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  • Writer's pictureErin Ratliff

Mastering Metrics: How To Make The Best Data-Driven Decisions As A Soul-preneur

In this ever-changing and competitive landscape of digital marketing, entrepreneurs face both incredible challenges, and opportunities. Building a strong online presence and connecting with your target audience and achieving your overall business goals all involve leveraging one crucial element: DATA.

While some soul-preneurs will prefer to make their marketing decisions based on gut feelings or intuition, tracking metrics is a more effective marketing strategy for long-term success. From website performance to email newsletters to social media campaigns, every action taken in the digital realm can be analyzed and optimized for maximum impact, allowing you to reach your full potential.

“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.”

Tim Berners-Lee

What are the metrics to track?

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are strategic tools used by organizations to measure progress and achieve their goal. They play complementary roles in helping organizations improve their performance, but they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics.

OKRs are strategic tools focused on setting ambitious goals and driving alignment and accountability. They......

  • are designed to set ambitious, high-level objectives and define measurable results to drive focus, alignment, and accountability.

  • focus on a few key objectives supported by measurable outcomes, encouraging adaptability and experimentation.

  • are aspirational and forward-looking, allowing for flexibility in achieving desired outcomes.


Objective: Increase customer satisfaction with product quality

  • Key Result 1: Achieve a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 80 or higher by the end of the quarter.

  • Key Result 2: Reduce product return rate by 20% compared to the previous quarter.

  • Key Result 3: Receive positive customer feedback on at least 90% of product reviews.

Objective: Expand market reach and brand awareness

  • Key Result 1: Increase website traffic by 30% compared to the previous quarter.

  • Key Result 2: Secure partnerships with at least three influential outdoor bloggers or social media influencers.

  • Key Result 3: Increase social media engagement by 50% across all platforms.

In contrast, KPIs are tactical tools used to measure and monitor performance against specific targets or benchmarks. They...

  • track the performance of processes, activities, or outcomes against predefined targets, providing a snapshot of current performance and driving continuous improvement.

  • are more rigid and stable, set based on established processes or industry standards


Key Performance Indicator: Sales Revenue

  • Measure: Total revenue generated from the sale of outdoor gear products.

  • Target: Achieve $1 million in sales revenue for the quarter.

Key Performance Indicator: Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

  • Measure: Total marketing and sales expenses divided by the number of new customers acquired.

  • Target: Maintain a CAC below $50 per new customer.

Key Performance Indicator: Inventory Turnover Ratio

  • Measure: Number of times inventory is sold and replaced within a specific period.

  • Target: Achieve an inventory turnover ratio of 4 or higher for the quarter.

Key Performance Indicator: Customer Retention Rate

  • Measure: Percentage of customers who make repeat purchases within a given period.

  • Target: Maintain a customer retention rate of 60% or higher for the quarter.

Why are Metrics Important?

Tracking performance metrics plays a crucial role in contributing to a holistic marketing strategy in several ways:

We live in an age where consumers interact with brands across various channels so tracking performance metrics allows marketers to measure the impact of their work, but also ensures a cohesive and consistent customer experience.

Data gleaned from your website, social channels or email CMS can enable and empower solopreneurs to

  • Understand your audience or customer better, especially their behaviors and preferences

  • Identify strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement

  • Make informed decisions

  • Evaluate performance

  • Measure success

  • Optimize your online presence

  • Monitor your progress toward a goal

  • Continuously adjust and adapt your marketing efforts to keep up with the competition or changing consumer trends

From a more practical stance, metrics also help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and determine the return on investment of your time and effort. Over time it can allow you to allocate resources and budgets more effectively, focusing on the strategies and initiatives that deliver the best outcomes and results.

And of course, monitoring is a best practice because it is a form of quality assurance and crisis prevention, allowing you to detect problems early on so you can respond and mitigate before it affects your bottom line.

If you’re not tracking progress toward clear goals, you are playing a guessing game and making blind assumptions.

In other words, Knowledge is POWER! And what you measure, you grow.

"What gets measured gets managed. If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."

Peter Drucker

Which Metrics Really Matter?

The best metrics to track will vary depending on your specific goals and objectives. Having well-defined goals will help you identify the relevant metrics to track. Which are most important for you?

  • Boosting brand awareness

  • Improving client/customer retention

  • Generating new leads

  • Increasing sales or conversions

  • Sustaining profits

Regardless of what your specific goal is there are certain universally-valuable KPIs (key performance indicators) that will help you unlock your potential and allow your biz to thrive.

Here are some commonly tracked metrics for the most popular online platforms and channels:

Your Website

Here’s how you can measure your website’s performance to check if your SEO and UX efforts are working towards your business goals:

  1. Traffic: The total number of visitors coming to your website over a specific period.

  2. Traffic Sources: The channels through which visitors find your website, such as organic search, social media, direct visits, or referrals.

  3. Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page without taking any action. A high bounce rate may indicate that your content or website experience needs improvement.

  4. Time on Page: The average amount of time visitors spend on individual pages of your website.

  5. Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form.

  6. Click-through Rate (CTR): The percentage of visitors who click on a specific link or call-to-action on your website.

  7. Pages per Session: This metric shows how many pages a user views during a single visit. Higher pages per session often correlate with engaging and valuable content.

  8. Exit Pages: The pages from which visitors leave your website most frequently. This can help you optimize those pages to retain visitors.

  9. Page Load Time: The time it takes for your website pages to fully load for visitors. Faster page load times contribute to better user experience.

  10. Crawl Errors and Indexing Status: Regularly check for crawl errors and ensure that search engines are properly indexing your website's pages.

  11. Average Session Duration: This metric measures the average time visitors spend on your site. Longer session durations suggest that visitors find your content informative and engaging.


