Analytics Without a CPA Goal: Stump Ian, Question 5 (or 6?)

Ian Lurie

Zain asks:

“How do you know your Internet Marketing is working, if there is no CPA?”

I use several different metrics:

  1. Pageviews / Visit
  2. Time on site
  3. Non-CPA conversions, like e-mail newsletter signups
  4. Segments defined by complete reads of specific site sections, etc.

3 and 4 are the best – they’re the most flexible. A conversion doesn’t have to be a purchase or a form completion. It can also be any time a user reads more than 5 pages on your site, reads one entire white paper, or spends more than 4 minutes on the site.

For example, on my own blog I track two non-CPA conversions:

non-CPA conversions

Goal 1 is a more typical conversion – an e-mail signup for automatic update notifications from my blog.

2 and 3, though, are not. Goal 2 is defined by any visitor who reads my entire book online, in one sitting. Goal 3 is defined by anyone who reads at least one entire chapter of my book online.

You can track effectiveness using pageviews and time on site, too. I wrote another post about that – you can read it here. The principles I outline in that post work for any form of measurement – you don’t have to restrict it to keywords.

So, even if you don’t have a cost per acquisition goal, you can still measure marketing effectiveness.

Zain, I hope this answers your question – if not, please comment below and I’ll see if I can provide more detail.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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