What is Conversion Tracking, and Why It Should Matter to You
While there are exceptions to the rule, most businesses will invest in marketing at some point. Facebook Ads, Mailchimp, and other marketing technology software providers make it easier than ever to get started. But how do you know if your marketing is working? Unfortunately, these platforms’ reporting tools don’t tell you everything you need to know. Fortunately, there is a solution: conversion tracking.
What is conversion tracking, and what can you track?
Conversion tracking lets you track activity that happens on your website or other advertising platforms that’s of interest to your business. For example, you can track if someone places an order, fills out a contact form, calls you, downloads a resource from your website, or visits a specific number of pages. Setting up conversion tracking lets you track where these visitors came from. This lets you see which of your marketing efforts are getting users to interact on your website in ways that you want to measure.
Why should I care, and what should I track?
There are always more ways to spend your marketing dollars that you can afford. Even within platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, you can choose to advertise on different websites and choose to target new customers or retarget your existing ones. While you may start off by testing many options to see which works best, you will ultimately want to move all of your marketing dollars into the advertising and marketing tactics that are working the best. Conversion tracking gives you the data you need to see where your leads are coming from (or where your sales are coming from if you are an ecommerce company). You can set up conversion tracking to record when someone fills out your contact form or calls you from a mobile device. Have a live chat app on your site? Most popular chat programs integrate with Google Analytics which lets you track chat sessions.
Some businesses have very long sales cycles. It takes time to build trust and to get big-ticket items into the budget. In these cases, you might want to track other activities higher up the funnel to gauge how the campaign is performing. For example, you might want to track anytime you capture the email address of a potential prospect, including the download of cases studies, whitepapers, or other gated resources.
What tools are used for conversion tracking?
Google Analytics allows you to set up conversion tracking to measure events that happen on your website. Google Ads and many other third-party applications including phone call tracking, chat, and ecommerce platforms integrate with Google Analytics and will send events to Google Analytics that can be captured as conversions using Google Goals. Click here for a complete tutorial on how to set up conversion tracking in Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager.
When do I need more than Google Analytics?
Google Analytics provides a good foundation and is free, so it’s a good place for all businesses to start. However, Google Analytics has its limitations.
While Google Analytics can track when someone clicks your click to call links, it can’t track phone calls when someone dials your phone number. Since many businesses still transact most of their business on the phone, your conversion tracking information would be incomplete without phone call tracking. While phone call tracking isn’t free, the cost is based on usage and can be implemented for as little as $15 per month, so it’s affordable even for most small businesses.
Unless you are generating orders online, Google Analytics can’t track what happens after someone fills out your contact form or calls you, or who they are. As a result, it can’t help you determine which of your leads are qualified and which turn into sales. Marketing automation systems like Hubspot or marketing analytics platforms like Jess let you qualify leads, calculate the cost per qualified lead, and integrate with your CRM to help you measure your return on ad spend.
Do you have conversion tracking set up?
Now that you know why conversion tracking is important, check to make sure you have conversion tracking set up. Log into Google Analytics and click Admin (the gear icon), Goals. If you don’t see any goals listed, contact your marketing team to get conversion tracking set up.
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