The Only 7 Marketing KPIs Worth Tracking

[FYI: This article was initially published on the Ahrefs Blog. However, it has been subsequently rewritten, and I decided to share the original version here.]

Marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) allow you to measure progress toward your strategic marketing objectives. Focusing on the right metrics and choosing the most suitable marketing KPIs for your business is essential for your marketing strategy’s success.

All good marketing KPIs are tied directly to business growth. Forget about vanity metrics and tracking everything for the sake of it. It’s counterproductive. Know your metrics, measure them well, apply the “less is more” principle, and you’ll be on the right track.

But you’re here for specific examples. Here are seven marketing KPIs you need to know about:

  1. Sales metrics
  2. User and customer acquisition
  3. Quantity and quality of leads
  4. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  5. Share of Voice (SOV)
  6. Brand awareness metrics
  7. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

1. Sales metrics

Sales metrics directly reflect the growth of your business, making it the most straightforward KPI. But you need to know which financial metrics make the most sense to measure, given your business model and planning.

For example, Ahrefs and other SaaS products can safely use Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) or Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) as a KPI. VC-backed companies can even take a “grow at all costs” approach and be successful—even when costs are greater than revenue.

But that’s rarely the case. Most companies are better off taking both revenue and costs into account. In other words, profit usually beats revenue as a KPI.

How to measure

Sales metrics are easy to measure as you know their exact value. If you didn’t, you’d be in some real trouble with your accountant and local tax bureau. You need to have these numbers in your Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), checkout systems, or whatever financial dashboard you use.

For marketing analysis purposes, you might want to use Enhanced E-commerce tracking in Google Analytics or its alternatives that can attribute sales to your marketing efforts. Remember that any web analytics tool is inherently skewed and may not track everything properly. Don’t use those numbers for the KPI.

Accelerating user base growth doesn’t necessarily mean more profit, but it has implications way beyond any financial metrics.

For example, in September 2020, we launched a free version of our SEO toolset called Ahrefs Webmaster Tools. Increasing our word of mouth, broadening our user base, and familiarizing more people with our product leads to long-term growth.

How to measure

Use numbers from your CRM. Of course, you need customers to sign up to be able to track any of this.

Nick is a product marketer and a seasoned SEO specialist at Ahrefs. He is also a regular contributor to the Ahrefs Blog, dedicating his remaining time to enhancing the Ahrefs SEO Toolbar.