If you have an active website, you probably know what you’d like people to do once they get there.
Maybe you want them to buy something from you, or you want them to send you their contact information or sign up for a newsletter.
And it’s in your best interest to track these online conversions as much as possible so you know where your good traffic comes from, and so you can develop a plan for increasing this good traffic.
Tips for Tracking Online Conversions
Make sure that you’ve set up goal URLs in Google Analytics. These URLs should be the web page that your viewers go to after completing a task that you want them to do. So, if they fill out a form to sign up for a newsletter, the “thank you” page should be one of your goal URLs. Or if they buy a product from you, the page that they go to after they check out should also be a goal URL.
As far as I can tell there is no limit to the number of goal URLs you can set up in Analytics. You can have a goal URL for newsletter signup, a goal URL for when they contact you, a goal URL for when they download a PDF, and /or goal URLs for each product you sell.
Once you’ve set up goal URLs in Analytics, you can even assign a value to those goals. This is easy to do if you’re selling a product, but it’s much harder if you’re not. How much is it worth to have someone sign up for your newsletter?
While Google Analytics doesn’t provide an equation for how to assign value to an item that isn’t e-commerce related, they do discuss how to treat your site as though it were an e-commerce site, even if it’s not.
But have no fear! Our favorite Analytics genius, Avinash, has written a wonderful blog post on how to come up with a dollar number value for your conversions that don’t have an actual dollar amount attached to them. It involves some good communications with the other departments of your business, and you’ve got to be committed to following up on those conversions to make them actually worth something.
After you have your goal URLs identified, you can create a custom dashboard in Analytics to show you immediately what your online conversions look like. If you haven’t set up a custom dashboard for yourself in Google Analytics, I highly recommend it.
In this image above, I’ve got an overview of my goal completions open. Then, I click on Add to Dashboard, choose an existing dashboard or create a new one, and voila. Now I see goal completions right away when I log on to my Google Analytics profile.
For goal completions you can see both the number of conversions and the number of conversions by goal URL. I added both to my dashboard.
Another cool thing you can do is click on the little pencil icon next to the title of the section (e.g. “Goal Completions by Goal Completion Location”). Then, you can change the appearance of your widget to look like a pie chart if you want. I love pie.
You can make the widgets look however you understand data best. Some people prefer graphs, tables, charts. You get to pick.
Making the Most of Online Conversions Data
Once you’ve been tracking your online conversions for some time, you should make sure you do something with that information. If you’re getting a ton of converting leads from Yelp, then you consider investing in Yelp advertising to get even more people to your Yelp profile.
Conversely, if you’re spending a ton of money trying to optimize your site for a keyword that doesn’t even convert, then stop doing that! Ranking number one for a phrase that doesn’t convert is a waste of resources. Look at what works and make that even better.
One of the most important things to remember about SEO is that ranking well should always be secondary to conversions. I harp on this all the time, but I still want to make that clear. If you’re ranking for terms that don’t convert, your rankings mean nothing.
Work on ranking better for the things that convert well. Understand the intention of people searching, and if your site matches their intention you can make magic. If it doesn’t, then you’re paying for AdWords clicks or SEO that’s completely irrelevant.
Be smart about where you’re spending your marketing money. Optimize your site for conversions, while you’re optimizing it for Google.
If you’d like to talk about how we can help you understand where your converting traffic is coming from, contact Natalie and we can come up with a marketing plan that targets your highest converting audience.