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How to Create a Measurement Plan for Your Business

Mar 11, 2020
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Defining KPIs is crucial for your marketing efforts but can also be frustrating and time-consuming. Over the years, I have adjusted and tweaked my strategies to ensure we are using data to make smart decisions. In this video, I'll share my exact strategy for creating a measurement plan and give you the template to create one yourself.


Get access to the template here.

Video Transcript: 

Hey, what's up and welcome to another Wednesday Workshop. In this episode we're going to be looking at how to create a measurement plan for our business.

Measurement Plan Aligns Our Marketing Strategy

We've talked a lot on this channel about analytics and how we can leverage data to make smarter decisions. One of the harder things that I think a lot of businesses struggle with are what metrics do I need to focus on? Like we've talked about in some of our videos on KPIs, KPIs are key performance indicators, and a lot of times we end up having way too many performance indicators and nothing actually stands out, and so we get pulled in a lot of directions and don't allow ourselves to make data-driven decisions. Creating a master scorecard or a measurement plan is a really helpful way to make sure that we're aligned in every area of our marketing strategy. This means that we need to break things down into bite-sized chunks.

Decide What to Address

Now, knowing which things to address and which seem to track, I find to be one of the most difficult things. Even as we're doing this for our own clients, it can be a very hard exercise to get right. What I've done is I've created a master list and I will share this on our site as a free asset for you guys. It's a KPI master list and it's broken down into a number of different sectors. We have our website metrics here, we have SEO metrics here, we've got PPC metrics here, we've got content marketing metrics, we've got marketing and sales metrics, email marketing, social media, and PR.

Categorize Marketing Strategies

What we can do is break down our website or break down our marketing strategies into these different categories. Then we can choose anywhere between three to seven max KPIs to track for that specific area. For instance, if we're looking at our website and we want to know how well our website is doing, we can pick from these specific metrics and then begin to set some goals around those.

We also have this template here. What we do typically when we're working with a client or for ourselves is we look at these different websites and then we look at what we want to track. For instance, for a typical website, these are some of the things that we're looking at. Users sessions, bounce rate pages per session. When it comes to SEO off-page, we're looking at the number of referring domains, the domain authority, and the strength of domain. We're also looking at the CTR, the click-through rate of that site as well as the impressions. Maybe we are doing some other things like on-page SEO or technical SEO.

We can go in and pull some of these index pages or pages with schema. Maybe we're doing ranking. We don't do rank visibility or the improvements and declines in ranking. Over here we also have the tools that we use to track these. This is so we can hook them up to our BI solution.

But for this case we're talking about planning and building this out, so we want to make sure that we have all of these that make sense for us. Maybe if we're doing some paid ads, we can go in here and now for our ad category we're going to look at these certain things as our KPIs or the key performance indicators to know that our ads are working.

Once you have them on this template, I like to color-code them so you can make sure that you break them down when you're building out your decks or your slides or any of your intelligence tools. You can say, okay, on my website deck I need to be able to see this. On my SEO, on my off-page SEO dashboard, I need to be able to see these four metrics.

Look at Your Goals

Once you have your KPIs defined, it's important to look at your goals. One of the things that we do, especially when we're starting in a new year, is we can go here and put in something like current. What are our current numbers? Let's say we have 5,000 users per month and then we have something like 7,000 sessions. We can say that our bounce rate is at 68% and we're at 4.2 pages per session. Arbitrary numbers, but let's say those are the real numbers. We're looking at our goals. This is what we're trying to hit. What are we trying to go for? I like to break this down into the year and then we can break the year goals into quarters, and now we have something to benchmark ourselves against.

Let's say current last year, let's say we have 5,000 visitors. This year, we want a goal, I typically like to shoot somewhere if it's feasible, depending on the industry, but about a 20% increase, anywhere between 10 to 20% increase. Now, I may be overshooting, and that's why you begin to track these things and you can get an idea. A lot of times if you've never done this before, you don't have anything to use as a baseline, so it can be very difficult. One thing you can do is go to Google Analytics and compare your previous against your last year and start to use some of that to inform your decisions. And also what your sales targets are, what your marketing targets are to know your goals.

Let's say that our goals can be increased by 20%. You can easily use a sum right here. There you go. That was zero, and then added to that, and now you've got a 20% increase. You can go all the way down by dragging it and going down for you. Now, one of the things you don't want to do for bounce rate and understand that hey, maybe you're looking at a 20% decrease, for this you have to make sure your equation's right. Otherwise, you're going to get a negative number. Make sure that you are following the appropriate syntax here. Let's say you want to drop your bounce rate for this one.

Now that you've got this done, you can break it down into quarters. For instance, if this was four quarters, maybe you want to do 1500 all the way through, and now you can track this. Every month you can come in here and say, hey, maybe right now we're at 2000 for this, and then you can do percentage achieved, so what percentage of that is achieved at this point. It's just a simple formula where you would sum your goal.

Right now we're 33% of the way there. As this number changes you can again make these formulas drop and drag all you want. But now you have a template. You have a scorecard that you can use and you have hard numbers that you can look for and track against to make sure that you're getting the right results.

Benchmark Yourself

The first step is defining the categories, then defining the KPIs, then you need to understand what your current numbers look like and then where you want to head. Now you can use this measurement plan to benchmark yourselves. Every quarter at the end of the quarter, collect your data. Did you hit those numbers? Are you trending in the right direction and are you going to succeed this year and hit your goals? Or maybe you're falling a little bit behind? At least you know where you stand now.

This is an easy way to implement a measurement plan. I will give a link to both the template as well as the master KPI list so that you can use those to create your measurement plans and start to get the data that you're looking for. If you've got any questions, please comment below. We'd love to continue that conversation with you, and until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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