One of the key benefits of online marketing is having the ability to capture information about our site visitors in order to better understand our marketing efforts. Thanks to analytics, we know the various mediums they use, what they search for, how they interact on our site, and so much more…including the actions they take before they actually buy. Or at least we should know that.
Conversion tracking can be tricky, in particular for B2B businesses, where leads can come in the form of several types of actions. To help you get your conversion tracking up to par, and to help your business make smarter marketing decisions, I’ve outlined below a few mistakes not to make.
1. No Conversion Tracking
For many B2B businesses, conversion tracking isn’t seen as a top priority. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard comments like “As long as we get leads, it doesn’t matter” or “We know that if our web traffic increases, our leads will increase so we don’t really need to track it.”
Of course these are often the same people who then say things like “Social doesn’t work for our business” or “Where do you think we should increase our spend?”
Whether you have a two-hour sales cycle or a two-year sales cycle, understanding which marketing efforts and channels are working is critical to the success of your business. It will help you make more informed decisions on budgets both now and in the future. It will also help you create better marketing campaigns, better content, and give your audience what they are actually looking for.
Don’t have conversion tracking set up? Here are a few posts to help get you started:
- Setting up conversion tracking
- A Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Goals in Google Analytics
- The Google Analytics Conversion Funnel Survival Guide
2. Poor Goal Tracking
I was looking at analytics for a potential client one day and noticed they had something like 10,000 conversions in a month. This didn’t make much sense, as it certainly didn’t seem like a 10,000 conversions/month type of service…until I looked at what the goals were. They had set up a goal to include anyone who spent more than two minutes on the site and another to include anyone who visited more than five pages. Doh!
It’s not that these were bad goals per se; the problem was these goals didn’t actually add any value or insights. They basically just skewed the numbers and since the same data could be pulled elsewhere, they didn’t need to be included as goals.
Analytics has a ton of useful features and capabilities (Ex:. goal tracking, event tracking, experiment tracking, in-page analytics and so on) but it can get out of control quickly. Make sure you know what you want to be tracking, what information adds value to the business, and what data you really need. Remember, just because you can track everything, doesn’t mean you actually should track everything.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions:
- 4 Google Analytics Goal Types That Are Critical To Your Business
- Setting Goals for B2B Web Marketing
- When to Use Google Analytics Goal Values
3. Last-Click Attribution
This is a topic that we’ve seen a lot over the past few years as analytics tracking has caught up to the idea of multi-channel campaigns. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of last-click attribution modeling, it basically gives the sale/lead to the channel with the most recent interaction.
For instance, if a potential customer clicks on a paid ad but then later comes directly to the site to make their purchase, the conversion is attributed to direct traffic and the paid ad isn’t counted (in analytics at least).
The more common scenario we are seeing has to do with social. We know those in the B2B space have been slower to adopt social media and, for the majority of our clients, social is not a direct lead strategy. However, that doesn’t mean social is not impacting leads…we just have to look a little deeper.
Below I’ve included a snapshot of leads to the KoMarketing site:
You’ll notice that during this period of time, social media did not account for any last click conversions but it did assist with three. That tells us that before these people actually came to our site and filled out the contact form, they visited our social channels. We can also break it down by social network to see which channels drove those conversions.
For marketers, this information is critical to understanding where our customers are, where they are interacting, and, therefore, where our time needs to be spent. If we only look at last-click conversions, we do not truly understand the customer journey.
Here are a few resources worth checking out:
- Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling: The Good, Bad and Ugly Models
- R.I.P Last Click Attribution
- Four Tips to Mastering Multichannel Digital Marketing Attribution
The most useful aspect of conversion tracking is that it helps us understand how our customers navigated the online landscape before converting. For B2B marketers in particular, it’s important to ensure tracking is set up correctly by avoiding the above mistakes. By taking the time to understand the data provided, marketers can better understand site visitors’ paths to conversion, ultimately resulting in improved marketing efforts.
What other tips would you give on implementing conversion tracking?