We were talking to one of the owners of Birkdale Place at the Milton Chamber Golf Tournament the other night. It was a typical conversation with a business owner, wondering what they were getting out of SEO. He said something like “I see my Google costs rising every month, but I don’t know if it’s worth it”.
There are at least 2 basic items you need in place:
- Tracking phone number
- Website analytics
Tracking Phone Number
There are a number of suppliers that can provide tracking numbers. We use this supplier. If you’re paying somebody for online marketing, this should be a part of their service.
These are the items to look for when considering this service and how to apply it:
- Most important is that the unique phone number you get for tracking website phone calls – is the ONLY number on your website and is NOT used anywhere else – that is how you will get true measurements.
- You should not need to set up a separate phone system in your office, the tracking number will simply forward wherever you direct it to
- There are often other features included in these services – auto-attendants, call recording and so on. We use tracking- that’s it!
- Most importantly you need to know exactly how many calls came into that unique number
- You should also be able to track when they called, the caller ID and how long the call lasted
- There are more advanced options available of how to track call sources and integrate this data with Google Analytics
We only use Google Analytics. It’s free and extremely informative. Simply visit
http://www.google.com/analytics/ and follow the instructions to get set up.
You login with your google account (gmail address) – or create one. You enter your website address and code is provided for your website developer to add to every page of your website.
One of the most important set up steps is configure the goals properly. You track your conversions- this basically means whenever someone takes the next step that you wanted them to from the page that they’re on.
A page’s goal could be to get someone to view the gallery, to sign up for a newsletter, or to submit a contact form. A goal is related to the destination that a visitor arrives at once they have taken the action that you wanted.
Do You Have Forms on Your Website?
People are online at all different times, not necessarily when you are they are available to pick up the phone, so you need to provide alternate ways of contacting you- whatever your new potential client prefers!
I remember one client that wasn’t sure she really needed forms on her site. Her business is home staging and interior design. Her biggest client ever (a multi-condo contract) came from someone filling in the form middle of the night one weekend!
Forms also provide a way for a visitor to get in touch without opening yourself up to spam.
There are 2 reasons why we always try to steer our clients towards using contact forms:
i. The spam robots pick it up very easily and you will get drowned in extra useless email
ii. Without them, you get less information from your new sales lead, making it more difficult to connect with them and turn the opportunity into revenue
Setting Up Your Forms
How many fields should you have for people to fill in on the form? It depends what your goal is.
Name, email, and phone number should be mandatory fields (if they aren’t providing their phone number, they aren’t a real lead), and a question or two so you can define what they are interested in and somewhat qualify the lead. If you are very particular and only want specific types of sales leads – ask more questions so you spend your time with only those people.
Setting up Your Goals
Here is the most important part when creating your goals: your web developer then needs to make sure they program a thank you page with a unique URL to appear after someone successfully fills in the form.
This simply means that after they click the submit button, they are taken to a page thanking them for filling in the form. This URL is what you need.
[what the submit button says and what the thank you page says are also key things to strategize, but that is for another day].
In this case you will choose destination as your goal type:
Enter the portion of URL as per the instructions:
Remember – if there are any measurement mechanisms in place already (even if it’s only your gut and hearsay) take a benchmark of where you at today so you have something to compare to going forward.
Stay tuned for at least 7 more segments in this series – how to make heads or tails from your Google Analytics information!
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