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Conversion Tracking: How To Measure Marketing Success

We all have burning questions we desperately want to answer. “Like What is the meaning of life?” and “Does my dog love me for me?” For businesses, these questions probably look like:  

“Is our current marketing strategy working?”  

If you can answer this basic question, you can improve your marketing strategy and grow your business. If you can’t, you may be taking shots in the dark with your marketing efforts, which is expensive and frustrating.  

Tracking and understanding your conversion data gives you a clear, accurate look at what your marketing strategy is working, and what is not an efficient way to build a customer base. Conversion tracking best way to answer essential questions and grow from your efforts.

What is a conversion?  

Put simply, a conversion is when a website visitor takes a desired action on your digital content. When people think of conversions, the first example that pops into their mind may be a purchase. That is an important conversion to track, but it’s not the only action a consumer can take that shows they are interested in your product. A conversion can be:  

  • Submitting a contact form  
  • Subscribing to a newsletter   
  • Calling your business  
  • Clicking ‘yes’ on a lightbox or popup  
  • Downloading gated content  
  • Using a promo code  

Essentially, actions a potential customer takes that says “I like what I see and I want to see more.” Chances are, your company may have something industry-specific, like filling out a hair consultation quiz or filling out an inquiry for a fly-fishing trip. Step one is identifying the conversions that are important to you and your business growth.

Why should I track conversions?  

Just looking at sales data doesn’t give you the whole picture. Understanding where and how your audience is engaging with your content will help you identify what marketing efforts are already productive and which efforts are needlessly sucking up of time, money, or resources. When you understand what works, you can repeat it and grow from it.   

Tracking conversions will help you uncover WHY a customer purchased. Understanding which traffic sources lead to conversions can help you identify where your most valuable website visitors come from. Tracking your download or subscribe conversions shows you what your audience perceives to be your most valuable offerings, content, specials, or web pages.

How do I track conversions?  

Integrate your websites, ads, and analytics  

Do you know the old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? Well, this is the exception to the expression. Integrating your platforms will help you accurately track conversions across your channels and consolidate the data on to one platform. That way, you don’t have to jump around to get a complete picture. Seeing all your info in one place, your conversion information won’t seem so intimidating, and you have a clearer picture to act on the data.   

For example, you can rank all your marketing channels in order of efficiency based on the conversions coming in, or find patterns within your channels. If you see that social ads are great at gaining new email leads, while organic traffic brings in purchases, and Google Ads doesn’t bring in any conversions, that’s important info to understand.   

To integrate your data you need to set up the Facebook Pixel and set up conversion tracking in Google ads. Both require adding code to the backend of your website, but once they are implemented, they can track crucial and actionable information. Facebook Pixel will allow you to use website activity and conversion data to target website visitors with ads. Google Ads conversion tracking helps you understand exactly what a visitor did on your website when they visit from an ad.   

Set up goals in analytics  

Setting up goals in Google Analytics is the best way you can improve your on-site conversion tracking strategy. Google analytics goals measure and track how often users complete specific desired actions on your website. Tracking goals will help you identify your most valuable traffic and any patterns that are connected to conversions. Without this information, it’s almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of your website and marketing campaigns.   

Setting up Google Analytics goals can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. If you just want to track purchases, that’s a simple process. But you can also set up custom goals to meet the specific conversions of your company, such as downloading whitepapers or filling out a specific form.   

Create a process for interpreting conversion data  

Whether it’s creating spreadsheets and line graphs, constructing ROI reports, or just setting time aside to go through Google Analytics metrics, your data isn’t worth much if you don’t look at it.   

Create a process that works for you and your company. For smaller companies. That could be a quick excel you can refer back to with your monthly progress. For larger companies with more intricate conversion pathways, you may need to create more in-depth reports to get the information you need.   

The key is to have a resource that is consistently updated so that information is always on hand.   

Act on your findings to improve your marketing strategy  

Interpreting the data can be the hardest part of mapping out your conversion rate optimization. With so much information to look at, it can be hard to skip over irrelevant info and find the gold nuggets of wisdom.   

However, this rabbit hole is also a treasure trove of custom data that has been building and growing throughout its implementation. To get the most out of your Google Analytics data, remember a few things.   

Make sure you are looking at meaningful time ranges to compare your data. If there is no purpose behind the time range or your data, you aren’t learning that much. Some common time ranges that can shed some light on your digital progress are: 

  •  Comparing the current month to the previous month  
  • Comparing the current month to the same month of the previous year  
  • Comparing the current year compared to the previous year,  
  • Comparing before and after a major website or strategy update 

These will all help you gain a better idea of conversion strategy progress.

You can’t find an answer if you don’t have a question. The best advice I have for navigating Google Analytics is to ask specific questions noted before entering the platform. Take the steps to answer those questions so you don’t fall into the Google Analytics blackhole.     

Important Conversion Terms to Understand:

Conversion Rate: The number of individuals that see your content (visit your website, see a social ad, etc.) that complete the desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors. The conversion rate is calculated by the number of conversions divided by the total number of viewers.   

For example: If 300 people visit your website, and 9 people complete the desired conversion, you have a 3% conversion rate.   

New visitor conversion rate: The new visitor conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the total number of total new visitors.  

Return visitor conversion rate: The return visitor conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the total number of total return visitors.  

Cost per conversion: the dollar amount you spent on each conversion achieved through a paid ad. This is calculated as the overall campaign cost divided by the number of conversions.   

For example: If I spent $500 on an ad and received 22 conversions from that ad, my cost per conversion is $22.72.   

Interactions per visit: Interactions (or hits) are not a full conversion, but they still complete actions that show they are interested in your offerings. This could be several page views, reading multiple blogs, scrolling through pages, or prolonged time spent on pages.   

These actions aren’t by themselves valuable, but they indicate interest and commonly precede a conversion.  

Conversion rate optimization: Tactics and efforts used to increase the percentage of people that interact digital content take any desired action on a webpage. It is commonly referred to by marketers as CRO.  

Value per visit: The value of visit asks how much each visit is worth. This is calculated by the number of visits divided by the total value created.  

For example: if you have 5,000 website visits in 1 month, and you have $25,000 in online purchases that month, the value per visit is $5.  

  

Keeping your finger on the pulse of your conversion data can help you understand what is working and what needs help, and improve your marketing strategy in the long term. Need help sorting through your conversion data? Reach out to our team! 

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