This article covers the nuts and bolts behind conversion tracking and how
you can help update your site, which boils down to what systems need to be in place to actually justify the work being done for the client.
Now hold on, I hear some of you saying. What the heck is conversion and why does it matter?
For those of you who haven’t had the chance to look it up, conversion is the action that turns a visitor into a lead or customer, depending on the business. How visitors become leads, and how to get more of them to become leads, is a subject that I’ll talk about in another post.
There are just four ways that people contact other people in the digital age: phone, email, through a form, or via social. You’ll want to be sure your web design company understands all of these areas. Of these, social is not typically a place people go to if they want something, and unless you do a lot of craigslist ads you won’t see much from people contacting businesses from email*. Which leaves phone and onsite forms as the main ways people contact businesses online.
Ways and Means of Conversion Tracking
The key question is: how do we track each of these communication channels from start to finish?
Form tracking is a little more difficult, but not terribly so. Using tools like Wufoo, you can get easy to use and easy to implement forms in minutes. It’s awesome. But more importantly for our purposes, it also gives you the ability to redirect those who press the submit button to a “thank you” page.
Why is this important, you ask? Well. If you have Google Analytics set up on a website, you can track quantities of people who hit a particular page, then segment that group of people out and see how they got to that particular page. Now, if you set up your forms so that users who click submit get redirected to a thank you page, you can track all the people who do so- and most importantly, where they came from to get to your site.
Of course, you don’t get personalized information this way. Everything is scrubbed, leaving you with nothing but a, hopefully, statistically significant sample set of faceless people. Keyword level data won’t be there either, unfortunately- Google is phasing that out entirely for organic traffic in the near future, so don’t count on getting anything like the buyer insight that PPC can get you. The most intrusive thing I’ve found in Google Analytics is the type of phone the person used to visit the site. That’s interesting, but is only valuable when trying to measure viewer experience on those devices. That’s a story for another time though, I think.
Now that you’ve got some idea of where conversions are coming from, you can optimize your advertising budget toward the things that work for your business. You can get cost per lead information across all of your lead sources, calculate ROI, and really make smart business solutions about how you need to pursue customers.
Pretty sweet, huh?