Why do we need to talk about Vanity Metrics? – WAU

Vanity metrics are information collected and monitored by professionals, which, in fact, does not help to make strategic or relevant decisions for the business.

We have often talked about the importance of measure your digital marketing efforts.

Especially when we talk about social networks, there are several numbers and indicators that can confuse even experienced professionals.

Given this confusion, there is a danger of getting caught up in vanity metrics, unlike those that really matter to understand the success of our actions.

We will, in this article, better present what these metrics are, because they are called that way, and how to avoid falling into the illusion of accompanying them, in addition to of course, which metrics should receive the most attention.

Follow below!

What are vanity metrics?

If we are to summarize what vanity metrics are, they could be described as all the information collected and monitored by professionals, who in fact do not help to make any decisions.

It doesn’t mean that they are metrics that you should ignore, but only that they are not the ones that will dictate the health of your business, in a vision of the whole.

With the accelerated growth of social networks, many companies have decided to invest in management and their presence on networks.

Which is an extremely correct decision, but there is no point in simply creating your company page or sponsoring ads without a clear objective.

Imagine creating an AdWords campaign and not knowing exactly which metrics to track (know here) How much money could you lose?

And the problem with Facebook or other networks, is that sometimes it’s not as clear how much money you lose, how it’s on AdWords.

What are the vanity metrics?

Remember: Vanity metrics are all those that don’t help you make better business decisions.

Therefore, any data that does not motivate a change can be considered a vanity metric to some extent.

Some vanity metrics do have their value, make no mistake about this, but they simply do not deserve as much attention as others, they should not be considered KPI’S from a project.

Some of the more classic examples are:

1. Likes, +1, little heart on twitter and the like

When asked “how are your Facebook campaigns going?”.

It is still very common to hear the answer “it is going very well! We got X likes ”. Okay, great! But what do you do with that information?

I may have liked it because I liked the title, or the kitten gif image you put together.

Again, there is not enough information to drive any decision making, so this is perhaps the most dangerous and main metric of vanity that anyone can have.

If you still want to know if it can still be worth it purchase likes, I suggest you read it carefully this post about.

2. App downloads

If you have an app, you should definitely put a lot of effort into getting people to download it!

However, it is necessary to better understand how related to billing and paid users this number means.

Downloading apps generates a transactional cost for companies and often the uninstallation fee is ending that number.

For those who are still creating the app or recently launched it, the number of downloads is, of course, very important.

But in the long run, be careful. Measure the aforementioned uninstallation rate, downloads x registrations (users) and, of course, paying users of your app.

If you receive few downloads but many registrations, few uninstalls and users make use of their paid functions, you’re fine!

And if you have questions about how to use content marketing for apps, we have a interesting post about it.

3. Clicks

Another metric that can often sound interesting and rich, but can become mere vanity.

The click-through rate is important to know if you are managing to get people to your website, blog, ad, or whatever. But without you having your goal behind the metric very well defined, it’s an empty number.

If you have many clicks, but a very low conversion rate or length of stay on the page, you need to reevaluate which page you are taking the visitor to, and whether it is in line with the expectation of the call.

These are the risks of the famous “clickbaits” – calls that promise something super revealing but that are only there to attract clicks.


Yes, I know, if a lot of people share your content, it means that something went right!

While yes, it is a true statement, the number of shares does not necessarily say anything about the success of your strategy (yet).

Especially when what has been shared so many times has been a message of humor or something else with no clear purpose behind it.

Sharing your content helps to bring more traffic to the site, but once you have that traffic, you need to capture the reader’s attention and move it into your sales funnel, delivering quality content (don’t you know how? click here!), to really understand the effectiveness of your social media management performance.

5. Bounce Rate

Don’t be scared, it’s not to stop following or worrying about the bounce rate of your blog or website!

As we said, these metrics should not be ignored, but understood about what space they occupy in their strategy and, mainly, what is their ultimate goal beyond them.

The bounce rate means how many users leave your page before meeting certain Google requirements, so that it is not considered rejected by the user.

In addition to time in each one, if the user does not interact with any of the links listed, it can be considered as a rejected page, in the same way.

There are pages with higher traffic and higher user turnover that will naturally have higher bounce rates.

If a contact page like “contact us” is receiving few interactions, it may be more worrisome.

All of this depends, of course, on what you want to extract information from when analyzing your bounce rate. To get deeper into how to use this metric, visit this article.


In any social network, be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, the number of people that follow the page means something close to nothing, as a business metric.

