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Key Performance Indicators

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Path of enquiry

For key performance indicators, we need what’s called a reporting framework, which is our path of enquiry. The one we’ve chosen here is:

  • Identification
  • Insights
  • Optimization

It’s basically around three questions:


The first question is the identification of those high value conversions, where they are. This relates to what location, what device, and what channel. Where are the conversions happening, or where are the conversions not happening, and we’re spending whatever it may be?  But we’ll take it from a positive perspective. Where are the conversions happening?


Once we’ve understood where the conversions are happening and what these valuable segments look like, we need to identify some insights. So we then ask why these people are there. We can understand why people are on a certain channel, or why people are using a device or a particular search engine.

Obviously for location, it’s more than likely because they live there. However, we do find with things like business travelers that they frequently log on in airports so that’s why they’re there and that’s an insight. It’s because they’re business travelers and they’re on business. So with that type of insight we’re able to understand how we can optimize.


When we have identified our segments, and understood why about those segments, we’re then able to move into investigating how can we optimize. What are the things we can do to make the journey more efficient, easier for them, and more profitable for us?

Google Ads Search Goals

We need to understand what the key performance indicator is that we’re trying to track? Is it a sale? Is it a lead? Or is it traffic?

Key performance indicators really should reflect your business goals and how they can be achieved online. And if you use a metric value makes it’s quite straightforward to understand what success looks like. We can then benchmark our campaign against predefined KPIs to measure the success of them. So are we ahead of KPI or are we below KPI?

KPIs are used to measure the success of your search campaign. They generally would revolve around sales leads or traffic metrics because they’re the kind of actions that we want to value when we’re assessing the performance of a search campaign. So these can be automatically optimized using Google Ads. So forward thinking and planning your campaign for what KPI you’re driving is essential to your reporting structure.

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Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a well-known digital marketing director, commercial analyst, and ecommerce specialist with over 15 years’ experience.

Cathal is a respected international conference speaker, course lecturer, and digital trainer. He specialises in driving complete understanding from students across a number of digital marketing disciplines including: paid and organic search (PPC and SEO), analytics, strategy and planning, social media, reporting, and optimisition.  Cathal works with digital professionals in over 80 countries and teaches at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced.

Alongside his training and course work, Cathal runs his own digital marketing agency and is considered an analytics and revenue generating guru - at enterprise level. He has extensive local and international experience working with top B2B and B2C brands across multiple industries.

Over his career, Cathal has worked client-Side, in digital marketing agencies and media owners with brands including HSBC, Amazon, Apple, Red Bull, Dell, Vodafone, Compare the Market, Aer Lingus, and Expedia.

He can be reached on LinkedIn here.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

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