The success of online advertising campaigns is only as good as your tracking and optimizing habits. Pushing out display ads across the web and hoping they eventually drive sales set you up for failure and ensure that the advertising budget is slashed.
Instead, begin tracking multiple types of conversions that can all be used to prove the success of your campaigns, help to optimize your ads, and demonstrate to management the value that online advertising can deliver. Below are five online advertising conversions to begin tracking right away.
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR) – A basic metric that all marketers should be tracking is how many times an advertisement was clicked compared to viewed (impressions/clicks). The CTR is directly correlated to the quality of your ad and should be used to optimize future ad variations. The CTR will vary depending on where the ad is displayed (e.g., PPC networks or email campaigns) and each CTR should be tracked by individual channel; don’t judge a campaign’s success by comparing apples to oranges.
- Newsletter Subscription – Once the visitor has clicked through an ad, the next conversion that needs to be tracked is how many of them sign up to receive communication from you. When tracking signups (leads), assign an estimated value for each one. When doing monthly reporting, you can show the dollar value of the lead generation campaign even if sales have not started rolling in yet.
- Content Download – Website visitors will need to see your name and site several times before they are likely to make a financial investment in what you are selling. One way to keep them coming back (and drive lead generation) is by offering free and interesting content for download. When they download the content, they are learning more about your product and giving you more information about them via a web form. Track which types of customers consume what content and use that to continue a targeted marketing campaign to move them down the sales funnel.
- Product/Pricing Page Visit – Always have unique tracking code placed on high-converting pages that are often visited further in the sales process. Specific product and pricing pages are likely to be the last stop before a visitor converts. Track how many people visit those pages and then proceed to convert. Your goal should be to continuously optimize those pages to improve the conversion rate which will have a huge impact on sales. You can also track who visited those pages and send them email campaigns relevant to the products they were viewing.
- E-Commerce Tracking – The most important conversion tracking is when a visitor actually turns into a customer. Always ensure you have proper e-commerce tracking setup on your product pages, shopping cart, and thank you page in order to capture all of your conversion metrics. You can use the data to optimize pages in the funnel where people are dropping off and also deliver your high-level campaign performance metrics to management.