Your PPC efforts likely take a big chunk out of your marketing budget but if you’re not tracking how well your ads work in terms of your specific KPIs, you’re spitting in the proverbial wind.
However, you need to define what exactly a successful conversion is in terms of your ecommerce business, as this will inform your entire strategy.
But first, let’s get back to basics.
What is a conversion?
Simply put, a conversion is an action that ideally moves a website user from one part of the sales funnel to another, however it can be as simple as a click.
It can be as straightforward as the user clicking on the Contact Us button, filling out a form, downloading a whitepaper, signing up for a newsletter, or actually picking up the phone and calling you.
One of the interesting things about conversion marketing is that it utilises an amalgamation of many different conversion points. Let’s break down the nicknames and give some clarity:
- Macro Conversion
This is the primary conversion goal for your website. It will work in alignment with your business goals in that it should be a direct step towards turning a visitor into a customer – we’ll talk about this more later
- Micro Conversion
These are the small steps that make up the pathway to your macro conversion. Synonymous with your overall customer journey, each small step should take the user further through the funnel
Unfortunately, there are many business missing key opportunities by not looking deeply enough into their micro conversions. If you don’t report on these small key points in the customer journey, there’s no way they can be adequately optimised for moving your user on to the next area of the sales funnel.
In many people’s minds, a successful conversion is only reported on in terms of what the internet deems a success, rather than the actual business behind the website.
For example, your conversion report could easily show hundreds of users downloading your latest whitepaper – a success? Well, not really, unless they are then moving from reading the whitepaper to purchasing your services.
What is so important about tracking conversions?
If you don’t have tracking enabled on your Google Ads account, you can measure traffic to your website but nothing beyond that. There is no way to tell whether the traffic you are paying to send to your site is actually translating into sales (or whatever your business defines as ‘success’)
Making sure that any element on your website that you consider ‘success’ is being tracked so that you can measure the value of your paid activity – not to mention organic. If you are an ecommerce business, for example, or a conversion point is worth a monetary value to you, make sure you are tracking those values. ROAS and ROI are massively important, and one of the main advantages of digital marketing is that you can directly track those things and optimise for them.
Tracking the right conversions
There are some Google Ads accounts that track every single action point on the website, giving equal weight and value to each. Similarly, your agency could be reporting on every conversions without you really knowing how the conversion is defined.
Websites may have multiple ‘success’ actions – signing up to a newsletter, watching a video, downloading a whitepaper, purchasing a product online, phoning a contact number, and filling out a contact form. These will not doubt be of different value to your business, but if they’re all gathered together in your report under one column titled ‘conversions’, how can anyone measure the true value of success? You may think you are achieving lots of product sales because you are achieving a lot of conversions – but when you look into things in more detail, you’ll discover all your conversions are actually downloads of your free brochure. Not ideal.
Equally, you might have conversion tracking set up on Google Ads whilst still importing Goals from Google Analytics. This would mean they are double counting the exact same conversion point. We have also seen accounts in which the same Goal has been set up in multiple GA views, and all instances of this Goal have been pulled into Google Ads – again overreporting success, and again not ideal.
Successful conversions are defined by you
There are some accounts that are successfully optimised towards a conversion points, therefore achieving ‘success’, but they aren’t considering that conversion point as their primary business objective.
Equally, some businesses have unrealistic KPI expectations, which leaves them too focused on the macro conversion point, putting little to no value on important micro conversions. A case example here at Gravytrain was an audit we did for a client account that appeared to be well-structured on the face of it. After discussing things with the client, we became aware that all landing pages and optimisation strategies were geared towards pushing a conversion point they actually considered a secondary conversion point.
The most important thing to understand is that success can only be measure accurately is you define ‘success’ before any activity starts. Ask the question, “what is the business objective we want to achieve?” Then, select the action point that will define this success, making sure you can track how many times that action point is achieved (and where the user that completed that action point originated from).