A key performance indicator (KPI) is a main measurement of performance used to track goals and quantify outcomes.

How to Measure KPIs

Without bench-marketing efforts, it’s more difficult to measure success. Follow these five steps to measure KPIs:

1. Set Business Goals

Before going through the process of collecting data and analyzing KPIs, you must have a plan to measure your performance by defining your business objectives. These can include growing brand awareness, increasing your social media presence or improving conversion rates.

2. Decide on a Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy and the techniques and tools used will not only help you achieve your goals, but influence the KPIs used to monitor performance. For example, if you want to use social media marketing as one of your channels, use the example KPIs listed below.

3. Select Key Performance Indicators

To avoid information overload, pick a certain number of KPIs to monitor and report. These KPIs will align with your business goals so you will know if you are meeting your objectives.

4. Organize & Segment Your Data

Various analytics tools provide a way to segment the data to make it easier to gauge changes in KPIs and determine the causes. Examples of segments include devices/operating systems and characteristics of users.

instagram outbound analytics from sprout social

5. Provide Targets for KPIs

Finally, pick numbers for the goals you want to hit. Do you want to increase conversion rates by 7% in a quarter? Are you looking to grow your number of social media followers by 500 at the end of the month?

Pros of Measuring Key Performance Indicators

Here are the pros of measuring KPIs:

  • Follow customer interactions throughout the buyer’s journey
  • Improve future measurement plans and campaigns
  • Report on goals and outcomes
  • Troubleshoot problem areas with site performance and more

Here are some examples of KPIs often tracked in digital marketing pillars:

Site performance/user experience (UX)

  • New visitors vs. returning visitors
  • Pages per visit
  • Total page views
  • Bounce rate
  • Average session duration

Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • Clicks
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Backlinks
  • Organic search traffic
  • Referral traffic

Social Media

  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Mentions
  • Reach


  • Lead conversion rate
  • Cost per lead
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Lifetime customer value