Conversion Tracking 101: Essential Guide for Small Businesses

You’ve spent weeks or months developing a marketing campaign. Now, after launching the campaign, you’re done – right? You’ve already uploaded your ad copy, set your landing page, and identified your keywords. What else is there to do?

The mindset above is the number one mistake small businesses make when launching a digital marketing strategy. Unless you want to waste money, you need to be tracking conversions – turning browsers into buyers. 

Not sure what a conversion is? Need help using Google Analytics to track your campaigns and boost your return on investment (ROI)? We’ve got you covered in our in-depth guide. 

What is Conversion Tracking?

What’s the point of a marketing campaign? To generate clicks? To get more brand awareness? Or ultimately, to drive conversions? A conversion refers to a specific, valuable action taken by a user on your website or app. Known as “events” or “key events” or more commonly known as conversions, they could include making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form, downloading an app, or any other activity that contributes to your business goals.

Conversion tracking involves measuring these actions to assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Every time a searcher clicks on your ad, you pay a small fee. To maximise your return on investment (ROI), you want to transform them into leads. And, if this isn’t happening, you want to identify why. 

The Bigger Picture – Goal Setting for Businesses

Every business has a goal – greater brand awareness, generating more leads, higher sales, or becoming an industry authority. Your business’s goals will depend on your current challenges and stage of development. New businesses are all about building their reputation and getting as many people interested as possible. In contrast, more mature businesses may want to refine their message, turning brand awareness into tangible sales.

Clear and well-defined goals provide direction and purpose, helping organise a business towards its long-term vision. It’s how you measure progress and success.

For example, if a business aims to increase its market share, it might invest in marketing campaigns, develop new products, or explore new markets. Alongside these general aims, there must be tangible, quantifiable metrics to measure success. In this example, a company’s target could be “increase sales by 20% in the next quarter.” 

Why It’s Ridiculous Not to Have Analytics Goals in 2024

Conversion tracking falls into this category of goal setting. You determine the objective, set thresholds for success, and monitor your progress within Google Analytics. Due to the competitive and data-driven nature of digital marketing, if you’re not tracking conversions, you’re not going to get value for money. It’s a zero-sum game: every conversion you miss out on directly benefits your competitors.

But that’s not the only downside:

  • Lack of Direction: Without goals, businesses lack a clear path and cannot measure success effectively.
  • Wasted Resources: Time, money, and effort spent on initiatives without clear objectives result in inefficiencies.
  • Missed Opportunities: Opportunities for optimisation and growth are overlooked without tracking specific goals.

Take a retail company, for example. It launches a Google Ads campaign to increase online sales. However, it fails to track customer behaviour on its site. Because they didn’t use Google Analytics effectively, the company can’t identify which ads and keywords were driving sales. 

The result? Potential customers who clicked on the ads weren’t followed up on, money was wasted on ineffective ads, and the company couldn’t understand customer behaviour.

Speak with our team by booking a free consultation.

Marketing Goals – Tracking ROI and Measuring Success

Okay, let’s get real. Not measuring your progress in marketing is like driving blindfolded. Tracking is the beacon that guides your company through marketing campaigns and customer outreach. 

Think of conversion tracking as your marketing GPS. You might believe your ad is perfect – the copy is on fire, and the landing page is spectacular. Who wouldn’t be converted? Yet, the proof is in progress. Unless you see tangible results, your opinion doesn’t matter. Are you getting your money’s worth? Are your strategies paying off? This is what matters.

Your goals are crucial for boosting your ROI – one of the fundamental factors underlying business success. If you’re spending more than you earn, you won’t last long.

 So, what marketing goals matter most? Prioritise these factors:

  • Increase Website Traffic: More visitors mean more potential customers. To boost traffic, you might focus on SEO, create engaging content, or invest in paid ads.
  • Boost Conversion Rates: It’s not just about getting people to your site; it’s about getting them to take action. Improving conversion rates might involve A/B testing, enhancing user experience, or running targeted campaigns.
  • Enhance Customer Engagement: Engaged customers are loyal customers. Whether through social media interactions, email newsletters, or personalised content, increasing engagement can build stronger relationships that lead to repeat business.

