One of the best parts of transitioning your marketing from traditional to digital is the ability to monitor every variable. Here’s how you can get started with three levels of measurement that you can use to monitor your digital marketing.
Level 1: Using Bit.ly (very simple)
Allows you to segment the number of clicks by source and geography.
Level 2: Using Google Analytics with UTM Parameters (sophisticated, but still easy)
Allows you to view variables such time spent on site, most popular pages, user demographics and more – all segmented by the campaign name, source, medium, content, and search terms.
For 99% of businesses that I encounter, this is one level above anything they’ve done before – and it’s shockingly simple to set up. All that this method requires is an installation of Google Analytics (which is essential for any and every business in 2019) and a negligible amount of data entry before sharing any links.
If you’re running digital marketing campaigns with any amount of budget behind them, you’re going to have campaigns that are more successful than others. Without getting to at least this level of data monitoring, you’re never going to know which advertising platforms or campaigns are worth continuing to spend your advertising budget on.
Once you have Google Analytics installed on your website, you’re almost done. Just fill out this form before sharing any links to your website. You don’t need to fill out every field, I recommend just using the “Campaign Source” field to start out – that’s more insight than most businesses ever get.
I also recommend building out a spreadsheet like this one to track your structure so you can keep your data clean, and never get two versions of the same source (e.g. Facebook and facebook.com). There are fixes if you do make that mistake, however.
Level 3: Legitimate Conversion Tracking (somewhat complex)
Measures everything – the number of sales generated per platform, leads collected per advertisement, and total ROI on any digital campaign.
This method changes based on each platform that you could use. Most of my business focuses on online lead generation using Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn Ads, so I’ll show a quick all-in-one solution for these three platforms. I’ll create comprehensive guides for conversion tracking on each of these three platforms at a later date. Just know that these methods can be extended to e-commerce, and can also work on other online platforms.
Defining a Conversion
First, you need to pick how you want to define a “conversion.” In most lead generation businesses, it’s the collection of contact information from a prospect. It’s important to note that most businesses have more than one type of conversion, and the same prospect may go through multiple conversions before becoming a customer. We use smaller conversion to build towards larger, more valuable ones. However, for this tutorial, we’ll stick to a simple contact form submission on a website.
Next, we need to find a way to identify the conversion as complete. The simplest way of doing this is to show a thank you page after the completion of the form. For an example, fill out my website evaluation form. You’ll notice that you’re redirected to a separate URL for my thank you page. My platforms define a conversion as the moment that a visitor reaches that page. Find the link to your thank you page, you’ll need it for the next steps.
Setting Up Google Analytics
This first platform is important for all businesses, regardless of which platforms they advertise with. Defining your conversions in Google Analytics will, by itself, allow you to track the success of all platforms.
First, navigate to Goals view.
Visit the admin panel by clicking on the gear icon in the bottom left-hand corner (highlighted in yellow below). Select “goals” from the third column (highlighted in blue below).
Next, click on the red “new goal” button.
Finally, add your goal.
You will be shown three steps. In step 1, select “custom.”
In step 2, you can name your goal whatever you like, but be sure to set the type as “destination”.
Step 3 is the important part. You’re going to enter the url to your thank you page, starting AFTER your domain name. For example, if my thank you page is at www.yourdomain.com/thank_you, the only thing I’m going to enter is /thank_you.
At the bottom of the page, you’ll notice that there is a “verify this goal” button. This is helpful if you’ve had the thank you page live for a while now, and have received a few conversions. If that’s the case, you can use that button to ensure that you’ve set up the goal correctly.
Measuring Your Online Advertising
Once you’ve set up a goal or two, you can now effectively check to see how your advertising is working. Continue to tag your URLS with UTM parameters (as shown in level 2) to ensure accurate tracking.
View your conversions by following this path:
- In your Google Analytics Sidebar, click on “Conversions.”
- Select “Goals” from the first dropdown.
- Select “Overview” from the second dropdown.
- Directly to the right of the second dropdown, you’ll see a heading “Goals.” Select the second option underneath that heading, “Source/Medium”
You should be viewing a dashboard that looks like this.
Using The Lead Generation Data to Determine Return on Investment
This data is extremely valuable to any business that’s using digital marketing to generate leads online. With this dashboard, you’ll be able to see which sources are generating the most amount leads, which you can compare against your budget to determine your cost per lead. Next, you can determine the percentage of leads that your sales team is able to convert into revenue. Divide your cost per lead by your sales conversion rate to get your cost per sale. You may (and probably will) have a different cost per sale on each platform. The goal of digital marketing is to launch campaigns that have a cost per sale lower than the lifetime value of the customer.