Online Marketing

The Most Important Online Marketing Channels and How to Measure Them

If you do online marketing, you have several different channels to choose from. We will give you an overview of the most important online marketing channels, how to use them and how to measure each of them with the relevant key performance indicators (KPIs).

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing means that you promote your products or your content through distribution partners on the web. The costs are based on performance, for example by click or conversion. Affiliate partners can be single websites, networks of websites or even mobile apps. Search engines offer their own affiliate networks like the Google Display Network. There is a wide range of possible ad formats for affiliate marketing, from text and banner ads to video ads and advertorials.

  • How to use it: Affiliate marketing is a good channel to increase your reach because it allows you to reach people that do not yet know your company or products.
  • Relevant KPIs:
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • Click-through-rate
    • Conversions

2. Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing stands for paid ads in the search engine results pages, for example in Google, Bing/Yahoo! or Yandex. In addition to text ads there are other ad formats like product-based ads (such as Google Shopping ads), banners (for example in Yandex) or videos (for example in YouTube). The targeting is typically based on keywords, but there are also automatic targeting options based on the website content (as in Google AdWords Dynamic Search Ads), based on product attributes (as in AdWords Shopping campaigns) or based on user behavior (for example remarketing).

  • How to use it: With search engine marketing you can increase your visibility in search engines. If you are suffering from bad ranking positions in organic search due to high competition or because you have a new website, search engine marketing is a must.
  • Relevant KPIs:

3. Search Engine Optimization

The goal of search engine optimization is to get your website found for the relevant keywords in the organic search results of Google, Bing/Yahoo!, Yandex and Co.

  • How to use it: With search engine optimization you increase the visibility of your website in organic search. Because results are only visible after 4-6 months, you should combine search engine optimization with other channels, at least at the beginning.
  • Relevant KPIs:
    • Website visits from organic search
    • Conversions
    • Keyword Rankings
    • Link Metrics

4. Content Marketing

Content Marketing is about publishing content that is relevant for your target group. Website sections like a blog or a news section are suitable for content marketing.

  • How to use it: Content marketing is an important channel to increase your visibility in organic search and on social media. Position yourself as specialist for your key topics by sharing your know-how.
  • Relevant KPIs:
    • Page views
    • Time on page
    • Number of backlinks
    • Number of social shares

5. Social Media Marketing

There are two different ways to be present on social networks: You can share content (organic posts) or use paid advertising (ads or sponsored posts).

  • How to use it: Social networks are an important distribution channel for content marketing and a relevant element of search engine optimization. Moreover, you can establish a dialogue with your target group on social media.
  • Relevant KPIs:
    • Website visits from social media
    • Number of followers (Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn) or fans (Facebook)
    • Number of favs (Twitter), likes (LinkedIn, Facebook) or +1 (Google+)
    • Number of retweets (Twitter) or shares (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+)

6. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a direct marketing activity. The most important thing is to make sure you have enough recipients in your email list.

  • How to use it: Email marketing is an important channel for content marketing and also allows you to communicate current offers to your target group.
  • Relevant KPIs:
    • Website visits from mailings
    • Opening rate
    • Click-through-rate
    • Unsubscribe rate


Do you have questions about online marketing? Feel free to contact me by email.