Online conversion tracking is one of, if not the, most important aspects of digital marketing. But how do you track your user behavior and what type of conversions do you track? Here are some suggestions based on (un)Common Logic’s approach:

  • Track all conversion actions through Google Analytics to help ensure optimizations are data-driven
  • Set Google Tag Manager up properly to gain user behavior insights

Check out more about (un)Common Logic’s digital marketing approach and company values here.

Read on for information and insights from an experienced practitioner on understanding the many conversion tracking possibilities.

Conversions: Why Good Data is Important

Getting clean and verified conversion data is crucial to successful online marketing. If you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t from a user perspective, you can’t optimize for devices, locations, times of day, keywords, and more. There are a few different platforms where this information can be collected and there are many supplemental actions you can track besides the final purchase or form fill. Knowing which platform to use and what you should be tracking is important for any digital marketing management team.

Two Places to Get Conversion Data

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an essential tool for running any online advertising. Setting up your reporting views, events and goals, granting access, and connecting with Google Ads should be the first steps to managing your online presence. Tracking conversions through Google Analytics also allows for measuring necessary valuable metrics such as sessions, bounce rate, pages per session, and more. This single source provides valuable data for PPC, SEO, CRO, and most other services you might be using.

Secondary conversion actions can be set up in Analytics and tracked back to Google Ads, such as users moving into the late stages of the buying funnel, accessing a certain webinar, or even clicking for directions to your business location. All these “micro conversions” can be measured and leveraged to understand user behavior and determine the success of a campaign that may not drive completed conversions such as purchases.

Filtering for precise date ranges helps identify trends in your Google Analytics data. Correctly setting up your account allows you to take advantage of all the insights their platform has to offer. Analytics can give you insights on how many pages on average a user is visiting when they come to your site, how long they’re on your site, from which sources they’re navigating to your site (organic vs. direct vs. paid vs. referral), the average bounce rate, and so much more that is useful for understanding user behavior and making informed decisions.

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is also a useful tool to track your lead volume while at the same time tracking your site visitors. Unlike Google Analytics, there is no reporting in the Google Tag Manager interface, but it is a helpful platform to easily organize your tags and triggers across multiple channels. Tag Manager makes it simple when it comes to setting up tracking for conversions, page views, clicks, web events, and other important actions your audience is taking. An important strategy to grow your audience is to track individual users who have visited your domain, import the aggregated audience back into Google Ads, and serve them customized ads based on the specific pages they browsed. By combining a tag configuration with a trigger inside your container (“container” is the Google Tag Manager term for your account interface), you can track specific goals users complete. For example, if your conversion action is having a user fill out a form to access a webinar, the Thank You page URL should have a static component which is the trigger to add as a tracking parameter.

Google Tag Manager’s preview mode allows for simple troubleshooting, as long as the chrome extension for Tag Assistant has also been applied. The Tag Assistant shows which tags fired on your page, and the status of how they were fired is represented by one of three smiley (or not so smiley) faces. After your tags and triggers are created, click to enter the Preview version to surf your site. Reloading your page shows exactly which tags fired, and which may need updated parameters to ensure the data is passed back into Google Ads properly. This Preview evaluation should be done before launching any account to ensure back-end data is accurate.

Whether you want to see SEO and CRO data pulled into Google Analytics or just pass your form fills from the website into Google Ads using Tag Manager, any digital marketing expert will encourage having both accounts set up properly and used regularly not only for conversion tracking, but also to gain additional insights into user behavior. Google Analytics data should guide the implementation of each optimization. Tag Manager is essential to verify each conversion action. Whether it’s using a new landing page for ads, counting an additional site action as a lead, or any other relevant change in tracking, it needs to be confirmed through Tag Manager that the triggers and tags are firing properly. Get accurate data and ensure you’re taking advantage of both these free platforms.

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