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How to Track Conversions On Your Website Better Than Before

When it comes to marketing your website, how you track results is extremely important.

There are a number of different metrics that you can measure to get a handle on how well your site is performing, these include:

  • Organic search rankings
  • Traffic
  • Links from referring domains
  • Engagement factors (social shares, blog comments)

It seems like a sizable chunk of the marketing community is completely obsessed with how they rank in Google and link building.

The truth is, this metric is only good for benchmarking results and getting ‘a rough idea’ of where you stand, but you’ll never really know exactly where you are.

So what should we focus on?

Focus on the ROI.

This means tracking conversions on your website – this is simply when a visitor completes an action on your website. It could be a user signing up for a mailing list, creating an account, or most importantly purchasing your product and/or service.

In this post I’ll show you how to get track these conversions better than before without much of a learning curve or messing around.

Setup landing pages and test them

A big part of this is providing some way of converting your visitors in the first place.

If you’re promoting a product through different marketing channels, then you need some sort of landing page. Whether you go for a short form or long form sales page is up to you. But you need a landing page in any case.

If your website is running on WordPress then there are plenty of plugins to help you.

Once you have created a landing page, don’t think that it stops there – what if the user doesn’t convert?

Remember this is about converting visitors and the only way you will be able to do that is by using data and testing. Start by using data to inform design changes and then split test them against the original version. Incorporate feedback and then rinse and repeat until you continue to get better and better conversions.

Get better data

The data that you collect needs to be accurate but it also needs to be gathered, filtered, and put to use.

Just using the log files from your web host or AW Stats is not going to be enough here.

Google Analytics is a great system to use because it makes everything easy and it’s being continuously developed to provide more in-depth data that you can actually use.

 

Use UTM Parameters

There will be times that you will want additional data, in these circumstances a great tool to use is the Campaign URL Builder from Google. This tool allows you to setup UTM Parameters which, in a nutshell, means it allows you to add tags to a URL that enable Google to track referral sources better.

You could use it for split testing banner ads or something more intricate.

There URL tags are quite straightforward to use, but as a point of reference, I’d suggest that you check out this post by Kristi Hines on Crazy Egg which explains how they work in more detail.

It’s worth noting that using these for internal links can cause Google Analytics to inflate your traffic, so event tracking should be used instead. You can read more on the subject from an article by KISSmetrics.

 

Take things a step further with goal tracking

The next step is to figure out which goals you would like to track – this can essentially be any action taken by a user. For example – sign ups to your mailing list, purchases of a product, creations of an account, or even shares.

This will enable you to better track the performance of your website in Google. To set this up you can find detailed instructions from a post by State of Digital.

 

Track revenue with E-commerce tracking

Google has a separate section for tracking e-commerce related conversions which allows you to dig deeper into your product and its sales performance.

Setup isn’t too challenging, it’s just an extra snippet of code to add to each page on your website. You can learn more here.

 

See who did what

Sometimes Google Analytics just doesn’t give you enough insight into exactly who did what.

This is where premium tools like KISSmetrics come in; plans start at $150 per month so your revenue will need to be able to justify the cost. Ultimately, if you have the budget, then you should give KISSmetrics a shot.

In KISSmetrics, you will be able to run as many split tests as you like, segment data to your hearts content and generate some great reports. You can even find out exactly how much each customer is worth and where they came from.

 

See conversions in action (or lack of for that matter)

Occasionally, you need to see exactly what happens when a visitor lands on your site from a visual perspective. ClickTale allows you to do just that!

Sit back and watch visual playbacks of how visitors interact and behave while on your website.

User experience is everything and ClickTale will help you to improve it.

Tracking conversions from emails

If email signups are a key conversion factor for you, then tracking them is important.

Generally, the lifetime value of an email subscriber is far higher than that of a follower on Twitter, so it’s important to track. In order to do this, you will need a ‘thank you’ or ‘download page’ that your subscribers will land on after subscribing.

1)     Login to the analytics profile you wish to use

2)     Click the ‘Admin’ button in the right hand corner

3)     Under the ‘View’ heading towards the right, click on ‘Goals’

4)     Click ‘Create a goal’

5)     Add a descriptive name

6)     Select destination and click ‘next step’

7)     Add the URL and click create

For a more in depth guide, I’d suggest checking out Pat Flynn’s guide for the overall structure and a few other things you will need to know. You can also check out Jules Woodward’s guide on SwellPath.com as well.

Track your phone calls

It may be the case that phone calls are one of your conversion goals. Many business owners think there’s no way to generate any form of analytics data from calls unless you ask customers direct questions.

Thankfully, there are a number of call tracking solutions out there. Call Rail is a great example.

They offer the basics, such as telephone recordings, as well as tracking various sources, even offline sources such as print.

Another great feature allows the telephone number on your site to be changed based on the referral source – this allows for easy tracking of which website or source referred that particular customer.

Pricing starts from $30/month, so it isn’t too expensive but the cost is justified if you take action on the data you get from using the system.

 

Summary

Conversions are an important step towards tracking the overall success of your website.

Whether you own the site yourself or you have to sell your marketing strategy to executives, you will find these tips useful.

Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear more in the comments below.

 

About the author: Adam Connell is the marketing manager of a UK based content marketing agency; UK Linkology and founder of Bloggingwizard.com, where he shares actionable tips to help you get better results from your blog. Get more from Adam on Google+.

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