The Beginner’s Guide to Digital Measurement

By: Gary J. Nix | Reading Time: 3 min

I was recently in a conversation with a friend and colleague and she was telling me about a situation wherein she was trying to prioritize what matters most in a project she was thinking about working on. Yes, I ended that last sentence with a preposition, but contrary to popular belief, it’s ok to do so. At any rate, she asked me to confirm whether or not measurement was one of the most important elements of social media action. I said yes and might have done so demonstratively something like this:

Measurement is so important – especially since it is directly linked to objectives and goals. However the issue is usually what to measure, rather than why to measure. So I, as your friendly neighborhood BRANDarchist, will give you an introductory crash course in measurement and analytics.

The first point I want to stress is that digital measurement, like most analytics, can be measured in numerous ways based on the objective of the campaign/site. The most common measurements are against awareness, engagement and conversion.


Awareness Metrics are used to gauge the amount of exposure your message had on an audience. Common metrics include:

·         Visits

·         Unique Visitors

·         Followers

·         Mentions

·         Inbound Links

·         Subscribers

Yes, sometimes these metrics are referred to using the word vanity, however, this is really only the case when you prioritize these measurements above all else. Reach is important, but only in a way that helps you reach objectives more closely linked to the sale of your product or service.


Engagement Metrics are used to determine how engaged your audience is with your website or with specific content on your website. Common metrics includes:

·         Time Spent on Site

·         Bounce Rate

·         Articles Read / Visit

·         Video Views / Visit

·         Offer Views / Visit

·         Average Page Depth

·         Likes

·         Shares

·         Comments

·         Audience Growth Rate

·         Active Fans

These are the metrics that can begin to display a connection to your brand as well as yet another important step in the purchase decision-making process, intent. When you see a consumer has active interest in buying your product, you have an opportunity to get them to convert. And speaking of conversion…


Conversion Metrics are used to measure performance of site and marketing efforts that encourage users to take specific actions. Conversion metrics include:

·         Sales

·         Registrations

·         Diagnostic completion

·         Form fill

·         Video view

·         Download

·         Site visit

·         Demo request

The biggest key (sorry DJ Khaled) here is to DEFINE what a conversion is in context. Where is the consumer in the so-called sales funnel? You cannot convince a person to buy before they are ready, thus it is imperative to know what your objective is in order to measure it effectively.