When website owners build or overhaul a new website or begin to make forays into digital advertising, they have questions. Are these actions having an effect? Is it worth spending more money on this strategy or is another one preferable? No one wants to throw money at solutions that don’t result in greater business success. It’s at this point that the term “conversions” comes up in conversation. What exactly is a conversion?
What Are Conversions?
Essentially, a conversion is any action on your website that can be considered valuable. Setting up proper conversion tracking is crucial for measuring the success of your online marketing efforts. While there are many different valuable website actions that can be tracked, the most commonly used conversions are forms submissions and product transactions for ecommerce websites.
Not every company fits those two models, though, and there are other possibilities. These are all different types of conversions:
- a product sale
- a lead form completion
- a phone call
- click to actions on a clickable phone number or email address
- a subscription to a newsletter
- an email capture
- a completed survey
- chatbox engagement
- a pdf or whitepaper download
- multiple page views
All of the above can be used to give the website’s owner more information about the website’s audience and how it interacts with the site. Sometimes conversions are not called conversions but goals instead. Different platforms tend to prefer one term over the other, but these two terms are used fairly interchangeably and have the same meaning. Google Analytics uses the term goal, while Google Ads uses the term conversion. This can be confusing, but both are talking about the same thing: was valuable information gathered?
Tracking Conversions Is Crucial for Success
A nice rule of thumb for website owners is that if it can be tracked, it should be tracked unless you know that information will not be valuable. It can take time to build up enough information from conversions to predict audience behavior or learn to modify it to the company’s advantage. It will, of course, take longer, if you don’t track that information.
Setting up tracking allows website owners to know where exactly a submitted form came from, whether it was the result of an organic search, a paid ad, or maybe from an article on another website. Every company should have Google Analytics tracking set up on the website. The benefit of having a website that uses Google Analytics is the plethora of information you can get for free about your audience. It’s good for both pinpointing specific behavior and for revealing overall trends.
Another tool that businesses should use it Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is a free tool that can be used to manage and deploy marketing tags on your website or mobile app. Marketing tags are snippets of code or tracking pixels like Google Analytics Universal tracking code, Google Ads Conversion Tracking code, or Facebook pixels.
For the digital marketer, it’s impossible to overstate the usefulness of tools like Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Online ads are also much easier to track than offline ads. With digital ads, it’s possible to track exactly how much of an impact your marketing is having, whereas with traditional ads marketers are limited to clunky tracking methods like using automotive traffic past a billboard or coupon codes to try and measure success. It’s very hard to know how to alter a marketing strategy to work better without knowing how well the first efforts impacted the target audience.
So that’s what a conversion is: an achieved goal, whether large or small. Once you understand what a conversion is, the next step is to increase conversions on your website. We’ve discussed three strategies you might consider in a previous blog, but if you’d like to talk about how to really maximize your company’s conversions, call us at 616-426-9303. We would love to help you with that.