Conversion Tracking 101: What It Is, and Why It's Important

One of the crucial ingredients in a successful online campaign is accurate measurement of metrics and conversions. With multiple brands, and/or multiple campaigns, measuring a campaign’s metrics and conversions can be difficult. But the process of conversion tracking enables marketers to identify and use information about how consumers interact with a brand. Let’s learn more about what conversions are In the sales and marketing funnel, how conversion tracking works and what types of KPIs to integrate into your campaign strategies.

What are Conversions?

First off, conversions (aka ‘conversion marketing’) are the results to ‘convert’ a web visitor to take an action regarding your offer, product or service. In other words, conversions are what happens after the click. Or restated slightly, conversions are any type of positive actions taken by a web visitor after they arrive at your site. Do they take the desired action you're looking for?

Here are some of the normal ‘after the click’ conversions that occur with web visitors: ● Fill out a form or survey ● Visit a page for a chance to win a prize ● View your sign-up or landing location page ● Sign up for a newsletter or download a study ● Make a purchase ● Contact customer support

These conversions above are common ones, but the type of conversions your site may offer is entirely dependent on your business or purpose. Ultimately, you determine what is a meaningful conversion for your site. And then it makes sense to track these types of conversions. Which brings us to...

What is Conversion Tracking?

Conversion tracking is the process used to track conversions across your media channels to measure your company’s return on investment. You can use conversion tracking in a variety of marketing channels. All the major online advertising platforms - Google Adwords, Twitter or Facebook Lead ads - can help marketers with tracking conversions.

Doing this gives gives marketers measurable results about how your organic marketing initiatives or paid media spending is paying off. Conversion tracking can show your team the numbers of newsletter sign-ups, presentation downloads, website purchases or other activity you’ve designated as a valuable online activity for your site. These numbers can be measured against your campaign’s KPIs to assess the results of your efforts.

KPIs in SEO/SEM/Mobile/Online Marketing

Ideal KPIs (key performance indicators) for measuring online campaigns depends again on your business and industry. You might want different key performance indicators for SEO or SEM than for social media marketing.

Site visits, impressions, bounce rates (how often and how quickly visitors move off your site), conversions and revenue are among the common SEO metrics to track in conversion tracking. Other common KPIs include your web page loading speed. Any pages taking more than 3-4 seconds to load can be the kiss of death for some marketers. Track your site’s indexed pages, too. You want to know if Google is showing your pages in its its engine. Check this at the Google Search Console.

Your search engine marketing needs KPIs too. You’ll want to track ad clicks, impressions, click-through rates and cost per acquisition. Your team should make a daily process of tracking your ad campaigns’ performance metrics on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook or Twitter. These could include tracking your keyword’s success rate, your bid management and even optimizing your landing pages for higher conversions. Have a look at these KPIs for B2B marketers.

KPIs to track conversions in mobile marketing activity might include tracking a user’s session per day on your app, the user’s average time spent on the app, or maybe the number of free subscribers that convert to a pay subscription model. Each of these indicators can help you assess the performance of a mobile campaign. Checking KPIs for your display ad campaigns might be different. One size does not always suit all channels. A few common metrics include click-throughs, engagement levels, and length of time the ad was viewed.

Measuring your metrics and conversions will help you to make smarter decisions about your online marketing. Plan out your KPIs as part of your campaign strategy, and implement your tactics for SEO, SEM, social media marketing and more. It may take a few campaigns to fully understand the value or metrics and KPIs in your advertising and marketing efforts. But with the right direction, you can achieve success and improvement over time.