance change over time.

The important marketing metrics you need to track depend on whether your marketing efforts are in the realm of organic lead generation or paid traffic. We’re focusing on organic lead generation in this article.  

Conversion KPIs You Should Know For Success

Conversions are the most impactful metric to track in your marketing campaigns. When you know how well your content is converting or how well you’re able to convert a lead to a prospect and then to a client, you have the data you need to be able to perform revenue forecasting for your business accurately.

Many types of conversions can be tracked, but we’ll focus on the top three important metrics that everyone should be tracking:


Sales Conversion Rate (I.E., Sales Page or Consultation Call Converting To a Sale)

As business owners, we all want to make sales, and tracking our conversion rate will tell us how well we’re doing. A sales conversion rate comes from simply tracking the conversion of your sales page, your consult call conversion rate, or any other way method you use to make sales. When we’re talking about a sales page, technology is our friend. Through Google Analytics, you can set up conversion events that specifically target your sales page(s) and track specific goals. Doing this lets you see how many people visited and how many conversions resulted from those visits. This is how you get your conversion rate. Total visitors divided by total conversions gives you your conversion rate. 

Let’s say your offer is spectacular, and it gets amazing results for your clients, but your sales page isn’t converting well. That indicates a potential messaging problem. Heatmap software is very helpful when it comes to watching what people do on the page. It screenshots the entire interaction and creates a heatmap of the spots on the page where they lingered or clicked. It also shows you at what point visitors tend to drop off. We use Zoho One, which includes their Pagesense app. Another popular option is Hotjar. It’s so fun to watch what people do when they land on your page! 

Below are four segments of our Marketing Methodology Workshop landing page showing what the heatmap looks like. We've circled the data that tells us how many visitors make it to each section. This is a high-converting page and most visitors convert at the top. Heatmaps are fantastic tools to use when you're testing out a sales page or a landing page. Both of the tools mentioned show clicks and scroll patterns as well.

This image shows the top of the page where 100% of visitors land. The color is red hot!

Marketing Methodology Page Heatmap 1

This image shows where the average fold appears on the screen for all devices (computer, tablet, and phone). It also shows the percentage of visitors is decreasing as we move down the page.

Marketing Methodology Page Heatmap 2

We're about halfway down the page and the heatmap shows that 31% of visitors make it this far.

Marketing Methodology Page Heatmap 3

Notice how cool the overlay color is at the bottom of the page indicating that the fewest number of visitors scroll this far down the page.

Marketing Methodology Page Heatmap 4


Lead-to-Prospect Conversion Rate (Top of Funnel, Opt-ins)

The customer journey funnel is wide at the top. This is where the people who are just getting to know you can be found. They are at the “aware” stage. It’s important to draw in the right people, not just any people. To do this, we first need to make sure we know who our ideal client is. 

Next, we need to give them a taste of what we have to offer in the form of a free opt-in. Free opt-ins are called lead magnets because the idea is that the gift they receive in exchange for opting in is something valuable to them - it speaks to where they are in their journey and entices them to exchange their email address for what is being offered.

Tracking how well our top-of-the-funnel opt-ins are performing is very important because if we’re missing the mark there, the number of people who make it any farther down the funnel will be too small to sustain our business. 


Prospect-to-Client Conversion Rate (Middle To Bottom of The Funnel)

Making sales is the ultimate form of validation that what we have to offer is wanted by our ideal clients. Before we can make a sale, however, we need to have proven our value to our prospects. This is done by providing consistent value through content and nurturing activities.

If you have a lot of prospects interested in the solution you provide but you’re unable to convert them to clients, you’ll need to do some investigative work to determine what’s going on. Be sure to make a list of objections you receive so you can begin to address those in your content. Your content can and should do the heavy lifting for you, making your sales process much easier.