  1. Organic Traffic: This is the number of visitors coming to your website from search engines, indicating how well your website is ranking for relevant keywords.

  2. Impressions: These should start to increase first as an indication that your website is showing up in more the SERPs. You should notice an increase in the number of pages ranking on Google after several months, even if they aren’t ranking close to the top spot yet.

  3. Keyword Rankings: Monitor the positions of your target keywords in search engine results pages (SERPs). Tracking keyword rankings helps you assess your visibility and competitiveness.You might not be very high up for these keyword searches, but your increasing impressions on Google should align with the keywords you want to target.

  4. Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of people who click on your link in search results compared to the total number of impressions (times your link is shown). A higher CTR indicates that your title and meta description are compelling.

  5. Backlinks and Referring Domains: The number and quality of backlinks pointing to your site.

  6. Local Visibility: Local search ranking

  7. Google Business: page engagement, and online reviews.

  8. Authority: Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) is a score that predicts how likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (SERP

Your Email Newsletter

  1. Open Rate: The percentage of email recipients who open your email.

  2. Click-through Rate (CTR): The percentage of email recipients who click on links within your email.

  3. Conversion Rate: The percentage of email recipients who take the desired action after clicking on links in your email.

  4. Bounce Rate: The percentage of emails that were not successfully delivered to the recipient's inbox.

  5. Unsubscribe Rate: The percentage of email recipients who unsubscribe from your email list after receiving a specific email.

  6. Forward Rate: The number of times your emails are forwarded to others by recipients.

  7. Spam Complaint Rate: The percentage of recipients who mark your email as spam.

  8. Engagement Over Time: How your email engagement metrics change over different periods (daily, weekly, monthly).

Your Social Media Channels

  1. Audience Size: Indicates the size of your audience or network

    • Followers

    • Likes

    • Connections

    • Subscribers

2. Reach: Measures the number of unique users who see your content.

  • Impressions

  • Views

3. Engagement: Includes metrics showing how users interact with your posts or links.

  • Likes

  • Comments

  • Clicks

  • Saves

  • Shares

  • Mentions

Remember, these metrics provide a general starting point, but aligning your tracking with YOUR specific marketing goals is essential. If you find that any of these metrics aren’t budging by the time you’ve reached 6 months of dedicated marketing work, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

What Tools & Systems Should I Use?

To track and analyze your metrics, you need to use the right tools. There are many options available for measuring the success of outsourced content writing

Free Tools

  • Google Analytics provides insights into website traffic, behavior, and conversions.

  • Google Search Console helps monitor and optimize website performance and visibility on Google search results.

Paid Tools

  • SEMrush offers comprehensive features for keyword research, SEO audit, content analysis, and competitor analysis.

  • BuzzSumo helps discover and analyze the most engaging content in your niche and on social media.

  • HubSpot offers a complete solution for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service, including content creation, management, and optimization.

"Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice."

Stephen Few

Your Holistic Marketing Approach

1. IDENTIFY WHERE YOU ARE. Before implementing any changes or campaigns, it's important to establish benchmarks based on historical data or industry standards. These numbers will serve as a baseline to measure the success of your efforts. Look at your own metrics, as well as your top competitors.

2. WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING. Continuously monitor the selected metrics to track the progress of your digital marketing initiatives. Use the tools within each of your channels and platforms to gather data and gain insights into user behavior and campaign performance. Regular analysis will help you identify patterns, trends, and areas that require improvement. Don't forget to keep an eye on your competitors' metrics to see how your channels compare and identify areas for improvement.

3. ADJUST YOUR ROUTE ACCORDINGLY. Use the data and insights gathered from performance metrics to make informed decisions. If a particular campaign or strategy is not yielding the desired results, analyze the data to identify the reasons behind it and make necessary adjustments.

4. TEST & EXPIREMENT. Conduct A/B tests to compare the effectiveness of different elements in your digital marketing campaigns. Test variations of email subject lines, website design, ad copies, or landing pages to determine which version performs better based on the selected KPIs.

4. FOCUS & PRIORITIZE. Based on the insights from performance metrics, optimize your marketing strategies. If a specific channel or tactic is yielding positive results, allocate more resources to that channel.

Remember, digital marketing is an ongoing process. You can use performance metrics as a feedback loop to continuously adjust your strategies, refine your tactics, improve your content, and re-evaluate your efforts.

A note for coaches & consultants:

It's ok not to guarantee specific results in your work. YOu can still have a steady flow of clients by emphasizing the importance of trust, consistency and authenticity over making grand promises. It's all about focusing on delivering quality content, providing structured support, and offering genuine care and compassion. There is so much value in collaboration, as well as managing realistic expectations realistically. Ultimately the relationship with your clients matters more than flashy claims or unrealistic guarantees.

“If the statistics are boring, you’ve got the wrong numbers.”

Edward Tufte

Wrapping it all Up

Tracking performance metrics is a fundamental aspect of a holistic marketing strategy, empowering solopreneurs to have greater clarity and vision, ease and flow.

There's no use in wasting your precious time and energy. It's essential to track performance metrics regularly to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, identify areas for improvement, and optimize your strategies so everything is working synergistically to contribute to the overall success of your biz.

By leveraging data, small businesses can create a more efficient and effective marketing strategy that delivers tangible results and allows for continuous progress, improvement and growth. Furthermore, the iterative nature of these data-driven insights allows businesses to adapt, evolve and keep up in the dynamic digital landscape.

"Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”

Edwards Deming

Ready to harness the power of data and elevate your digital marketing strategy? I can help you propel your passion and bring your small biz to new heights. Let's connect!


Erin Ratliff is a certified feng shui consultant, holistic business coach and organic growth marketer for earth-loving, heart-centered soul-preneurs.

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