In the old days, advertising was an expensive and risky prospect. Brands will spend a lot of money on print ads, television commercials or radio spots. Next, they will hire an advertising firm to create and execute the concept. Then, they have to buy air time or advertising space. And he did all this without much insight into whether or not this concept would actually be a success.
Fortunately for today’s small business owners, it is possible to track advertising online! And it provides insight into how each campaign performs. With that information, you can optimize your message in future campaigns. You’ll lean into tips that resonate with your audience and let go of those less-successful approaches.
If you are advertising online but not tracking your results, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Tracking online advertising can help you better understand your customers and increase your ROI on each campaign. Here’s what you need to do to effectively track your online advertising.
Create Conversion Goals in Google Analytics
The first step in tracking the performance of your ads is defining your goals. Every advertising campaign you run should drive viewers to a specific action. You can create an ad designed to encourage someone to download your white paper. Or maybe it inspires them to sign up for your newsletter. Or perhaps it invites them to request a free trial of your product.
Ads should also direct visitors to your website, where they can take the desired action. And that’s where conversion goals come in.
In Google Analytics, you can set your own conversion goals. A conversion is a desired action someone performs on your website – something like filling out a form to request a quote or successfully completing a check-out in your online store.
Google Analytics allows you to create up to 20 conversion goals for your business. Focus on the goals that matter most to your industry and business strategy. For example, a contractor might be more inclined to get people to request quotations, while a clothing retailer might be more concerned about that successful check-out metric.
No matter what goals you set for your business, Google Analytics can help you track the steps people take on your website to eventually reach that conversion; This is called the target funnel. Creating a goal funnel provides a visual representation of your data. That way, you understand where people get left out in the process of completing a given conversion.
For example, if the end conversion goal is a successful check-out in your online store, you can see if you lose people in the product browsing phase, or people are putting items in their cart and then dropping them. are.
Watch this video from Google for a more detailed look at how to set up your goals in Google Analytics.
Link your ads to Google Analytics
Now that you’ve set your goals in Google Analytics, it’s time to get your advertising and analytics metrics all on the same page (literally). By linking your Google Ads and Analytics accounts, you can have all the data on both your ad campaigns and website performance in one place.
Google Ads allows you to track the performance of each individual ad campaign, so you can see things like impressions and clickthrough rates. And when your two accounts are linked, you can draw a straight line between how people interact with each ad and the actions they take on your site.
So let’s say you are the owner of a marketing consulting firm. You are running an ad encouraging people to download your latest white paper on social media marketing trends for 2020. When your advertising and analytics accounts are linked, you can see the CTR on the ad itself. Then, you can see how many people have actually requested a download once they’ve reached your site. It gives you an insight into how each piece of the marketing puzzle is working, and it can help you identify any weak spots in the conversion process.
Monitor Click to Client
While it’s great to see how ads affect the behavior of visitors to your site, for most businesses that still doesn’t offer a complete picture of how advertising performs. What about people asking your business to follow an ad they see online? Or the people who stop at your brick-and-mortar location in person?
This is why it is important to implement offline tracking methods to build a complete picture of the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.
Call tracking services, such as CallRail, allow you to track how ads drive prospects’ behavior on the phone. The service works by inserting a single line of code into your website. That code allows you to link online and offline interactions with your business. It integrates with your Google Analytics and advertising platform so you can determine your exact cost per lead.
It’s also a good idea to track your personal interactions with customers. Tracking purchases at your brick-and-mortar locations can help you see whether the people who found you online have become real-life customers. There are many ways for you to bridge the gap between online and in-person interactions. If you are a retailer, collecting an email at checkout to send an electronic receipt can help you cope with the email.
If your business is a business where it is difficult to collect email at checkout (eg, a restaurant or cafe), you can collect that information in other ways. Restaurants can use online reservation systems to capture email addresses. Cafes can create digital loyalty programs that collect email addresses at the point of sale in exchange for a free cup of coffee on every ninth purchase.
If you are using CRM to manage customer interactions, then integrating this personal and online data is easily achievable. CRMs make it easy to assemble all customer data in one place. From contact information to every previous interaction with your brand, it all resides in your CRM. This type of click to client information is invaluable for understanding the performance of your ad.
learn from your campaigns
Once you have built up a picture of the effectiveness of your online advertising campaign, you may be tempted to step back and relax. But really, you’re just getting started.
By tracking advertising online, you are now at a huge advantage. This information can drive your future advertising decisions. Tracking your ads, you may have found that the message performed well in one campaign, while the conversion didn’t happen in another. Or perhaps you discovered that your ad was driving people to your website, but they got lost along the way and weren’t reaching your final conversion goal.
Every ad campaign—whether it’s a raging success or a big old flop—is an opportunity for you to learn and improve. You can recreate a strategy that works well in your next campaign. For those less successful campaigns, you can try a new approach next time.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Paid Search.
7 Steps to Grow Your Consulting Practice Without Adding Overhead
The Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network Has Helped Me Grow My Business 40% in the last 12 months. ~ Michael Quinn – The Michael Quinn Agency, Fargo, ND