New metrics for new businesses start-ups

Inbound marketing metricsTimes have definitely changed. Until recently a new business would measure itself against a series of metrics like foot traffic, advertising reach and frequency, number of phone calls, number of calls or meetings by sales people, presentation to sales ratios, and of course actual sales.

But that was before the web, before Google and before social media networks took off.

In the era of inbound marketing the metrics have totally changed and I am studying them frantically in the wake of our recent NLYZR launch.

One week into my new start-up’s life I am able to track key metrics on an hourly basis to determine what’s working and what’s not. Here are some of the things I’m keeping track of:

  • Search rankings for targeted terms (good)
  • Followers / Fans / Friends etc for our various social profiles (building)
  • Traffic generated from links in social networks (significant)
  • Re-Tweets, Shares and Google +1s of our material (reasonable)
  • Mentions in other blogs and online journals (good so far)
  • Inbound links accumulating for the new website (already quite high)
  • Number of visitors daily to new website (growing steadily)
  • Number of visitors from various countries (so far its Australia and USA mainly)
  • Traffic from search engines (only 8%, but it will grow)
  • Referred traffic (42% at this stage)
  • Direct traffic (50% but this should drop as a percentage over time)
  • Best keywords
  • Most popular content
  • Time spent on site (2 minutes 43 seconds on average)

We also use more sophisticated data gained from:

  • Conversion funnels
  • Heat mapping of user behaviour on our new sites

Then we have the all important metrics that go to the bottom line:

  • Percentage of visitors using our free tools
  • Percentage of visitors visiting our online shop
  • Conversion rate on visits to sales
  • Actual sales

We can study these collective metrics, fine tune and continually improve. Its fascinating, thrilling and totally addictive. The idea is to learn as we go, improving the business in real-time.

Data has never been more available or useful for new business owners. The days of opening your store, blasting with advertising and hoping for customers are behind us. These new metrics can change the way we operate forever.

What metrics are you following for your business? What new tools do you find invaluable?