Some products demand a very specific conversion strategy. If yours includes a process of generating leads through your website to nurture and follow up offline, then you may face an issue which has plagued marketers for years.
While it may make your old-school PPC account manager feel warm inside to see a healthy rate of conversion from form fills and phone calls, that often isn’t a good indicator of campaign success anymore.
The modern day digital marketer needs to understand which clicks are turning into sales and not just the ones that are generating interest.
So, where does the problem lie, and what can you do about it?
Let’s say you spend $100,000 each on two separate campaigns. Campaign A generates 1,000 online leads, whereas Campaign B generates only 500.
Using this information alone, you would probably choose to focus your resources on Campaign A as it seems to offer a better ROI. However, the problem lies in the fact that the lead-to-sale conversion rate is rarely consistent across different campaigns, keywords and channels.
If Campaign B converted its 500 leads at a rate of 50% and Campaign A only managed 10%, then it puts a dramatically different perspective on the success of both. The more granular you get with conversion analysis, the better you’ll understand these conversion rates and the more effectively you’ll be able to allocate your budgets.
When you’re spending $50 a click in some valuable and competitive markets, then it is a necessity rather than a bonus.
Failing to recognize and tackle this issue can mean you’re not aware of which of your leads are good or bad, and can cause a whole host of other issues including:
- Manual work to review and feedback on lead quality
- Not knowing which keywords are actually generating sales, so you can’t optimize AdWords/paid marketing accordingly
- Wasted ad spend on keywords that generate low-quality web leads
There are ways to tackle the problem, though. Digital marketers usually optimize their campaigns in one of two places:
To make this optimization more effective you need information about your final offline sales to be visible in those systems. This is now a straightforward process and can be achieved much easier than most people think.
The examples below are for AdWords and Google Analytics, but you may also need to explore other methods using your own specific setup and platform.
Injecting offline conversion and activity into Google Analytics
Using your analytics platform to hold information about offline activity and conversions, that started with an online journey, is the best solution to problem. This will give you a solution that works for all your online efforts and not just a specific ad platform.
For this to work, you need to make it possible for users to share an ID between their online sessions and your CRM database. This is then used to record what happens with the customer once you have their details.
There are two possible ways to do this, by using either the UserID method, which is the most effective, or the Client ID method.
Here’s how you can implement these changes:
Google Analytics (GA) now has the ability to link sessions across devices and even activity that occurs offline (perhaps at the point of sale in a shop, or a face to face sales meeting).
It does this by making use of a feature called UserID tracking. This UserID is an ID that you set to uniquely identify each visitor to your website in your CRM. You probably already have this ID in your CRM.
In each session/hit that a user interacts with your website, you make a small customization to the tracking script to output this ID. This then enables GA to link this activity together whether it is on the same device, a different one or even offline. To implement this, take the following steps:
The values of the parameters relate to what type of information you want to put into GA. More information and a reference to the measurement protocol can be found here:
And that is it! One point to note is that to make UserID as effective as possible, it’s worth taking every opportunity to output the UserID to the web sessions of people when you know who they are. This could include:
- Storing this ID in a cookie so it is available in future sessions – important if your site does not require login
- Outputting this UserID whenever they log in
- Including this UserID in email marketing to set and store the UserID when they click a link
- Any other opportunity you get to inform the web browser that the user has an ID
As mentioned above, there are two possible ways to link your offline activity to online leads. If you do not have the ability to integrate your website and CRM fully to output the UserID on the ‘Thank you’ page after a form is submitted, then there is an alternative.
The ClientID is an internal ID that GA uses to identify an individual. The ‘Client’, in this sense, relates to the software client, most probably the web browser or app. Instead of pulling an ID from your CRM to output on your website, this method is slightly simpler in that you only need to capture the ClientID and ‘push’ it with the lead information they send.
GA provides an interface/function to capture this ClientID, which means you don’t have to go looking in cookies yourself – it is as follows:
var clientId = tracker.get(‘clientId’);
PLACE CODE HERE TO UPDATE THE ‘VALUE’ OF THE HIDDEN FIELD WITH clientId.
You then simply find a way of populating a hidden field in your web forms with this value. You can then use this ClientID with the measurement protocol as described earlier.
Importing offline conversion into Google AdWords
Of course, if you implement the GA method above, then you have the option of importing GA goals into AdWords. However, if you prefer to import offline conversion data directly into AdWords, then there is now functionality to do so. The following steps should be followed if you wish to do this:
It becomes even easier if you have Google Tag Manager installed, which makes this a two-minute job.
What about phone enquiries?
There are phone tracking systems on the market now that allow you to individually link online sessions to a phone call (for example Infinity or ResponseTap).
You can make a small customization to these systems to hold the information you send it from the web browser. This will enable the system to work with the above AdWords and GA (ClientID) methods. Although, there is a little more custom development required.
So, what does this all mean?
In summary, understanding the true value of the clicks you are buying or generating allows you to make a better-informed decision about their importance. This knowledge is what separates the market leaders, from the market followers.
In a competitive market, having confidence that a keyword is generating $2 per click instead of $1 can be the difference between setting bids that put you at the top of Google, or the bottom.
Source:: Search Engine Watch RSS