If I could highlight THE one single thing, identifying wannabes from real online marketing & PPC professionals it would be tracking the right conversion actions on landing pages and wesbites.
It is not easy, it is site-specific and it is not automatic (at least not completely, up to now). When an analytics comes straight off the shelf it has to be fully configured and of course an ecommerce site may not track the same things of a branding mini-site, in terms of goals or conversions.
There are several ways to track conversions in Universal Analytics and it is not always easy to spot what can be useful to track and how to do it (if it is possible to do it).
What to track
First of all… What is a conversion?
Any online activity enabling us to get in touch with users after their visit or denoting a strong interest in our contents
Besides sales on an ecommerce site and contact forms sent in from a lead generation site, there are in fact several online interactions that could give a clear view of where our best prospects are coming from, even when they do not perform any “classic” goal or conversion.
Here are some suggestions:
- Registration to reserved areas / newsletter
- Posts commenting
- Posts sharing in social networks
- Following feed RSS
- Following our social profiles
- Files or tools downloads (whitepapers, ebooks etc)
- Video views
- Visits to site key pages
- Longer (session time) or deeper (pages seen) than average visits
Why should you track goals
The importance of tracking classic goals is self-evident from many points of views. But… why track “behavioral goals”?
The main reason is to understand what campaigns, keywords or placements are working better to bring the best prospects on our site even when classic goals numbers are not statistically relevant.
How to track goals
Given that doing online marketing campaigns without tracking conversions is like driving a car blindfolded, the question is not IF you need to track goals, but what you can track on your website and how to do it.
Appending campaign parameters in your incoming links and importing goals in AdWords (or other PPC platforms) will close the circle and let you finally have a full view of where your most valuable prospects are coming from.
Now it is up to you. Move on from opinions and start taking your online investment decisions by looking at numbers.
May PPC force be with you 😉