Why tracking website conversions should be at the top of your to-do list - Showtime Digital

Why tracking website conversions should be at the top of your to-do list

16 October 2018 Read 933 times

In the digital marketing industry, there are platforms which have lived on to conquer the net and steal the majority share of marketing budgets.

Marketing buzzwords your colleagues talk about, can leave you thinking to yourself “Did I miss a character’s name last night on Game Of Thrones?” The one word that’s stuck around - your source of truth/make or break at your marketing manager's meetings is a 3-syllable word called…conversions.

For example, Google Ads can be a Marketing Managers best friend but also nervous first date! When thinking about how you want to identify what success looks like, if you simply break it down to these steps –you shouldn’t need to have a splash Dutch courage before stepping into that small bar with no idea whom you’re meeting.

Conversions are simply the actions you value on your website and in dating terms, those checklists, highly sought after qualities!

Ask yourself, what do I actually want to see as the end goal from my advertising spend? What outcomes support my digital marketing strategy?  The answers are what we would likely term… drumm rollll….  a conversion.

However, what conversion actually applies to you is based on the following questions:

  • What is my business? Either a product or service?
  • What advertising platform I’m using?
  • What is my desired outcome of this advertising campaign?

The desired outcome is simply an “action” on what you actually value and want from your campaign to happen via your digital assets. What you want your digital investment to actually do?

Here are a few examples of “actions/conversions” which relate to your marketing goals

  • Are you wanting to increase sales enquiries via the phone? Phone Call = Action.
  • Do you want to vamp up your digital database? Data entry via form fill = Action.
  • Increase ticket sales? Ticket purchase through your website = Action

Once you have which type of desired “action” or “outcome” you want to get via your digital campaign, it’s important to know how you will measure it.

Here’s an example:

Client: Camping ecommerce store

Advertising channel: Display PPC via Google Ads

Goal: 20 sales per month

Required measure: Completed checkout

How to track a completed checkout conversion

Given we’re using Google Ads, we want the data to feed back into the platform. The obvious way is to set up ecommerce tracking via Google Analytics. Almost all major shopping cart vendors provide integration with Google Analytics, so making this happen is usually a breeze. However, depending on the platform in use, there may be additional integration modules available from the e-commerce platform partner or other third parties which will talk directly to Google Ads or the Merchant Centre. 

If we’re setting up tracking via Google Analytics, we use Google Tag Manager. It’s easy as pie and having all the JavaScript managed in Tag Manager, not on your site means faster page loads – woohoo!

Here’s a few links on how to set this up:

What other data is valuable?

Conversions are the end goal, but there are other data inputs in this scenario which can add value to how you understand your marketing efforts and their impact on your business.

Secondary measures to consider:

  • Cart abandonment – Add to carts vs checkouts
  • Time to checkout – How long it takes from initially adding to cart to checking out
  • Average order value – Assists with establishing a baseline for acquisition costs
  • Unique purchases – Once off buys of a set of products, or for individual products
  • Per session value – How much each web session contributes to the overall site sales

The list goes on…

By capturing more in depth data, you or your PPC agency can find ways to optimise campaigns, user experience and the overall shopping funnel.

Where to optimise

By measuring the conversions or actions which create value for your business, you can prove ROI. However, there are always opportunities to optimise. This can be seen in two ways:

  • Acquisition channel optimisation
  • Website optimisation

For acquisition channel optimisation it comes down to the data being fed back into the platform. By understanding things like Cost Per Lead or in ecommerce terms Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) the ways you are drawing traffic to your site can be improved. This might come down to pinpointing times of day which are more profitable or when consumers are more likely to convert, or assessing which campaigns, keywords or placements are giving you a maximum ROI. Basically, getting your acquisition channels to work harder and smarter.

For website optimisation, it comes down to interpreting the data, drawing hypotheses from the data and A/B testing for outcomes. Looking at the secondary measures to grasp why there is a certain level or cart abandonment and what can be changed in the web experience to reduce frictions. Is it as simple as adding a Facebook login for registering? Does adding ‘People also liked’ items at the bottom of products assist in generating bigger sales?

Where to start

When you're presenting to your boardroom and everyone is waiting for that ‘word’ for you to read out, that 3 syllable game changer… the pressure is on to deliver and set the course for improvement.

From understanding what to measure, to implementing measures to optimisation, there are a lot of tasks at hand.

If you need a hand to make sure your getting the most out of your marketing budget we are happy to help, ask us about our web analytics capabilities or for accounts spending over $15,000 a month, we offer free audits.

Just remember, tracking website conversions is critical to supporting your digital marketing strategy. Without the data, you’re on a blind date with a curtain raised between you and your date, and guess who’s footing the bill?!

Laura Williams

Laura is a digital native with a broad portfolio of award-winning campaigns. From working in publishing, production and agency, she has a knack for understanding what drives consumers in a noisy digital world.