Tracking into oblivion

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Tracking PPC data has been on my mind so much lately that I can hardly think about anything else. I know you have likely read many blog posts about tracking data and how important it is. The reason there are so many people writing about it is because companies aren’t doing it! Not tracking your data is like not balancing your checkbook… errr, wait, you probably don’t do that either, do you? Be honest. Maybe we should move on.

When you start advertising on AdWords, you will get some basic data, including impressions, clicks, click through rate, CPC, and several other pieces of data that are all great if, and I mean IF, you are tracking conversions, too. One of the greatest things about marketing online is the ability to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. But if the tracking isn’t in place, all you can do is make a guess at what is or isn’t working. Let me remind you: just because you are getting clicks on your ads doesn’t mean people are buying what you are selling. You have to dig much deeper than that.

When you decide you want to start marketing online, you need to consider all the channels that people will use to reach you. For example, if your ad is leading them to a page with a phone number, how are you going to track the phone call to a sale? Consider a form on your website. Are you going to track form fills and sales? I hope so. The problem I often run into is the tracking hits a dead end before a sale can be attributed to it. What is the value in that?

Things to consider…

  • Can you put tracking codes on your website? (hopefully, this isn’t a problem)
  • How are you tracking phone numbers?
  • How are you tracking form fills?
  • Can you tie phone calls or form fills to a sale?

If your online marketing can’t tie a lead to a sale, it’s likely that you will wonder how effective it really is and eventually stop your campaign. Conversely, if you have set up tracking right from the start, you will know how effective and awesome marketing online can be. It makes it easy to justify spending more of your marketing budget when you know it exactly how valuable it really is.