Business DevelopmentAs you’ve probably gleaned, we are in the middle of our The Content Secret to Closing More Clients bootcamp right now.

It’s all business development, all the time.

If you haven’t registered and taken part this week, it’s not too late!

At the end of each day’s lesson, I am sending everyone a copy of the recording, which are available until Sunday night.

So, if you’re interested in building a proactive business development plan, go check it out!

Six Primary Metrics to Track

One of the things we’ve been talking about is my favorite subject: Metrics.

Though it’s my favorite subject, I know there are lots of you who cringe at the very thought.

That’s OK!

We’re going to get you past that.

I promise.

You will very soon be excited to know how your proactive business development program is actually driving real revenue.

And who doesn’t want that?

Although you may choose to track any number of other metrics, such as the growth rate of your social media followers, there are six primary metrics I recommend you focus on to measure the effectiveness of your business development activities.

Domain Authority

Your website’s domain authority is updated by Moz once or twice per month.

If you are diligent and consistent about publishing content, you can expect to see a slow but steady increase each month.

It’s important to note you’ll see this number increase a lot more quickly when you are just starting out.

After you move about a domain authority of 40, you’ll begin to see slower growth.

On average, you can expect about six points per year—or half a point every month.

Visitors from Owned and Earned Media

  • How many of your website visitors are coming in from the contributed content you’re placing?
  • Which websites are sending you the most traffic?
  • Are any sites not sending traffic?

Use this data to refine your media relations list over time.

As long as your media placements and contributed content pieces all include a link back to your website, you will be able to track this

Number of Email Addresses 

Your email list is the cornerstone of your ongoing business development efforts.

If your contributed content is doing its job, it should be generating a steady stream of additional email addresses.

If you are getting clickthroughs to your site, but those visitors aren’t signing up for your email list or providing an email address in exchange for a lead magnet, it’s time to rethink your target media list.

No matter how popular the media outlet, if it’s not driving qualified traffic to your site, it’s not a good fit.

If you link to a landing page with an email collection form, or have an email subscription signup as the call-to-action in your PR content, you can track how many new email addresses were added to your list as a result of your efforts.

To track this over time, it’s helpful to use a unique URL with your links, so you can obtain an aggregate number through Google Analytics.


How many results do you have on page one of Google results for your primary keywords?

Track this on at least a quarterly basis and adjust your content maps accordingly.

To measure your ranking in Google for your top 10 keywords, open an incognito window for searching in Google.

To do so, you must use the Google Chrome browser, go to File in the navigation and choose “new incognito window” from the dropdown.

This will allow you to see search results that are not affected by your personal search history and contact lists, and thus provide a more accurate reflection of how a prospective customer might or might not see you in results. 

Number of Qualified Leads 

Getting people to join your email list is important.

But many of the people on your list will never purchase anything from you.

They’ll never become clients.

That’s totally normal.

But those would be considered unqualified leads.

Your qualified leads are those who actually enter your sales funnel as prospective clients.

How many people became prospective customers after interacting with your content?

Track all the media outlets with whom you are placing content, the resulting traffic to your website from those placements, and the conversion of those visitors to potential customers.

Sales Conversions

Our ultimate metric to track is sales. How many sales came about as a result of our proactive business development efforts?

It’s easy to get discouraged by seeing conversion rates in the single digits.

But here’s the thing—email marketing is considered to be one of the most effective marketing tactics, and a three percent conversion rate for an email is actually very good.

Ideally you will be able to set up a report to do this in your marketing automation tool or customer relationship management software.

Use Google Analytics

To track these metrics, you want to spend quality time with Google Analytics.

With Google Analytics, you can identify:

  • Bounce rate. Are you attracting the right people to your site with your content? Or are they coming for the piece of content they saw linked to from somewhere then retreating never to be seen again?
  • Goal completion. Set your email subscription thank you page, your contact us form, and other lead-submission pages as goals and you can track your conversion rates.
  • Keywords leading to your content. Although you no longer get the depth of search data from Google Analytics, you can with Google Webmaster Tools. This will also help you with content creation.
  • Pages per session. Are your visitors exploring your site? If you’re attracting qualified traffic, and have created compelling content for that audience, they’ll be staying to read more on your site.
  • Referrals. Where are your new visitors coming from? Which media outlets send you the most relevant prospects?

You can choose any format you’d like to track your progress against these metrics.

I typically rely on a trusty spreadsheet.

Though that might be pretty old-school, it works.

Measure Your Business Development Activities Right Now

This seems overly simplified, but it works.

It works even better if you can connect your handy, dandy spreadsheet with the data you get from the other software, such as email and customer relationship.

The point is not to make it super complicated, but to start to dig into the data you have at your fingertips.

Google Analytics and a spreadsheet will get you started.

As you become more comfortable with measuring your business development activities, you’ll find new data points (and release old ones) that work for you.

You have to start somewhere, sometime.

I recommend you start in Google Analytics right this very second.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich