Marketing analytics is a complex, yet integral part of the modern marketer’s world. Whether you’re a veteran of online marketing or an intern who’s just getting started, you’ll need to be able to explain the basics of analytics, what tools are available, and, most importantly, why these measurements matter.

One popular platform that’s used to track online marketing metrics is Google Analytics. This powerful tool has scores of information about your web-based marketing and overall website performance. This includes which pages are getting the most clicks, where you need to improve your load times, how many people convert and where they came from online, which devices are used to access your site, and more. If you want to get more background on Google Analytics, including some of the terminology used and a breakdown of the site, this is a good place to start.

Between Google Analytics and your marketing automation software, you should be able to track all of your marketing metrics, which are created from your online presence and marketing campaigns.

Marketing Campaigns

At any given time you likely have multiple marketing campaigns happening on several different channels and platforms. Google Analytics and your marketing automation platform ensure you have accurate measures of the data associated with each campaign; with this information, you can determine where your marketing budget is spent most effectively. A few online marketing campaigns you should consider running include:

With any campaign, it’s imperative that you pay attention to the analytics in order to gauge its success. But if you are running a campaign on multiple platforms, you must also monitor how those audience members are interacting with your marketing content and how those platforms work together to produce the results you want to see.

Leads & Conversions

One of the most important metrics in online marketing is your lead close rate: This tells you how many of your leads are becoming sales or converting. This metric also lets you see how qualified your leads actually are, as well as if you need to make important changes in your marketing strategy.

The basic indicator to see if your current methods are working is if your lead close rate is high. If it is low, you likely need to adjust the type of leads you are getting or what you are doing to convert them. You should be tracking and analyzing your lead close rate at least once a month.

Closed-Loop Marketing

To be an effective marketer, you need to be able to tie every lead, customer, and financial gain to the marketing initiative responsible for them. While there are many facets to successful inbound campaigns, closed-loop marketing is one of the most important. Bill Faeth describes closed-loop marketing as “a fancy way of saying that sales teams and marketing teams can work together using the data and insights that the marketing team gleans from their analytics. It means that marketing reports to sales regarding the leads that are ready to be closed and sales reports to marketing on the leads they have received.”

Your marketing campaigns and lead close rate are less likely to be effective if your company doesn’t employ this type of circular reporting system, which generally relies on a marketing automation system or CRM to feed data and insights between respective sales and marketing teams.

Use Google Analytics and your marketing automation software to tie your marketing together. Keep an eye on your lead close rate and employ closed-loop marketing and reporting to immediately make your marketing more effective. With quantitative metrics and teamwork, your marketing and sales will improve simultaneously.