AnalyticsWhat Do The Numbers Really Mean?

Opening the door to a better agency + client relationship

Marketing reports. They’re simultaneously the best and worst part of your day. On the one hand, it’s exciting to see just how much your business is growing thanks to the campaigns you’ve been running. On the other hand, it can be confusing to be presented with pages and pages of information with little to no explanation on what it all means. Here are some of the most common numbers, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can find in your report, and what they mean. (Keep in mind, however, depending on what kind of services you are utilizing, you may not see all of these on your report!)


  • Number of followers. Your number of followers is how many people are subscribed to see your content on their social media feeds. This number should be consistently and steadily increasing over time. Having more followers means more people are being exposed to your content.
  • Interaction/engagement. This is mostly likes and comments. The more followers you have, the more likely you are to receive more likes and comments. If your engagement is increasing, this is good because it will help the algorithm recognize your content as quality and thereby boost it to more people. 
  • Reach. Reach refers to the number of users who have seen your content. Of course, this number should always be increasing because one of the main goals of social media marketing is to expand your brand’s reach.


  • Most improved keyword rankings. This metric measures your search engine rankings for targeted keywords and analyzes changes over time. This speaks to the effectiveness of your website at getting ranked on Google and driving organic traffic. 
  • Most improved page rankings. Like the above, but shows how your actual pages themselves are ranking.
  • Searches by engine. This will show how well your site has been performing on other search engines, such as Yahoo, Bing, etc.
  • External links to your website. This number is how many times people have posted or shared a link to your website or one of the pages on your site.
  • Domain authority. This is the prediction of your website/domain to rank in the search engines on a 0 to 100 logarithmic scale. A high score means your website plus all the pages attached to your domain have the potential to rank well in search engine results.
  • Pages with issues. This will show if there are any issues on your page that may lead to a drop in rank


  • Click-through rate. This shows how many people clicked through to your website.
  • Top performing keywords. This shows which (paid search) keywords gained the most traction.
  • Average cost per click. This is essentially how much bang you’re getting for your buck. The more clicks you get, the lower this number will be (which is good)! However, if your campaign isn’t getting as much traction as you wanted, this number will be higher, as you might be getting fewer clicks than you planned, but paying the same. 
  • Total campaign cost. This is just a review of how much you spent on the campaign.
  • Conversion rate. This is the percentage of visitors to your website that carry out the desired goal (AKA a conversion) out of the total number of visitors. This number is calculated by taking the number of conversions and dividing that by the number of total ad interactions. For example, if you had 20 conversions from 400 interactions, your conversion rate would be 5% since 20 ÷ 400 = 5%.


  • Open rate. This is the percent of people who clicked on your email message to open it. 
  • Click-through rate on links. This is the percent of clicks you got on each link within the email message. 
  • Number of forwards. This is how many times your message was forwarded to people not on the original send list.
  • Bounce rate. This is the percent of people on your subscriber list who did not receive your message due to it being returned by the mail server.
  • Unsubscribes. This number shows how many people unsubscribed from your email list.