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101: What is Conversion Tracking | Growth Architects

Published: Fri, 7 Feb, 2020

Richard J Pickul
by Richard J Pickul
Acc. Director

What is Conversion Tracking?

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“It's important that those discussing marketing, use the right language to avoid confusion. Conversion Rate is one of those terms which is used incorrectly, frequently.”

- Richard J Pickul

Conversion tracking is when a business wants to measure the actions users take towards the completion of a specific goal or objective. These types of actions are typically signing up for a newsletter, adding an item to a shopping cart, downloading a content offer or submitting an enquiry form.

Conversion Tracking is a way to determine the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, design change and other marketing components as users move towards a conversion.

What Conversion goals should be tracked?

Using tools like Google Analytics you can define a measurable goal for conversion. Goals are generally connected to specific web pages, events or actions, and other products and services.

Here are a few 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

Through tracking of conversions, businesses can determine the most valuable marketing channels via conversion attribution or by giving a particular channel credit for a conversion. You’ll have a far greater level of insight into how to allocate your marketing budget and sources based on the highest performing channels for conversions such as social media networks or Google search ads.

What Key Performance Indicators Should I Track?

It depends. 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 consider actions that will eventually lead to conversions.

How do I calculate conversion rates?

The simplest way of calculating your conversion rate is to divide the total number of conversions by your desired metric (clicks, ad impressions, sessions on site etc.).

Your KPIs will indicate how well or perhaps 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 submitting an enquiry form.

You can track KPIs for users who are close to meeting a conversion goal and then use this information to take steps to ensure completion of your goal. If a customer visits your services page, clicks through to fill in your enquiry form but then leaves without completing it, you can use retargeting campaigns via Google Ads to display an ad for the service you offer and increase the chance of them coming back and completing the conversion e.g. Submitting an enquiry.

How do I setup Conversion Tracking?

Analytics and advertising tools work together to collect, segment and visualize data related to conversions. Your services, products and potential customers will dictate which tools you should use for tracking progress towards a conversion. If you want to measure the effectiveness of your Google search ads, you can use Google Analytics with Google Ads to track these conversions (and the progress of ones).

Choose a business goal

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

Define a funnel

Try and relate your conversion goals to a specific marketing channel so you can track the progress towards completion of the goal via a marketing/sales funnel. Usually, it takes multiple interactions before a conversion occurs. For example, your funnel might look a bit like this:

Google Search Ad > Product specific landing page > Enquiry Form > Thank you page

Enable conversion tracking

To collect and monitor data relating to conversions, you’ll need to setup conversion tracking using your analytics tool (typically Google Analytics). To set this up, you simply need to embed a snippet of code provided by Google which will start measuring all actions taken on your site. You can examine these results through the Google Analytics dashboard.

Collect and analyze conversion data

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

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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