[IMGCAP(1)]Your website likely now has web analytics software hooked in, which shows you where your website’s visitors came from, what keywords they typed into Google before they found you, how long they stayed on your site, and what pages were their favorites.
If you know this information, pat yourself on the back for having an admirable grasp of your website’s statistics!
But whether you’re into web analytics or not, I’ll bet that you don’t have as much of a grasp on exactly where you customers come from. Small business owners seem to have a general grasp of where their business is generated, but very few can actually pinpoint exactly what lead source accounted for what percentage of their business.
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what percentage of your customers came from a given lead source? It’d be the ultimate in marketing intelligence, as you could then devote your marketing expenditures and energy accordingly.
Pinning conversions to website visitors
To achieve this higher level of internet marketing consciousness, you need to be able to track a website visitor past the initial visit, so that you can determine if they ultimately become a customer, and what type of customer from there.
Here’s how you do this:
1. Gear your website towards getting visitors to take action; as in call you, give you their email address, download a free guide or trial, and so on.
This is a marketing best practice that could be discussed at length in many other articles. For now we’re going to assume that you already have an effective call-to-action, and that you should now focus on:
2. Tracking and measuring your website’s “conversions.”
This being the year 2012, there are software products that can do this complex task for you!
Configuring Google Analytics for conversions
The Goog’s website analytics offering is the industry standard—it’s pretty good, it’s free, and it’s supported and marketed by Google. Many GA users only stare at the pretty charts about site visitors, and don’t get around to installing the most important thing: conversion code.
Google Analytics’ conversion code allows you to measure the calls-to-action that we discussed above: downloads, form completions, video plays, and so on. It’ll tie those front-end visitor statistics into tangible back-end business metrics.
Industry specific solutions
Your firm may have more sophisticated marketing needs and processes than can be supported by Google Analytics—which is a more general solution designed for the masses.
We decided that we needed a product to track our two major leads sources: affiliates/resellers and online advertising we buy. We wanted to track not only clicks, but also leads and conversions, so that we can measure the exact value of our various online marketing efforts.
We couldn’t find our ideal product off-the-shelf, so we developed our own affiliate management software called Affilimator to do this for us. If in-house development is not for you, consider other popular off-the-shelf products Zferral and Post Affiliate Pro.
Industry fanboys talk about “Clicks, Clicks, Clicks,” but the real key to success in your online marketing efforts is “Conversions, Conversions, Conversions.” Get to work tracking and measuring your conversions today so that your online marketing efforts can deliver the returns you want!
Brett Owens is chief executive and co-founder of Chrometa, a Sacramento, Calif.-based provider of time-tracking software that records activity in real time. Previously marketed to the legal community, Chrometa is branching out to accounting prospects. Gains include the ability to discover previously undocumented billable time, saving time on billing reconciliation and improving personal productivity. Brett can be reached at 916-254-0260 and firstname.lastname@example.org.