The Customer Journey Funnel

Encore Empire Customer Journey Funnel

Engagement KPIs You Should Know For Success

Engagement is one of the most popular key marketing metrics to track. And, while we want to make sure that our content is engaging, we also don’t want to become distracted by vanity metrics. Hootsuite defines vanity metrics as an analytics item that can be measured but is not a signifier of real return on investment. Examples include the number of followers, likes, or comments. These metrics are best contextualized by more concrete numbers such as click-through rate or visitor-to-lead conversions.

We want to attract the right people, not just any people. Engagement from the wrong people will give you false data. False data is useless data. Everything starts and ends with knowing who your ideal customer is and speaking their language. From the minute we attract our ideal prospects to the minute we begin serving them as a client, it’s their satisfaction that counts most.


Email Open Rate

Your open rate indicates the number of people on your list who are actively engaged. The average email open rate is 20%. There are a number of ways to maintain a healthy list and increase your open rate. One best practice is to perform a list cleanup once a year. When we’re spending so much time crafting content, we want to know that it’s going to the right people - the people who want to consume it.


Email Click-Through Rate

Another email metric that indicates a warm audience is the email click-through rate. Every piece of content should include a call to action. In an email, the links that you include as calls to action do us no good if nobody clicks them. Paying attention to your email click-through rate is another way to gauge the health of your email list.


Engagement With Your Content

  • On Social Media

Buffer says, “Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.” In order to create content that is engaging for your audience, you have to know your audience, and that requires good old-fashioned market research.

Unless you speak your ideal client’s language, you won’t be able to get their attention long enough to stop the scroll and attract more people like them, and that’s the goal. Each social media platform provides an analysis of engagement with your content.

  • On Your Blog

Blogs are great for increasing your website traffic by using search engine optimization. Blogs work well for lifestyle brands and anyone who wants to leverage the power of SEO to attract the right people continuously behind the scenes. When done right, blogs bring an endless return on investment of the upfront time spent writing them. We use RankIQ to help us optimize and rank high in search quickly.

  • On YouTube

If you like creating video content more than writing blog posts, YouTube is where you want to be. The second largest search engine after Google, YouTube provides you with a comprehensive dashboard that shows you everything you need to know about how your content is performing. Using third-party apps and analytics such as TubeBuddy helps you optimize your content for better results.

  • On Your Podcast

Maybe you’re camera-shy, and writing is not your jam. Hosting a podcast may be right up your alley! Podcasts are one of the best ways to reach a wide audience. They offer portable entertainment and educational content that people can binge on. Private podcast feeds are also becoming mainstream as a supplement to online courses and programs. We use Hello Audio for our one-on-one client coaching calls so they can listen back to what we covered at their convenience. 

We use Chartable to track the important marketing metrics of our public podcast, The Encore Entrepreneur: Female Online Business Owners Over 40.

  • On Your Learning Platform

Do you host content on a learning platform? We do, and the important digital marketing metrics we receive from the activity there is pure gold!

We host our Marketing Methodology Workshop and all of our top-of-the-funnel and client education resources on MemberVault. It’s here that we’re able to collect our ideal client language easily and consistently. This is one of the most important aspects of successful marketing, and yet nobody—except us—talks about it. 

You can leverage your learning platform metrics by using quiz questions to survey your students/clients/audience. We use MemberVault’s amazing quiz question feature to ask questions that will give us the best data about what our ideal clients are struggling with.

MemberVault takes this a step further and enables us to reply to the responses inside their platform. There’s no need to download and upload questions and answers or go to another platform to gather data - it’s all done in one spot. Talk about convenience! This is by far our best marketing secret weapon, except that we don’t keep it a secret!

Website Traffic KPIs You Should Know For Success

Your website should be more than a glorified digital business card. When properly optimized for search engine optimization (SEO), your website can keep bringing in leads 24/7 while you’re busy taking care of clients. Of course, SEO takes work and requires consistent posting and monitoring, but for many of us, it’s a much better option than social media marketing.

You need to connect your website to Google Search Console as well as your Google Analytics account to be able to see the effectiveness of your content over time.

