Admittedly, marketing tracking is not the most colorful of topics. In fact, when we bring this up with most of our clients, they cringe at just the thought of dealing with things like website pixels, reports and tracking platforms. But Marketing tracking and reporting are truly vital to the success of any business. When implemented correctly, they provide actionable insights into what marketing channels are working or not working. And arming yourself with this knowledge enables you to grow your business in a cost-effective and strategic way!
So, in an effort to break this down into a few key steps that are easy to implement, I've compiled a marketing tracking checklist below. This not only makes it more exciting (right?), it should make it easier to know how and where to start. Many of these can be done on your own, but if the thought of that gives you anxiety, reach out to us or your web developer for help.
So, let's dive into the details of the Marketing Tracking Checklist!!
- Setup Google analytics! This is a great place to start with measuring the actions of users on your website. Google analytics offers great insights, easy to read and generate reports - you can even configure these to be emailed to you and your team regularly. You will see where they came from, what pages they viewed, how long they stayed, and you can also configure it to show you what actions they took. The best thing about Google analytics is that it's completely FREE! Because it's free and so widely implemented, you will find that most platforms for email marketing and advertising will sync to google analytics fairly easily so you can keep all of your data in one place. This is key for you to see the big picture (start to finish of the conversion funnel!) TIP: Google analytics uses a small piece of code that you place on your website. Follow these instructions to add google analytics to your site.
- Setup Google Webmaster Tools and Sync it to your Google analytics account. Webmaster tools provides a host of other benefits with respect to SEO and google's ability to crawl and index your website. But another benefit is that you can see which keywords and landing pages are being displayed in the google search results - Google is now calling this the "Search Console". TIP:You can create a Google Webmaster Tools account here.
- If you are running Google Adwords to advertise your website, please ensure your tracking your Google Adwords within Analytics by syncing your accounts. This will import all of your cost and revenue data, but also what users are doing on your website after you pay for them to visit!
- Conversion Tracking is vital! Whether you are using Facebook, Pinterest, Google, or any other platform to generate traffic, it is very important to setup conversion tracking. In most cases, ad platforms provide a way for you to do this directly within their systems that involves adding a piece of code (sometimes a 2nd line of code that only goes on your thank you page, or confirmation page). TIP: I would advise you also configure the conversion in google analytics so it will report in the same place as the rest of your data. Another benefit of doing this is that you can double check the accuracy of the ad platform's conversion tracking. This means when you get a conversion (a lead, a sale, a phone call), you know what marketing channel provided that conversion. It's magical!
- Sync your CRM to your reporting platform. Most CRMs should have a quick and easy way to sync to google analytics. Often this just means that they add tracking variables to your links that will report in google with the email you sent, what they clicked on, etc. There are also ways to sync in the other direction so you can see which leads specifically came in from email.
- Test, Test, Test! You need to be confident that your tracking is reliable and accurate. You will be basing important and costly decisions on this data, so you don't want to have any doubts that it's working! TIP: Also test your conversions! If you setup a new landing page and want to track who signs up for your newsletter, be sure to run a few test leads through to see if the conversion shows in your reporting.
- Use tracking tools to help you. Google analytics and Facebook offer tag assistants that run through google chrome extensions. Use these to make sure every page is tracking as intended. TIP: Manual Tagging is sometimes necessary. If you're adding your blog posts to Facebook or twitter, use the Google analytics tracking link generator to be sure you're reporting clicks and conversions back to your reporting platform.
- If you are sending a direct mailer, handing out a coupon, or marketing at events (speaking engagements, trade shows, seminars), be sure to implement tracking with these offline marketing tactics as well. Here's an example of how to do this: if you run a booth at a trade show where people can sign up to get a coupon, be sure you have them fill it out using a form on your website at the show and tag those leads with the appropriate lead source- this can be added to the form or landing page. Use a unique coupon code specific to this trade show. When necessary consider call tracking- these companies provide multiple 800 numbers that you can send to a single line. The numbers can then be added to landing pages, print materials or ads.
Spend some time reading through the links provided to learn more about how tracking your online and offline marketing tactics can provide you with actionable insights for your business! Please contact us if you have any questions on this or would like to hear about our digital marketing packages!