Taken together, these factors target every stage of the buyer’s journey. Increasing website traffic ensures new people are finding your business through Google Ads. Then, boosting conversion rates turns these browsers into buyers, providing a return on your advertising spend. Finally, enhancing customer engagement keeps your existing customers coming back, maximising ROI in the long term.

Different Types of Marketing Goals with Examples

The concept of the buyer’s journey is a helpful way to categorise your marketing goals. We can split the buyer’s journey into three key strategies from a marketing perspective:

  1. Lead Generation. Here, you’re trying to increase the number of leads per month by getting site visitors to sign up for newsletters, download apps, opt-in for a free trial, and more.
  2. Sales. Next, you want to convert those leads into buyers. The more leads you convert, the higher your advertising ROI. Monthly revenue targets are a good metric for measuring sales.
  3. Customer Retention. The longer a customer stays with a brand, the greater their lifetime value. It costs more to find new customers than to keep the old ones. The churn rate is the primary metric of customer retention. 

These marketing goals should guide your overarching strategy. They’re a bird’s eye view of how everything is coming together. However, one key pillar of this strategy is your Google Ads campaign – or your paid advertising.

We initially talked about conversion tracking 101 or monitoring the number of people who cross the sales finish line. What you’re tracking will change depending on your fundamental goals. However, within Google Analytics 4 (GA4), there are several options for tracking goals. These include:

  1. Simple Page Tracking Goals: Tracking visits to a specific landing page is crucial. For instance, using thank you pages for forms is an effective way to track successful submissions.
  2. Event Tracking Goals: Monitoring button clicks or form submissions provides insights into user interactions and behaviour, helping optimise engagement strategies.
  3. eCommerce Funnels: Tracking the user journey from product view to purchase is essential. Implementing detailed funnels allows businesses to identify drop-off points and enhance the shopping experience, driving higher conversion rates and increased sales.

Featured Case Study

Gadget GoGo

Thanks to the combination of our data-driven insights and our teams’ knowledge across channels, Gadget GoGo increased their online revenue by more than 75%.

3657%

Increased Visitors

89%

Increase in orders

Why Google Analytics Matter in Digital Marketing

Social media. Email marketing. SEO. With so many options available to digital marketers, it’s easy to dismiss the metrics we went through above. Sure, companies want to increase website traffic and boost conversion rates, but Google Analytics gets lost in the blizzard of options.

That’s a mistake. Google Analytics is the most comprehensive tool for managing and monitoring website traffic. It tracks visitors to a website, providing detailed information on demographics; it analyses user behaviour, telling you how long visitors stay on a site and what pages they visit; it measures conversions, such as form submissions, product purchases, and other key actions.

In short, it’s everything you need to know in one centralised location. Marketers of yesteryear would have dreamed of something so detailed and accurate. Yet almost every small business owner overlooks this weapon in their arsenal. 

Don’t make the same mistake. 

Is it time to get some perspective?

Gain clarity and insight into your situation by booking a free consultation today.

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Final Thoughts

Tracking conversions isn’t just a nice-to-have – it’s a must for small businesses. At every stage in the buyer’s journey, you should have key metrics for success and a means of measuring them. It’s conversion tracking in a nutshell.

Without it, you’re essentially flying blind, wasting resources and missing out on valuable insights that could drive your business forward.

Google Analytics, in particular, is the essential toolkit for measuring success. It provides numerous tangible metrics for understanding consumer behaviour, allowing you to tweak your website and advertising campaigns to maximise engagement and conversions.

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Contact the author
Carl Darnell
Founder and Director

My passion lies in helping growing businesses achieve their goals by leveraging the power of digital channels. I strive to bring a fresh perspective and innovative strategies to the table to help brands reach new heights.

Carl Darnell
Founder and Director

My passion lies in helping growing businesses achieve their goals by leveraging the power of digital channels. I strive to bring a fresh perspective and innovative strategies to the table to help brands reach new heights.

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