What Every Founder Should Know About Growth Metrics
What Every Founder Should Know About Growth Metrics
North Star Metrics

What Every Founder Should Know About Growth Metrics

Kosta Kolev
Kosta Kolev

February 23, 2024

Growing your startup is an exciting, yet daunting task. On top of all the hard work of building your product, having to bring it to market requires a whole other skill set. Whether you're just starting or a few fundraising rounds in, tracking growth metrics is key for startups to understand how your business is performing against the goals you set. But there are endless growth metrics, so which ones are most important for your business?

In this post, we'll dive into key growth metrics you can find in Google Analytics and how they can help you understand the health of your startup.

Why growth metrics matter for your startup

Growth metrics help you answer questions like:

  • What are our best and worst-performing marketing channels?
  • Are customers reading our content?
  • Is my landing page converting visitors to customers?
  • How many people leave our site after viewing our pricing page?

From fine-tuning marketing campaigns to iterating on the customer onboarding journey, understanding growth metrics gives you the insights you need to make informed decisions about the present and future of your startup. It's easy to think your marketing isn’t working when there's no visibility into what is happening. Don't ignore the data you get from tools like Google Analytics; there are strategies to help your startup use these metrics to get ahead.

Three most important growth metrics for startups

Google Analytics surfaces tonnes of metrics, each with a unique purpose. But to get to the core health of your growth, you can keep it simple and focus on monitoring these three metrics.

1. New Signups
You should look for trends in the daily number of signups to your website or app. Having an eye on this will help you better understand if your marketing and sales strategies are effective and when it’s time to diversify your channels and campaigns.

2. New Visitors
Choose a top-of-funnel metric that best captures the outreach work your team does. Tracking trends at the beginning of your customer journey helps you understand and optimise efforts like email campaigns, search, or paid ads.

3. Conversion rate
The rate users convert from leads to paying customers can inform things from campaign effectiveness to pricing strategies and website design. Optimising this rate while keeping the cost of customer acquisition low is how you build profitability down the road.

Google Analytics marks the following events as conversions automatically:

  • Web and app: purchase
  • App only: first_open, in_app_purchase, app_store_subscription_convert, app_store_subscription_renew

In most SaaS businesses, there are other user actions included in growth goals that are considered conversion events. Commonly, these are arriving at an order confirmation page, booking a demo, or subscribing to a newsletter. Take a look at your growth goals and think through what website behaviours would be helpful to add to your conversion tracking. Google Analytics 4 gives you the flexibility to set up events as conversions, check out their setup steps here.

Enriching metrics with dimensions

Looking at the metrics we listed above will give you a snapshot of the traffic and impact of your website or app. Combining these metrics with attributes of your data, called dimensions, is where Google Analytics gives your powerful insights into your growth. It enriches metrics like 2,345 users last week (metric) to 1,234 users last week came from Google Paid Search (metrics + dimension).

The sheer number of dimensions in GA can be daunting, so here are the two most important to focus on:

  1. Traffic dimensions like Source and Medium: Source is the origin of the user like “Google” or “LinkedIn”. Medium is the method of acquisition like “email” or “cpc” (paid ad).
  2. Page: Where exactly on your site users are visiting and in what order

When you’ve mastered these and are ready to dig deeper within Google Analytics, there are many more metrics to explore. Understanding the full scope of your growth data gives you a real sense of how users are interacting with your brand and gives your team more creative ways to improve performance.

Best practices for startups to utilise growth metrics

Startups achieve growth objectives by effectively utilising metrics. The key is to take a strategic, organised approach. Here are three best practices that startups should consider:

  1. Audience matters
    Targeted marketing efforts help you reach the right people in the right places on the right platforms. Use customer demographics and dimensions to identify key segments for your growth goals. Examples of segments are blog readers or potential customers who currently use a competitor.

    Once you have customer segments, take time to understand their specific behaviours and needs and establish clear messaging for your business. Consider what targeted growth campaigns make sense for your segments. Then measure the success of each campaign to hone in on best practices for your unique audiences.
  2. Don’t be afraid to experiment
    Experimenting is an important growth behaviour but be sure to track all changes so you can determine what’s most effective. By tweaking messaging, design, and channel you’re able to optimise the traffic to your app or website. You can track experiments directly in Google Analytics by setting up an A/B testing via Optimize.
  3. Use conversion rate as feedback
    To understand how different features, marketing messages, and tactics impact growth, you can compare conversion rates. This is especially powerful when setting up experiments inside a specific audience. Ask yourself, why did we get this outcome? Are there other variables we aren’t considering? And what should we test next?

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. By understanding which metrics matter most and how to utilise them effectively, you give your startup the best chance of hitting growth goals. That's where Calliper can help. We take all the guesswork out of data analysis and provide your team with actionable insights that will help your business grow. Let us help unlock your Google Analytics data–join our waitlist here.

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