Tracking Conversions Originating from Off-line Advertising

Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wy_jackrabbit/4670405014/">Wyoming_Jackrabbit</a> / <a href="http://foter.com/re/c2c03d">Foter</a> / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">CC BY-NC-SA</a>

Make new lines between your online and offline analytics.

The following types of campaigns can be integrated into your analytics tracking with some extra effort.

  • Radio
  • Television
  • Print
  • Billboards
  • Direct mail

Print advertising (including newspapers, magazines, flyers, brochures, banners, and Yellow Pages ads) can all be integrated. For example, you can track these in your analytics program via:

  • Separate domains
  • Custom URLs
  • PURLS (or personalized URLs) that use the customer’s name in a mailer and on your website
  • Custom phone numbers

Create a spreadsheet of ads to track and keep notes on the URLs associated with each ad. Track the visits to your site, the number of pages visited, and what paths visitors took, then determine how many of these people actually converted online. You can set up goals for each ad campaign and see a dollar amount in Analytics for sales or leads generated.

Bring It All Together

In an earlier blog, I shared the old saying, “I know half of my advertising works; I just don’t know which half.” Well, now you are a few steps closer to reaching the holy grail of tracking.

Sales don’t always happen on the first visit. They tend to develop over time and through multiple touch points. You can guide visitors on a more persuasive journey, but only if you know how to use the tools that track their actions. In the next section, I outline some of the most important things to know about analytics strategy and using Google Analytics.

Defining Goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Without goals, any analytics tool is useless. Measurements that help you see how you are doing against your goals and objectives are called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Depending on your industry and type of business, you will require different KPIs. You’ll also need to customize your web analytics tool especially for your site.

What are your top three KPIs? Examples could include:

  1. Conversion rate (or conversion rate of the blog or from SEO specifically)
  2. Days and visits to purchase
  3. Average order value
  4. Visitor loyalty and visitor recency
  5. Share of search for a particular term against a competitor

Knowing just how much you can track will get you and your team excited. No strategy is complete without being driven by measurable objectives. If you have Google Analytics installed and don’t yet use it effectively, you’re about to enter a whole new world.

Get Started: Install the Code

Sign up for a Google Analytics account and install the code ASAP! Until you add the snippet of code onto all your web pages, you won’t be collecting any data. You can view reports within 24 hours, but it will take some days to get more meaningful data. The real magic happens with month-to-month comparisons over a span of years. For example, how many visitors and conversions did we get from non-branded keywords via SEO last December compared to this December?

Now that you have the code installed and adjusted, it’s time to start using analytics to improve your website and user experience.

Acquire, Engage, Convert, and Retain

Nokia has a methodology they call AECR (Acquire, Engage, Convert, and Retain). As you plan your Analytics activities, make notes on what you want to track and how your goals fit into the AECR model.

A successful website is one that meets the goals you define for it. Successful marketers map out how they will acquire customers, engage them, convert them, and retain them. Analytics is where the rubber meets the road in getting this done. Think about how the various reports and tactics in Analytics map to these four key areas of marketing.

Photo credit: Wyoming_Jackrabbit / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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