The most important digital metric

If you are a seasoned digital professional, you probably have a whole array of dashboards that you compile for your clients and bosses.

From the Page Views to the Bounce Rate, the different dimensions of data often appear to be endless, and dare I say, sometimes meaningless!

I mean, what metric is really worth reporting and what can you omit? What digital metrics should feed into a marketing department’s KPIs?

These are questions that we ask ourselves when we take on a new client or embark on a new in-house marketing campaign/

As the old adage goes: “Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity”.

The same goes for our digital metrics – clicks are vanity, revenue is sanity.

Now revenue may not be the primary objective for many websites. This article is not aimed at those working in the public sector or promoting other informational websites.

The people I am talking to, are those who need to bring in a significant volume of revenue through the websites that you manage.

Often you will be running paid marketing campaigns and are not sure how fruitful a campaign is, beyond the initial clicks that you generate.

It is now an established ‘fact’ amongst marketing circles, that the vast majority of your web visitors will not be transacting with you on their first visit.

So what is the key metric for me?

Well it is a metric that I picked up on, when I was running affiliate campaigns at the very beginning of my digital marketing career.

It is such a simple metric, yet very few marketers seem to actually use it as a yardstick.

The magic metric is E-P-C or Earnings Per Click.

In a nutshell, it is the total amount of revenue generated during a marketing campaign, divided by the number of clicks generated.

If my campaign generated 10,000 clicks, which generated $50,000 in revenue, my EPC is $5.

Now, you can use EPC as a metric based on the total number of clicks, or you can chunk it further down by the channel, such as SEO, PPC, Email, etc.

So how does one use this metric?

Well, if you are running an annual sales campaign, you can use it as a like-for-like measurement to see if your website is generating a higher revenue for every visitor.

You may be bringing in the same organic visitors year on year, but have a more premium line of products this year. What you want to really measure is if these premium products will end up generating more money for you.

If that is the case, then the additional profit you make, can be invested in other search engine marketing activities.

If you are running a PPC campaign and you know that every click from that channel generates $2, and you need to generate $20,000 from a campaign. You can make a business case for a budget to buy 10,000 clicks. How much a click costs, will vary from industry to industry.

By now, you should be able to imagine a variety of situations where EPC will be a fruitful metric to use.

From my experience, what clients truly appreciate is talking to someone who has a commercial mindset.

So, on that note, start thinking less like a data geek and more like an entrepreneur!