How Do You Know Your Digital Marketing Leads Are Paying Off?
For all the work you’ve poured into your digital marketing efforts, how do you know that it’s paying off?
Because I know you do know that it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that cha-ching.
And I expect that you know that there’s more to it than just increased revenue. More money is great, and ultimately the goal, but can you point to the figures and tell higher-ups that, yes, Marketing is bringing in this revenue?
More important, if your marketing efforts aren’t paying off, can you figure out what the problem is and make needed changes?
If you don’t feel like you can quickly pull up the figures you need to answer any question about the utility of all the content creation and other inbound marketing work you do, read on. I’m going to show you where to find this information in Google’s Analytics, and what the data are there to tell you.
Setting Universal Analytics for Ecommerce Tracking
First, if you don’t have your Google Analytics account set up for ecommerce tracking, you need to do that right away. All of GA is vitally important to keeping up with how your site and marketing are doing, but ecommerce tracking focus on sales specifically.
Setting up ecommerce tracking requires adding to page code, so you may need your developer’s help. I’m not going to go through every step of this here; Google does that for you.
Once your code is in place, you’re set to gather data about ecommerce conversion rates, product transactions, average order value, converting users’ behavior, and more.
This data shows up under Conversions in your analytics reports, and if you haven’t opened this area up before — because ecommerce tracking wasn’t set up — be prepared for your eyes to grow wide.
As usual, customization is key. You have to set up campaigns and tell GA what to track, but it’s worth the effort. You can track sales and revenue accrued and other metrics for individual products, what promotions are working out and whether coupons are being redeemed, even whether you affiliate programs are contributing as they should.
Inbound Marketing in GA Ecommerce Reports
But we’re here to look at how GA’s ecommerce data help you justify, adjust and grow your inbound marketing program.
For that info, look under Multi-Channel Funnels. This is where you find out how your inbound campaigns are working out.
At right is part of the Overview report. There are reasons for and against combined-channel reports (which I’m not showing and another report I discuss below also reflects), but my point with this image is to give you an idea of the channels you can track.
Additional reports include:
An assisted conversion is one in which the user touched upon your keyword-supported content in more than one channel before converting. If a channel appears anywhere — except as the last click — on a conversion path, it is considered an assist for that conversion. In other words, for a single conversion, more than one search ad has been triggered by the same keyword and clicked. You can also group the report by source and medium, by AdWords campaign and groups, and by user demographics
The higher the assisted conversions number, the bigger the role that channel is playing in your success, regardless of where in the funnel they are touched upon. Hopefully, you are reaching out to prospects through multiple channels. In other conversion reports, GA, by default, counts the last click. By knowing that some keywords/ads are assisting though they may not be a direct route or final click before a conversion, you can keep from mistakenly assuming they have no value.
Top Conversion Paths, Time Lag and Path Length
These three reports tell you how users arrive at a conversion, how many interactions with your ads and other inbound marketing they have before converting, and how long they take to do it. Most likely, once these reports are populated, they’ll show you that it really does take a village of inbound marketing to raise an active customer.
With better understanding of your most successful conversion paths, you can fine tune your inbound marketing content to guide more customers along the favored route. Numbers in the time lag and path length (number of interactions/clicks) reports give you a better indication of your sales cycle and how quickly you can realistically expect your campaigns to begin to pay off.
Above, I kind of blithely skipped over the Marketing reports, which show conversions for specific promotions. This is where you see leads paying off, the answer to this article’s original question, as opposed to the larger question of whether inbound marketing is paying off.
Marketing reports show you how many transactions, the total revenue, and the average order value for each of your campaigns, internal (onsite) promotions and coupons. You can also see revenue generated by individual product, product categories, and product brands.
More in Our Discussion of UA’s Lead Conversion Reports
This article only scratches the surface of the reports available in ecommerce and enhanced ecommerce tracking with Google Analytics. The real depth comes with understanding GA’s ability to help you set up multiple marketing campaigns and segment your customers so your data is better focused from the start.