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The Key Metrics Every Event Pro Should Track to Evaluate ROI

Do you get excited when you see website traffic surge but wonder why those impressive numbers don’t translate to more leads and inquiries? If you’ve invested heavily into marketing, a low return on high traffic can certainly feel discouraging.

After all, you’ve got a beautiful portfolio, you’re promoting yourself on social media and Pinterest, you’re diligently engaging with your audiences in the comments and DMS, you’re even creating behind-the-scenes content in Stories and live videos. You’re doing it all. And even though you see plenty of engagement and traffic, your conversion rates remain flat.

So, what’s missing?

When it comes to traffic, quality outweighs quantity. Traffic from individuals qualified to do business with you will always result in more inquiries and sales than lots of traffic from the wrong people or random people.

So how do you determine if your traffic is low or high quality? Head over to Google Analytics to start tracking these three metrics.

Location
You serve a specific location, whether you operate locally, state-wide, or nationally. If your traffic funnels in from areas outside your market, you will struggle to grow your conversion rates since your website visitors don’t align with your target audience.

In Google Analytics, run the Location report (under Audience >> Geo) and set it to the level of your market (i.e., city, country, etc.) Take note of the percentages of traffic coming from your metro area and feeder cities compared to those beyond your service area.

To solve a location issue, start generating location-specific content that focuses on your area. Use SEO keywords that contain your city, like “Chicago wedding photographer” or “Minneapolis event florist,” to attract more local traffic and increase qualified traffic rates.

Demographics
Conversion rates suffer when your high traffic rates do not include your ideal clients. Consider the demographics of your ideal clients: age, gender identity, household income, location, education level, and so on. Look at your real-life customers to get an idea of who fits the bill.

Then, run the Demographic Report on Google Analytics to determine whether your traffic matches that client profile. First opt-in. You can do this by checking the box after navigating to Audience >> Demographics. Note: Once enabled, it may take a day or two to populate with data.

I recommend creating a custom segment for your ideal demographic (i.e., engaged women between the age of 25-40) and reviewing the referral reports to see where those people find your site. You’ll get a good idea of your top referral sources to invest your time and resources for a greater return.

Bounce Rate
“Bounce rates” get a bad rep because of the many misconceptions about what it entails. Ultimately, a high bounce rate signifies a deeper problem in your marketing funnel. However, it doesn’t always mean your website failed to capture someone’s attention. If someone clicks to your site and bookmarks it to return later, it will still factor into your bounce rate — even though it’s an interested lead.

Your bounce rate lives on the Google Analytics dashboard. If it remains consistently low, revisit the messaging on your website to see if it meets the expectations set in your marketing content. For example, have you promised something on social media that your homepage doesn’t immediately provide? It could also signify weak calls-to-action, so confirm that you have powerful CTAs on all key pages and blog posts to capture your audience wherever they are spending time.

Set a reminder to revisit these metrics each month and, soon enough, you’ll have historical data that reveals the efficacy of the adjustments made to your marketing funnel. The answers to your conversion concerns lie right there in your data; you just need to ask the right questions!

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Christie Osborne is the owner of Mountainside Media, a company that helps event industry professionals’ brands develop scalable marketing strategies that bring in more inquiries and leads. Christie is a national educator with recent speaking engagements at NACE Experience, WIPA, and the ABC Conference.

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