Of course, having many followers or fans on social media is interesting, but it is not directly related to the success of your company.

Even instagram, which has not yet been fully explored in your business version, has more interesting metrics to follow.

7.Pageviews, or page views

By itself, this is a vanity metric as it says nothing about the evolution of the website or blog.

Unlike unique visitors, this data from Analytics can easily be wrong or even so, there are not many decisions to be made from their number.

A website can have 10,000 views and 100 visitors, or 10,000 views from 10,000 visitors. These are very different scenarios and require different attitudes.

A tip to better understand Google Analytics metrics is to check that article.

There are other vanity metrics that we could quote here, but just always consider the rule: If it doesn’t help you make a business decision, it may not be the main metric that you should keep up with!

Which metrics really matter in digital marketing?

Okay, so you already understood what vanity metrics can be, right? Well, after all, what should we monitor to measure the growth of your business?

More and more marketers are pressured to prove the return on their campaigns according to the investment made.

And for a good ROI calculation, there are certain metrics that you should track, according to the defined goal of your campaigns. Let’s list a few.

1. Campaign Conversion Rate

Let’s say you’ve run a campaign on AdWords and need to prove its ROI (more about ROI in AdWords).

Assuming you are attracting a lot of traffic and getting a lot of clicks. But of this paid traffic, how much does it actually convert?

And understand by “conversion” the goal that you defined earlier. Be it the final sale, be it a sales contact request – remember that sales metrics often differ from marketing!

The role of the campaign is to generate opportunities, especially when it comes to B2B services. Track what% of conversions you’re getting.

The goal of conversion is not always sales. It could be, for example, downloading rich material, to help lead generation, something effective especially on social networks like Facebook, as we said in this video.

2. Conversions along the funnel

From the moment you generate a new newsletter subscriber or a new lead that has downloaded rich material and left valuable information, it is in your sales funnel.

At this point, you need to identify what stage it is in, and offer more content that moves it forward into the funnel.

To identify which stage it is at, we recommend that you use content that is behind landing pages that ask for more and more detailed information, according to the stage of the funnel that the material is related to.

For example: If a subscriber to your newsletter has downloaded your “Definitive SEO Guide”, He is already qualified as a lead, even though he is still at the top of the funnel.

Thus, you can know if you are applying efficient techniques of attraction (visitors to the website or blog), conversion and retention of these leads, along the funnel.

3. LTV

From English “Lifetime Value”, this metric is very important because it defines how much a customer is really worth to you.

Say you are a SaaS, with a monthly fee of R $ 100. If your customers spend, on average, 12 months with the subscription, then your LTV is approximately R $ 1,200.

Some see LTV as an exclusive metric for subscription sales, but that does not tell the reality.

We know that it is much easier to sell to customers who have bought with us before, and when we talk about e-commerce, this is even more true.

So, returning customers and repeating the purchase has higher profitability (lower lead cost) and therefore a higher LTV. More about e-commerce metrics, on here.

4. CAC

Another number that has already been dealt with here, the Cost of Acquisition per Client or CAC, is a key metric for companies that want to maintain healthy growth.

It’s basically how much a customer costs you, and in order for you to get a true ROI, you’ll need to have your CAC x LTV at your fingertips.

For more information on calculating and tracking this metric, visit our article dedicated to her.

5. Number of Visitors

Unlike pageviews, this data shows how many people visited the site, regardless of how many times she did.

These are new visitors who have been added to your blog’s audience, not returning visits.

A page can have 1 visitor who made 6 visits, for example.

It is an important metric as it shows that you are managing to keep your audience renewed and your funnel busy, which brings you closer to having some predictability.

Be sensible when analyzing these numbers: You need visitors to return to the site so you know how you are managing to retain your audience’s attention but you also need to keep it fresh with new visitors.

Observe the percentage of each in your traffic and try to keep them balanced with newsletter and email marketing to bring returning users, for example, and actions on social media and SEO to attract new visitors.


It is important to know that vanity metrics are not entirely dispensable and must be observed, as long as they are aware that they will not be responsible for proving to justify resources allocated in digital marketing campaigns.

Social networks and the current requirement for companies to be present in them have generated even more confusing metrics that don’t tell us that much.

With that in mind, we constantly prepare articles and materials to help companies achieve business results through these channels.

From these contents, we have separated 4 specially created to start 0 campaigns and social media strategies to generate more leads, opportunities and customers for your company.

To download this marketing kit on social media, just click here.