Google Search Console will show you the number of impressions and clicks your site gets as well as the top queries you’re being found for. Google Analytics will show you user acquisition, engagement, and behavior. You can also create conversion events in Google Analytics to track the effectiveness of your landing and sales pages. Data Driven has a blog article outlining the differences between Google Search Console and Google Analytics 4, also known as GA4.



Depending on your business goals, you’ll want to track the following regarding the visits per page:

  • Impressions

The number of times the page appears in search results. You can find this data inside Google Search Console.

  • Clicks

The number of clicks on your page from search results. You can find this data inside Google Search Console.

  • Page Views

Screen view and page views. You can find this data in Google Analytics.

  • Users

The “users” metric depicts the total number of active users. You can find this data in Google Analytics.

  • Average Engagement Time

The average length of time the website had "focus on the browser." You can find this data in Google Analytics.


Duration of Visit

The longer someone remains on your website, the better your SEO score. Typically, people will remain on a site because the content they find there is relevant, and this signals to Google that your site is relevant. As mentioned above, you can find the Average Engagement Time in Google Analytics, but an even better tool to use is a heatmap tool such as Zoho PageSense, or Hotjar. We use Zoho One for our back-end business management, and PageSense is included in the low monthly fee. Hotjar is a great tool but is more expensive.

Referral KPIs You Should Know For Success

Many of us enjoy the benefits of acquiring clients through referrals. In order to understand where you should focus your efforts, it’s important to track client acquisition metrics. Doing so helps you determine your customer acquisition cost, which in turn, helps ensure you price your offers appropriately so that all of your costs are covered with profit built in. 

If one of your primary client acquisition channels is through referrals, you will benefit from tracking those. One way is to create a formal affiliate program. Another way is to offer a referral fee. Both of these options create a method that allows you to track when a client was referred and by whom.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Speaking of customer acquisition cost! This metric makes up a key part of your marketing and sales KPIs, and absolutely every business needs to know their customer acquisition cost. When you don't know your CAC, you might do what everyone else is doing and invest in a social media marketing strategy or agency to carry out the strategy for you.

If your main customer acquisition pipeline is filled through referrals or SEO, you’d be wasting your money spending it on a social media marketing strategy. Doing so would artificially inflate your customer acquisition cost leading you to charge higher rates than necessary. While we’re all for charging what you’re worth, you don’t want to overprice yourself in your industry.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The Customer Lifetime Value is calculated by multiplying your customers' average purchase value, average purchase frequency, and average customer lifespan. Zoho provides the definition, formula, and calculation with examples in this article.

Customer Satisfaction KPIs You Should Know For Success

Your customer lifetime value will increase when you nail your customer satisfaction score (CSAT). All of our business metrics are giving us the data we need to attract more ideal clients. It’s up to us to develop a customer satisfaction process to ensure that we’re able to achieve a high customer retention value and increase our customer lifetime value. 

Your main business objective is to attract and retain clients. As with every part of the customer journey, from attracting the right people to creating satisfied customers, the number one indicator of how well we’re doing our job is what the customer has to say about it. To attract the right people - not just any people - we need to speak our ideal client’s language. We can’t do that unless and until we’re in conversation with them. 

Customer satisfaction is the most important of all of the metrics you can track. A good sales page or salesperson can sell anything, but if the customer experience is dismal, those sales do you no good. The customer is king—or queen at Encore Empire, and their well-being should be of the utmost importance every step of the way. 

Identify the customer success metrics that matter most to your customers and your business. Be aware that there are varying degrees of success that are achievable for almost every type of service-based business. If the success of the customer hinges on them doing the work, then developing and sharing standard customer success metrics with your clients allows both of you to see how well they’re doing. 

For best results, you’ll want to include measurable metrics that you and your customers can understand and achieve. Sometimes, client success isn’t quantifiable. It might be a shift in mindset or a new understanding of how to do the thing you help them with. These types of wins, while not measurable, are valuable nonetheless, and they can add a great deal to your overall client satisfaction. We can consider them to be the icing on the cake. 

