Marketing KPIs: 30 Metrics for Every Marketing Role

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Marketing is full of things that can be measured (known as metrics), but not all metrics make good key performance indicators.

To choose the right KPIs:

  • Tailor them to your role. Different marketing roles need different levels of detail in their KPIs. An SEO lead might care about

Lead generation is all about turning anonymous visitors into recognisable, contactable leads, usually by capturing their email addresses. Most of their KPIs measure the quantity and quality of the leads they generate:

KPI In plain English… The math…
SQLs (sales qualified leads) How many leads have taken an action that indicates their desire to buy? = count of leads that meet the sales-qualified criteria set by the organization.
MQLs (marketing qualified leads) How many leads have interacted with your marketing but are not ready to buy? = count of leads that meet the marketing-qualified criteria set by the organization.
Conversion rate How often do your visitors buy, or request a demo, or start a free trial? = (total number of conversions / total number of visitors or leads​)×100

Further reading

Most of these KPIs can be tracked across social media as a whole, but also on a per channel basis (for Twitter, and Instagram, and Facebook, and so on).

KPI In plain English… The math…
Total followers The total number of individuals following your social media profile or page. = sum of all followers across specified social media platforms.
Total impressions The total number of times your content was displayed to users. = sum of all views or appearances of your content across platforms, regardless of clicks or engagement.
Follower growth rate The rate at which your follower count is increasing over a specific time period. = (number of new followers gained / number of followers at the start of the period) × 100

For search professionals, organic growth is the goal. These are some of the KPIs most commonly used to measure their progress and present their value to the rest of the company:

KPI In plain English… The math…
Keyword rankings Where do your pages rank in the search results for their target keyword? No math needed—just use a rank tracker like Ahrefs rank tracker
Backlink growth How often do other websites link to your website? = (current month’s backlinks − previous month’s backlinks) / previous month’s backlinks​)×100
Organic Share of Voice How visible are you in search results compared to your competitors? No math needed—just use Ahrefs Share of Voice report (see below)

Further reading

tip

How to calculate share of voice for keywords

One of the best ways to measure organic share of voice (SOV) is to track the number of clicks your website receives from important keywords, relative to the clicks your competitors receive. To get set up, add a list of important keywords into Rank Tracker, head to the Competitors overview tab and add the URLs of your competitors’ websites.

You’ll see an estimate of your site’s share of the total available clicks for your given keywords, as well your competitors’ SOV, and recent trends in performance:

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Further reading

Traditional press is usually concerned with the number of press mentions generated by a campaign, but add digital PR into the mix, and backlinks become another primary goal. Daria Samokish, Ahrefs’ Head of PR, tracks KPIs like:

KPI In plain English… The math…
Number of press mentions How many news or media outlets referenced your latest campaign? = count of distinct press or media mentions of the campaign across various platforms.
Number of campaign backlinks How many websites linked back to your latest campaign? = count of unique external web pages linking back to the campaign’s specific page or content.
Traffic spikes on launch day How many people interact with your campaign the day it’s launched? = count of visitors, clicks, or interactions on the campaign’s launch day.

Tip

How to measure the impact of digital PR

Ahrefs’ Site Explorer makes it easy to see how a digital PR campaign translates into new links. Here’s an example from the launch of our search engine, Yep.com.

The Calendar view in Site Explorer shows a spike in new referring domains on June 4th 2022—the day of the press campaign—with 219 new referring domains registered (up from a daily average of 1–2 in May).

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You can also use Ahrefs’ Alerts to get an automated notification whenever you gain a new link. In the example below, we’ll get a weekly notification summarising all new backlinks for ahrefs.com/blog/ from websites with a domain rating of 80 or above:

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Shermin Lim, our Events & Marketing Manager, cares primarily about working out the return on investment from her online and in-person events, balancing the costs of the event and the potential gain from new leads and customers. Three of her core performance indicators are:

KPI In plain English… The math…
Attendees How many people attended the event? = count of all individuals who registered and were marked present at the event.
NPS (Net Promoter Score) Would attendees recommend the event to their friends and colleagues? = % of promoters − % of detractors
New Sales Leads How many attendees talked to the sales team about purchasing or upgrading? = count of attendees who initiated a conversation or inquiry about purchasing or upgrading with the sales team.

Paid marketing is as close to science as marketing tends to get, with a very clear (and measurable) relationship between the cost of an advert and the revenue it generates. But while paid marketing KPIs can get very mathsy, very quickly, there are three core metrics underpinning it all:

KPI In plain English… The math…
ROAS (return on advertising spend) How much money is this ad generating, relative to the amount that was spent on it? = total conversion value / amount spent
CPC (cost per click) How much does every advert click cost us? = total cost of clicks / total number of clicks
CPM (cost per impression) How much does every thousand views of this advert cost us? = (total ad spend / total impressions ) ×1000

Final thoughts

Marketing KPIs can help you communicate your wins to bosses and teammates, pinpoint tactics that work well (and those that don’t), and provide a clear focal point for your marketing team to rally around.

But there’s a caveat to remember: don’t ignore marketing opportunities that don’t fit neatly into your KPIs.

Not every great marketing campaign can be easily measured. The goal of marketing is to grow your business. Use KPIs where they help… but don’t shy away from ignoring them on the rare occasions when they don’t.

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