Don’t Be Tricked By Vanity Metrics!

What Are Vanity Metrics?

Common vanity metrics you may see in your Google Analytics account or other tracking software include things like: impressions, reach, pageviews or even clicks.

These are often touted as a measure of your online success, but, [spoiler alert], you guessed it – they’re not! (Gasp!)

You might feel great because your ad was shown thousands of times, or that a lot of people clicked on it. But these metrics do not mean the effort was a success.

Vanity metrics showing high numbers may even point to an unsuccessful marketing campaign. Ever heard the phrase “spray and pray”?

You may be reaching thousands with your digital marketing, but it doesn’t mean all those people have engaged with your business in a valuable way. If you only pay attention to vanity metrics you don’t really know if you’ve been successful.

Vanity Metrics Are Everywhere – Eeeek!

Take a look at this screenshot of a Facebook Ads campaign. By default, the metrics provided by Facebook are meaningless in relationship to the advertiser’s goals.

“Results” means how many clicks happened, and “Reach” is the number of people who saw the ad.

bad vanity metrics

But don’t you want to know what the REAL results were? Don’t you want to know how many people entered your sales funnel by calling, signing up, placing an order or submitting their information to the business to become a lead?

Yes! How Do I Find Out Those REAL Results?

The one word answer is simple: conversions. Conversions are the backbone of successful digital marketing, yet they are not often tracked and measured. They’re rarely given the attention and focus they deserve.

A conversion is any valuable action taken on your website or landing page as a result of your digital marketing campaign. Here are a few common examples:

  • A lead form was completed
  • A phone call was generated
  • An e-book was downloaded
  • A person signed up for an event

…the list could go on for miles.

Every major digital marketing channel offers conversion measurement. And you should never run a marketing campaign without it.

Take a look at the same example Facebook campaign from above. This time the screenshot shows us the conversion results:

Here we see the number of conversions achieved (in this case we’re measuring how many people placed an order by initiating a checkout) and how much each conversion cost. Brilliant!

good conversion metrics, not vanity metrics