Use tracking to improve your Online business - Plug and Play
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by Brad Girtz

Event tracking is an important part of any good digital marketing strategy. Knowing what your customers are up to on your site can help you improve your business, earn you more money and give you great insights into your audience. As more sites add ecommerce, tracking will become ever more essential. With that in mind, let's examine how you can get started tracking your website users.

website tracking

When most people start out tracking they are usually looking for something quick and easy without a lot of setup. Something between an enterprise level system that requires a team to install and physically holding down your customers while you fit them with a tracking collar and ear tag.

Goal Tracking

People who need this type of information usually opt for simple goal tracking. All you need for this is analytics set up. This can be set up easily from the analytics dashboard. It is designed to track a destination, duration, pages per session and events. This means you can track when someone lands on a certain page, if they stay a predetermined amount of time, if they visit a certain number of pages or if they trigger an event. To set up one of these goals, start by clicking on the admin tab in the bottom right of the screen. That will bring up the below menu.

Google analytics tracking

In the far right under the view tab you there is a section called “Goals”. Click that and select what you would like to track.

goal setup

The simplest option is to use a template so just choose the one that best suits you. You can also use a custom goal if you feel that none of the templates match your needs. The next step is to choose your goal type. As we discussed earlier, this can be destination, duration, pages or events. Then simply fill out the goal details and you click save. If you are worried your goal might not be set up correctly you can also check it by clicking verify this goal.

Conversion Tracking

If you are running a Google PPC campaign and you just want to track your paid search traffic, there is a separate tool that can help. This is called conversions and can be reached from the AdWords interface. From the new interface, click the wrench in the upper right corner.

Adwords conversion tracking

Under the measurements section click the conversion tab. Then click the big blue plus button. That brings you to the below menu.

conversion tracking setup

Choose the option that best fits your need. For this example we will be looking at website tracking.

web tracking template

To set up website conversion tracking you will need to give your tracking a conversion name, select a category that best describes the type of conversion you are tracking, then it is time to select a value. If your conversions are all worth the same thing use the same value for each, if each conversion has a set value indicated on your site you can use a different value for each conversion. If you can not easily price each conversion then don’t use a value. Finally set your count. If you run a business that someone can buy something multiple times and each purchase adds value you will probably want to track every conversion. If you run a service where someone subscribes or only pays once for your product no matter how much they use you will probably want to use the one count.

Finally you will need to set up some final settings. Let's start with your conversion window. This is how long someone has between the time they interact with your ad and convert. So if you set your conversion window to 30 days someone who has clicked one of your ads has 30 days from that click to convert or they will not be tracked.

Then you can set your view through the conversion window. This is how long someone who has seen one of your ads but not interacted with it has to convert and be counted as a conversion. Then you should select yes to the option to include in conversions so your conversion will be tracked.

The last step before you implement your tracking is to choose your attribution model. This is the formula that assigns credit for a conversion. This can get a bit complex but a good first time tracking solution is to use last click attribution. This assigns credit for a conversion to the last marketing channel used before a conversion. So if someone clicks a PPC ad then converts that PPC ad gets all the credit for the conversion, even if the customer had previously visited your website from another channel.

Once all that is filled out and you have clicked create and continue, AdWords will provide you with code and instructions for adding said code to your website. If you are unsure how to do this it is best to have a developer help you as editing website code or adding plugins to do so can be tricky for a novice.

Event Tracking

The final type of tracking we will talk about in this piece is event tracking. This is tracking that is usually added directly to the code or by using google tag manager. It is probably the most powerful type of tracking but the hardest for a non developer to use.

Event tracking is based around several event fields. These are:

eventCategory

eventAction

eventLabel

eventValue

These are the basis of commands that are sent to Google Analytics.

What makes this type of tracking so powerful is the fact that it can track nearly anything. This includes a click on a button, a page load, a video play and just about anything else.

Event tracking is even more powerful because it is so easy to sort. For instance, you can track all of your sales on a website but you can also sort those sales by type. So if you sell tyres and brakes, you can sort your sales to see how many tyres you sold compared to brakes. You could also sort by the brands you are selling and just about anything else. To do this you have to create a well thought out set of event fields. If you are unsure of how to do this speak to a developer. Unless you are very comfortable with tag manager or coding you will struggle to implement this form of tracking.

Once event tracking is in place, you can choose the most important things to track and use goals to measure them. That means the actions you value will be tracked right in your analytics.

If all this sounds like more headache than it is worth, you can always hire Plug and Play to set up your goals for you. We can help you analyze your online business and find the best ways to track your customers buying behaviours. We can even manage the tracking for you and report back each month.

  • Brad Girtz

    Brad Girtz

    Digital Marketing Manager