How to track conversions

Conversions: What They Are and How to Track Them

A.J. Kmetz Small Business Advice Leave a Comment

If you’re new to marketing and have set out to learn how to promote your business, you might be a little confused by all of the lingo marketing experts throw around. Conversions, for example, are an important metric that often get the spotlight – but don’t always get a definition. So what are they? Are we talking about your friend who gave up coffee in favor of tea? Someone who moved to a new city and decided to get behind the local soccer team? Not exactly; these converts don’t really fit the marketing definition of conversions. Let’s take a look at what this piece of jargon really means and learn how to track conversions.

What is a conversion, anyway?

Here’s a scenario most people can relate to:

You see an online ad for a really cool product. You click on the ad, then click the Buy Now button to purchase the product.

That’s it. Purchasing that product was a conversion. Think of it as converting from a visitor into a customer.

A conversion can really be anything you want it to be depending on your needs or the kind of business you run. It could be when a customer is led to call you, for example, or when they download your app. A conversion may come as the result of your advertising efforts or a good call to action on your website.

To summarize, let’s define a conversion like this: when a customer completes an action you’ve targeted that benefits your business.

What’s better than a one-time purchase? A repeat customer! Learn how to generate customer loyalty and improve customer retention here.

How to track conversions

No matter what kind of action you want your customers to take, there’s a way to track it. Let’s learn how to track conversions using tools from Google and others.

Web conversions

How often do customers make purchases on your site? Are they joining your emails lists, following through on calls to action, or responding to ad campaigns? These are all trackable metrics – and you should track them to ensure your efforts are paying off.

Common and important conversions like ecommerce purchases, contact form submissions, email signups, and even chat sessions with customer service reps can all be tracked through one powerful tool: Google Analytics. Best of all, it works alongside just about any other tool you use, Google-based or otherwise.

To start tracking, you should have (or create) a Google Analytics account. This will allow you to implement conversion tracking… among a whole lot of other things. This guide from Google lists step-by-step instructions for implementing tracking.

Tracking is as easy as adding code snippets, specifically the global site tag, to your website. We recommend using Google Tag Manager. This tool provides you with site tags that are useful in all sorts of ways, including conversion tracking. If you really have a handle on what you’re doing, you can also do it yourself.

Of course, you’ll need to know how to edit your website or have a web developer who can do so. If you don’t have that ability or a web expert on hand, we may be able to help. Find out more about Punch Bug Marketing and see if our services fit your needs.

App conversions

Not every business is app-centric. But some are completely app-based, and many fall somewhere in the middle. Tracking your app conversions like downloads or purchases can help you monitor your app’s performance.

Google has a tool that’s perfect for tracking app conversions called Firebase. This tool can be used for developing and managing many aspects of your app. And it integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics so you can track your app’s conversion power.

Your app doesn’t need to be developed or hosted through Firebase to measure conversions this way, though. You can link iOS apps to your Firebase account, too. These can then be viewed through Analytics once your accounts are all linked together. Learn more about how to track conversions through Firebase here.

Phone conversions

Not every conversion happens with the click of a button. Some business needs to be conducted over the phone. But you can also track these conversions through call tracking.

Call tracking allows you to measure the lead generation of different campaigns. For example, say you’re running different kinds of web ads and want to determine which is the best at convincing potential customers to make a call. Or you might be running TV commercials, bus ads, and a billboard campaign and want to measure the effectiveness of each.

Basically, call tracking assigns each campaign a different phone number that each lead to your business, then measures the number of calls made through each number. But call tracking services like CallRail can do this and more, while making it all easy to manage. CallRail also tracks conversions through phone calls and can even be integrated into your Google Analytics account so you can see everything conversion related in one place.

Learn more about call tracking here!

Offline and other conversions

When we talk about digital marketing, sometimes it seems like we forget that the offline world exists. But for many companies, especially small and local businesses, the brick and mortar store is where the bulk of conversions happen. So how do you track these?

Two tools can help you learn how to track conversions offline. The first is Salesforce. Their many tools, including ones for small businesses, can help track your conversions independently or in conjunction with Google Analytics.

The second is Zapier, an automation tool with a tremendous amount of versatility. Using Zapier, you can automatically import offline conversion information in real time into Google Analytics. You can even combine the Customer Relationship Management abilities of Salesforce with the automation of Zapier and Google Analytics’ tracking to get all your conversion measurements in one place seamlessly.

The Takeaway

Without conversion tracking, your sales and marketing efforts aren’t living up to their full potential. No matter how good they are, it will be harder to tell which efforts are paying off or how you can improve your campaigns. Fortunately, it’s easy to learn how to track conversions using inclusive and integration-friendly tools like Google Analytics. Using these tools and methods, you can see how customers respond to your efforts and use that data to boost your business.

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