Marketing Metrics 101: How to Avoid Wasting Time on the Wrong Data

Vanity vs. Actionable Metrics: Which Metrics Really Matter?

Vanity Metrics vs. Actionable Metrics: Which Marketing Metrics Really Matter?

The Internet is full of information. Some of it’s useless, but some of it can be amazingly helpful. When it comes to marketing metrics, the right information is key.

Marketing metrics are extremely important. This is how you know what you’re doing is working or not, and how you’ll get conversions.

There are two types of metrics: vanity metrics and actionable metrics.

Vanity metrics are metrics that might seem beneficial, but don’t do anything for your conversion rate or results. Actionable metrics are the ones you really want to pay attention to, because that’s where your success lies.

Focus on these actionable marketing metrics to get the most out of your social media campaign and increase your profitability. Here’s what you need to do.

 Vanity or Actionable Metrics? How to Decipher Your Marketing Metrics


The Actionable Marketing Metrics You Should Care About

Bounce Rate

The average bounce rate is around 45%, but of course, you ideally want yours to be lower than that.

9A bounce rate matters because it tells you how many people are hitting your website, and then clicking the back button. If you don’t have enough engaging content on your website, people will leave.

If you find that your bounce rate is too high, that’s a sign that you need to offer more to your audience.

It might also mean you need to check the targeting if you have any paid ads out. Are you sending the right people to your page, or are you sending people who just don’t care?

Check the copy, too. Are you making them think you’re offering one thing, but actually offering another? Making false promises is misleading and will not result in conversions.

Lastly, check your user experience. Have you made it easy for people to click around your website? If it’s too complicated to get to other pages, your audience won’t stick around.


Time Spent on Page

This metric is most important for your blogs. The more time someone spends on your blog, the more they’re actually reading your content.

The more time people spend on your page, the more likely they are to click through and either convert, or browse your other pages. It means that they are interested in your content.

Most people don’t get past the headline when they see your blog. So when they do take the time to read through, it’s because there’s something in there that appeals to them.

Pay attention to the blogs that have the highest time spent on the page, and generate your future topics based on that. This is how you figure out what people actually want to read.


Content Shares

Content shares might not lead directly to a conversion, but they are useful to know.

If tons of people are sharing your post, you clearly hit the mark with the right type of content. This is how you’ll know what type of content works with your audience, so you can keep doing that.

In addition to letting you know what type of content is working, content shares also provide you with bonus word of mouth marketing. 92% of consumers say they trust word of mouth marketing and recommendations from friends or family.

That means that when your users share your content, they’re endorsing you to their friends, which means more brand awareness and interest for you.

Social Media Campaign Analytics: Vanity vs. Actionable Metrics  


Comments don’t necessarily mean that you’re getting conversions, but they’re a good indication of how people are viewing your content. If you’re getting a lot of negative comments, it’s time to change your strategy- right now.

If you’re getting a lot of good comments, or comments with suggestions, follow up on those. It’s easy to take advantage of those suggestions and ideas for future content.

This way, you’ll know you’re posting what people want to see, and you know how people are responding to your business.



Frequency refers to the number of times your ad shows up to an individual user. The more your ad shows up to someone, the more they’re going to become annoyed.

This also means that they’ll become used to seeing your brand pop up, and they’ll become oblivious to your message.

The more you annoy people, the more angry they can become. When you hide an ad on Facebook, a poll asks users why they hid it. The more people who hide your ad, and say they hid it because “it is not interesting,” the lower your relevance will be.

When you put an ad out, make sure you’re monitoring the frequency. The more it goes up, the more your cost per click will increase, but your clickthrough rate will decrease at the same time.

That means more money for less conversions. It’s a recipe for disaster for any social media campaign.

Vanity vs. Actionable Metrics: Which Marketing Metrics Matter Most?  

Cost Per Click (CPC), Click Through Rate (CTR), and Ad Spend

Your budget obviously matters. To you, as well as your client.

In order to keep your budget on point, monitor your CPC regularly. If you find that it’s going too high, check the CTR. A higher CPC means a lower CTR, which means that less people are clicking through to your website.

Your goal is to make your budget go further, so when you see your CTR slipping, try some new copy or design. Switch up your ad. Stop the campaign if you have to.

Just do something to change the way you’re approaching your audience.



Conversions are obviously the most important metric. This is your goal, and of course you want to know that you’re reaching those goals.

Getting conversions is the reason you run marketing campaigns, spend money on advertising, and strategically craft catchy calls to action. You should always be aware of how many you’re getting.

There are a variety of types of conversions you can aim for. It all depends on your business and what you want your audience to do.

You could be aiming for lead generation, sales, sign ups, website traffic, or filling out a contact form. Make sure that, regardless of your conversion type, you have the right tools in place to track it.

Vanity or Actionable Metrics? How to Stop Wasting Time on the Wrong Marketing Metrics 

Vanity Marketing Metrics: Don’t be Fooled by These Distractions

Digital marketers can often be distracted by vanity metrics, because they might look great on the surface. But they just don’t convert.

The other problem with vanity metrics is that they can easily be manipulated. Bots, paid followers, like-sharing, and other tools exist for this purpose.

In digital marketing, it’s all about getting that conversion and return on investment with measurable results. So don’t let yourself fall for the following vanity metrics.


Page Likes and Followers

Facebook page likes are irrelevant to your profitability or conversions. This also goes for Twitter and Instagram followers.

Just because you have thousands of Twitter followers, it doesn’t mean they are converting. You don’t get conversions, return on investment, or profit just from people following your page.

Facebook has actually cracked down on people who engage in buying and selling likes. This is a big no-no, and it can be obvious when your brand has 100,000 followers, yet each post only gets a handful of likes.

Stick to focusing on your content and engaging with the audience you have.



It might be nice to know that your ad ran to thousands of people, but in the long run, it’s not really that important.

You could run an ad campaign that reaches 5,000 people and still end up with a click through rate of 1%. That can cost you, not only budget-wise, but for your strategy too.

What is important is that your campaign runs to qualified users who are more likely to convert. Hyper-targeting is what drives your marketing sales and
increases conversions.

Page Views

Yes, it’s great that someone looked at your page, but did they convert? Just because someone looked at your website doesn’t mean they’re interested.

You should be more focused on how long they stayed there, what the bounce rate is, and if they clicked on your call to action. There are other metrics to tell you that, so don’t worry about this one.


The Wrap

It’s important not to get lost in the world of vanity metrics. Focusing on actionable metrics will put you in the right direction to reach the right goals for your strategy.

Stay on top of the data, and always remember: the data knows all. Don’t just assume your audience is doing something or will enjoy something. Prove that they will with the right information.

Need help making sense of your marketing metrics?

At VPDM, our expert digital marketers are Google Analytics certified and know how to sift through all the data. We use the right metrics to generate content with proven results.

Contact us today for a consultation and to get on track with your digital marketing strategy.

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