Metrics matter, and setting up Google Analytics on your website is an important step as part of your marketing strategy which can provide valuable insight into how your website is performing, user behaviour and useful for making calculated website & business decisions.
On the contrary, not reviewing your analytics is like driving a car while blindfolded.
I recently attended a social media marketing seminar in Toronto where the guest speaker provided a personal business case where their client spent well over $25K on Facebook advertising which resulted in very little traffic. They openly admitted the client was not pleased with the results and that the campaign was a failure as it led to no sales. In response the marketer tried to explain to the client that “marketing is not sales”.
While the statement “marketing is not sales” is true, businesses may expect their marketing efforts to lead to more sales unless they are focused on branding.
This is why it’s important to understand and develop a marketing strategy that considers your clients online goals.
For example, running banner ads and video marketing are likely to produce a lower click through rate however are an excellent method to for branding. If you’re looking to increase sales or leads, pay per click advertising (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) can likely yield better results.
Another issue I had with the seminar was the focus on “traffic” as the main metric of the campaign. An increase in traffic doesn’t always equal more conversions. This leads me to the metric that matters – conversions.
Two important metrics often overlooked (an in case above) are conversions and conversion rate.
A conversion is an action that takes place on a website. This can mean signups, newsletter subscribers, sales or leads.
Conversion rate is the percentage of traffic which results in a conversion. For example, if your website had 100 visits and 3 visitors made a purchase then your conversion rate is 3%.
While the speaker went through snapshots from Google Analytics on bounce rate, dwell time and unique visits from the campaign. The actual success or loss could have been accurately calculated through examining Goals.
It’s unlikely but possible, that the overall traffic generated from the speakers marketing campaign could could have resulted in conversions that may have justified the clients investment.
Setup Conversion Tracking in 6 Easy Steps…
In the example below I’m going to go provide steps into how to setup conversion tracking for a contact or lead form.
Your site will need to have a “Thank You page” setup after a user submits a form in order to track completed goals properly.
1. Once logged in, click on “Admin” in the bottom left corner.
2. In the 3rd column (View), choose “Goals”
3. Click on the “New Goal” button
4. Under Goal Setup, choose “Contact Us” and hit “Continue”
5. Under Goal Description, name your Goal (ie Form Filled) and choose Destination under Type. Hit “Continue”.
6. In the Destination field enter the thank you page URL since this is the page users will see after they’ve filled out a form. Only enter the portion of the URL after the domain. So instead of adding http://mydomain.com/thankyou.html, just enter thankyou.html. You can click on the “verify” link to confirm the page linked is live. Hit “Continue” and you’re done.
When a contact form is filled out on your website you will be able to track conversions and conversion rate.
Check out my blog on ecommerce conversion tracking if your website is developed in WordPress/WooCommerce.
Conversions by Traffic Source
By viewing Channels ( selecting Acquisition->All Traffic->Channels) in Google Analytics, you can see a breakdown of how visitors arrive to your website.
1. Direct – Traffic from visitors directly visiting your domain.
2. Referral – Traffic from another website that links to yours.
3. Social – Traffic through social media.
4. Organic – Traffic from organic search results.
5. Display – Traffic from display advertising
6. Paid – Traffic from Pay Per Click advertising
Under the ‘Conversion’ column you’ll be able to view the conversion rate, number of conversions and if assigned during the goal setup, the total dollar value of conversions.
This can provide further insight into what part of your marketing strategy is performing best and where to invest more of your budget.
The best way to measure the ROI from your internet market campaign is by setting up conversion tracking.
If you want to show your clients that you’re marketing efforts are paying off, this is what you should be referring them to. Not traffic.