Measuring a campaign’s success is the best way to decide which efforts are working for your business and which ones to look at again. This can be especially difficult to keep track of when running multiple campaigns and not knowing how best to measure any of the campaigns individually. A great way to measure any digital marketing effort is to look at and track your conversion rates. In order to achieve optimal results, we have laid out a few steps to keep your lead conversions moving forward with conversion tracking.
Find your definition of a conversion.
As you may recall, our previous blog in the series focused on identifying conversions. Now to recap, we wanted to quickly define what a conversion is and why it’s important. A conversion is an activity your company has designated as being valuable online activity for your site. Every company measures success by different margins and that is no different when it comes to measuring conversion rate success. Remember to have a clear definition of what a conversion means for your business and follow these conversions closely.
Conversion tracking 101.
Conversion tracking is one of the strongest reasons that digital marketing has become so popular. You can trace a successful conversion back to whatever you did to bring that customer to your website. This can be online tactics like display banner ads, where you will be able to tell what message, design or targeting method worked the best. Or it can be offline, like a TV commercial, where you can see how many people looked up your website during the time slot in which a commercial ran. This is only possible, however, if you have properly set up the tools that track these actions on your website and collect this data.
Whether trying to track organic or paid views, it’s important to know what tools you have available to you and what information you can gather based on what you’re trying to achieve. There are multiple conversion tracking assistants, and each one offers their own unique ways of allowing you to track, view, and collect data on your investments. A few services available are Google Ads and Analytics, Bing Webmaster, LinkedIn Conversion Tracking, and Facebook Pixels.
Deciding which tool(s) to use mostly depends on where you and your customers are. If you have a large following on Facebook, or if you are looking to establish your presence on LinkedIn, then that will significantly impact which tools to utilize. Set your conversion goals, identify where you’d like to track them, and start monitoring them accordingly.
The most popular tool for website data collection is Google Analytics. When a customer converts on your website, Google offers a way to look back and see the different means by which people came to your site before then. This is known as a conversion path.
A conversion path is the combination of all the ways a person visited a website from their first visit until their conversion.
Mary is a homeowner who sees a photo of a screened-in porch on Facebook that was posted by Acme Home Contractors and shared by her friend Anne. She clicks to Acme’s Facebook page, and from there goes to their website acmehomecontractors.com from the link on their Facebook page. She is interested and wants to look into getting her own screened-in patio. Two days later, sitting at lunch on her mobile phone, she does a Google search for “Wichita Home Contractors” and visits 3 different websites from Google, including Acme’s again because she wants to see what kind of materials they use compared to other contractors. After 2 more days and additional research into the competitors, she decides that Acme is who she wants to consider further. So she puts acmehomecontractors.com into her browser on her desktop machine from her home computer, visits the website and see that she can upload pictures of her yard, desired dimensions and choice of materials. The next morning, a member of the Acme sales team follows up with Mary and schedules a team to visit her at her house to get the information necessary to complete a quote form.
In this example, the website was acmehomecontractors.com and the goal was completed quote forms, which are considered leads for the Acme sales team. Notice that the goal was not increased sales. Many factors dictate whether a sale is made, many of which can’t be foreseen or affected by the website. The only goal we have is leads for the Acme Sales Team from the website. Let’s explore the Conversion Path that Mary took: Social ⇒ Organic ⇒ Direct.
First Visit Channel: Social – She visited the website from a link on Acme’s Facebook page. This is the sign of a sound social media promotional strategy by Acme because it makes use of influencers, who are useful in creating demand for a product or service. Acme got permission from Anne to post the photos of their work on her patio, and she was excited to share those photos on her own wall, which made it possible for Mary to see it and visit Acme’s Facebook page and then their website.
Second Visit Channel: Organic Search – She visited Acme’s site again by Googling it when she was looking at competitor sites. Acme’s visibility on Google was made possible by following SEO best practices, including local search optimization, which made it possible for Acme to show up within the maps listings on a search for “Wichita home contractors”.
Final Converting Visit Channel: Direct – She visits the site by entering the URL into her web browser. Mary has done her comparisons and liked Acme’s work the most. It was after hours, and she was home from work, so she completed the contact form on the website in the evening which allowed her to upload photos, dimensions and materials within the contact form saved everyone a lot of time.
A conversion path varies significantly from an attribution in that an attribution is usually only looking at how the lead got to your page right before the converted. This is known as a last-click attribution.
Most goal-tracking is set up by default to track “Last-Click Attribution”, which means that they assign a conversion to whatever channel was used on the visit on which the conversion occurred. In Mary’s case, it would be credited to Direct traffic, because that was the last click.
One of the pitfalls of conversion tracking is that it takes a long time to analyze the entire picture of how your customers interact with you online. In our example, Mary’s conversion path was Social ⇒ Organic ⇒ Direct. When Acme considers where to allocate their online marketing budget, they may be tempted to ignore social and organic search engines because the conversion came from a direct visit, which might make them think that word of mouth is sufficient, and they can therefore not spend any money elsewhere because people will talk about it and give the website URL to their friends. But this isn’t the case. Social media and organic search contributed just as much if not more than the final direct visit did. If Acme wanted to increase the number of leads generated from their website, they need to gain insight on what channels contribute to conversions the most, then focus spends and efforts on that channel.
Google Analytics has a report called the Top Conversion Paths report that allows you to see all of the unique conversion paths for conversions on your website. Here is an example from Google:
If you have defined your conversions appropriately and set up the tracking to gather data about those conversions, you should get a better picture of how your customers behave. And when you understand how your customers behave, you will be able to properly optimize your website to enhance your conversion rate (stay tuned for the next blog in the series on optimization!). With that, you know what your digital marketing mix should look like.
Conversion tracking and identification is crucial to the overall success of your digital marketing campaigns. That is why Squid Ink is ready to get their tentacles in your business’ digital marketing strategy and design a unique, customized plan that fits the special needs of your organization. Schedule your obligation-free meeting today to start understanding your online customers and conversions.