Conversion tracking

Conversion tracking is when a brand monitors the actions consumers take toward the completion of a business goal. These actions can include signing up for a newsletter, downloading a content offer, or adding an item to a cart. 

Conversion tracking is a way to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, design change and other marketing components as consumers move toward conversion.

What Conversion Goals Should Be Tracked?

Conversion tracking tools like Google Analytics require account managers to define measurable goals for conversion. Goals are typically connected to specific pages, events or other products and services.

Examples of conversion goals:

  • Direct people to a physical store location
  • Increase site visitors
  • Contact a business via call or message
  • Add item to cart
  • Make a purchase
  • Sign-up for a newsletter
  • Download content offer
  • Play a video

By tracking conversions, businesses can define their most valuable marketing channels via conversion attribution, or giving a particular channel credit for a conversion. They have better insight into how to allocate their marketing budget and resources based on their highest performing channels for conversions, such as social media networks.

Which Key Performance Indicators Do I Track?

There are a variety of key performance indicators related to conversions themselves and other metrics that suggest the effectiveness of conversion efforts.

Examples of KPIs for conversion:

  • Number of conversions
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion/acquisition
  • Bounce rate
  • Pages per visit
  • Hits on destination page
  • Events (played videos, download content)
  • Session duration

KPIs, like conversion rate, evaluate conversions themselves while metrics like events take into account actions that will eventually lead to conversions.

How do I calculate conversion rate?

To calculate conversion rate, divide the total number of conversions by your desired metric (clicks, ad impressions, sessions on site, etc).

Your KPIs will indicate how close you are to meeting your goal. For example, if your goal is to increase the number of purchases for an ecommerce site, one target KPI is the number of customers who land on a “Thank you page” after buying an item.

You can also track KPIs for consumers who are close to meeting a conversion goal and then take steps to ensure completion of your goal. If a customer adds an item to a shopping cart but abandons the cart, you can use a retargeting campaign via Google AdWords to display ads for the abandoned items and increase the chance of conversion.

How Do I Set Up Conversion Tracking?

Analytics and advertising tools work simultaneously to collect, segment and visualize data related to conversions. Where you market your content will determine the tools you will use for conversion analysis. If you decide to advertise or analyze data on Google’s advertising platforms, use tools found on Google Analytics and AdWords to track conversions.

Choose business goals

Select goals based on your market, target audience, mission and other factors crucial for your business growth. An ecommerce site will typically focus on increasing purchases and revenue while a publisher will concentrate on conversions related to raising awareness and traffic.

Define a funnel

Connect your conversion goals to specific marketing channels and content so you measure the progress toward completion of the goal via a marketing/sales funnel. Note that it may take several interactions with your brand before a conversion occurs. For example, your funnel might look like:

Social media post > Product page > Email sign-up page > Email newsletter > Product page > Purchase product > Thank you page

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Enable conversion tracking

To collect and monitor data related to conversions, set up conversion tracking using your analytics tool of choice. If you use Google Analytics, insert a small snippet of code on each page you wish to track conversions.

Collect and analyze conversion data

Conversion tracking tools often optimize goal conversion tracking to collect data that is most relevant to business goals. For example, when a user plays a video as part of an event goal, Google only records one goal conversion even if the user plays the video two times during the same session.

Refine marketing campaign

After analyzing conversion data, improve your marketing campaigns to optimize elements that influence conversions, such as content, page designs and more.

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