The cake is comprised of the key metrics you track from the time a new client is onboarded to the time their contract is complete. At Encore Empire, we have our new clients rate their current satisfaction in fourteen key areas. These are as follows:

  1. Finances/Accounting
  2. Tech
  3. Knowing Who Their Ideal Client Is
  4. Their Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  5. Offers and Pricing
  6. Planning and Productivity 
  7. Marketing Plan and Strategy
  8. Relationship Marketing and Lead Generation
  9. Content Creation
  10. Calls to Action
  11. Audience Nurturing Activities
  12. Visibility
  13. Conversion Events
  14. Growing and Scaling With a Team

This sets a baseline from which we can track improvement over time. Many of our clients are amazed by the progress they make in these areas. We teach them how to run their business so that their return on investment in the cost of our program is never-ending.

The right metrics for you to track depend on what you offer and how you work with your clients. If you’re unsure about how to go about developing the right KPIs for your business, kpi.org has a ton of useful and accurate information about KPI development.

Small Business Marketing Success Requires A Strategy

As you can see, there are a lot of key performance indicators we can track throughout the customer life-cycle. The most important metrics for your business will be determined by the type of business you own and your primary objectives. 

The most important objective for every business is client satisfaction, but it’s also important to understand what happens along the way, from well before your potential customers turn into clients to when a client engagement ends.

We can help you dive deeper into understanding how to connect with your audience on an emotional level while we help you build out your marketing plan for the next twelve months when you join us for The Marketing Methodology Workshop. 

This workshop is unlike any other. We provide step-by-step guidance, resources, and a framework that we help you customize for your business. All for free! We’ve been told we should charge for what we teach during our five days together, but we enjoy blowing the minds of our attendees by giving them actionable steps and a solid marketing plan that they can use in their business over and over again.

Below is the Marketing Methodology Workshop Itinerary:

Day 1: Begin With The End In Mind

Learn how to connect with your ideal client on an emotional level based on what they want most.  Typically, entrepreneurs are lacking clarity in communicating what they offer.  On Day #1, you’ll be taught how to determine the content that will lead your prospects to want what it is you have to offer.

Day 2: Learn the A-B-C Method of Converting Prospects to Clients

Outline the right events and activities for the year that will provide you with a sustainable lead generation system. Your marketing plan should bring in qualified prospects, not just more prospects. We’ll explain the difference and show you how.

Day 3: Build a Streamlined, Effective, Flexible Marketing System

Create the content that leads the right prospects to the events and activities you identified during the annual marketing planning session. Discover how to use content to overcome objections and educate to provide value to your prospects and establish your expertise. Learn how to use world events to your benefit.

Day 4: Bringing it All Together - Developing Your Annual Marketing Framework

This is the day when we combine the work you've done during each of the three previous days to ensure that you're set up for maximum success with the right offers marketed to the right people with the right type of content. Once you've got this down, your life will be so much easier! Gone will be the days of confusion and frustration at not knowing what your next step should be.

Day 5: The Encore Advantage with Workshop Q&A + One-Hour Private Co-Working Session

Our goal with this free workshop is to provide more value than what you got from the last paid product you purchased. To ensure that we leave no stone unturned! When you begin taking action, questions will arise, and we're here to answer them for you. We will share with you The Encore Advantage, and we will provide a 1-hour private group co-working session where you can get additional guidance to apply the principles we teach to your specific situation.

See you on the inside!

Carmen Reed-Gilkison

About the author

Carmen Reed-Gilkison is a certified Online Business Manager and Whole Person Certified Coach with 25+ years of marketing experience.

Deirdre Harter is a Certified Public Accountant with 20+ years of experience auditing and advising businesses of all sizes about how to build sustainable profitability in their companies.

They are also the co-founders of Encore Empire. Click here to learn more about their mission to help female entrepreneurs who happen to be over forty step into their power

To send a message to Carmen and Deirdre, click here

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