It’s been said that what you don’t know can’t hurt you, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the world of online marketing, it’s what you don’t know that can hurt you the most. That’s especially true when it comes to understanding the statistics your lead generation website gives you about your conversions, because the raw conversion numbers can give you a misleading impression of how successful your website really is. Unless your online marketing campaign includes a lead validation and tracking component, you run the risk of being hurt by what you don’t know.
Here at Internet marketing agency Straight North, we’ve found that many Internet marketers rely on the raw conversion numbers they receive from Google Analytics to measure how successful their lead generation websites are. The problem? Those numbers only tell part of the story. For instance, they don’t make any distinction between conversions that are true sales leads and those that aren’t, and that’s a crucial piece of information. Because nearly half of all website conversions include incomplete form submissions and job applications, online marketers who rely on the raw conversion numbers as the sole measure of success are getting incomplete and inaccurate information.
This lack of information can be devastating when it comes time to revamp and optimize websites. For example, if a lead generation website has one source that generates 100 conversions a month and another that generates 50, the marketer may assume that the former is more successful than the latter and put more resources into it. However, a lead validation process might reveal that out of those 100 conversions, the former source only generated 25 actual sales leads. In contrast, the latter source generated 40 sales leads out of its 50 conversions. That’s important information that the marketer simply wouldn’t have without a lead validation and tracking component as part of the campaign.
Building Better Information
Implementing lead validation and tracking involves building special code into a website to improve the level of reporting. It also means working with a vendor that can track and validate phone calls. This source is completely ignored by Google Analytics.
To ensure that your lead generation website can provide you with more detailed information about your conversions, you need to:
1. Confirm that the primary contact form on your website has a “comments” field and that it is a required field.
2. Confirm that your website is running Google Analytics.
3. Confirm that your website is running on a content management system that stores each form submission in a table with a unique ID assigned to it.
4. Modify your Google Analytics code to pass the form submission ID to Google Analytics using a custom dimension.
Tracking phone calls is an important dimension to add to a lead generation campaign because a substantial number of people still prefer to connect with a company over the phone as opposed to email. To implement phone call tracking, you should:
1. Find a call tracking vendor that can track each phone call back to a specific marketing source.
2. Implement the call tracking vendor’s code on your website to start tracking phone calls.
3. Make sure your phone call tracking vendor can provide you with a single tracked phone number that you can hardcode on your website to replace your business phone number.
What you don’t know can hurt you and your Internet marketing campaign. However, adding lead validation and tracking to your efforts can fill those information gaps and give you a better foundation for making informed decisions to improve your campaign. Living in the information age means there’s no excuse for not having all the information you need to make good decisions. Lead validation and tracking is how you can find that information.