Set up tracking – properly
In the rush to get live, I come across a lot of eCommerce websites whose only conversion tracking is what’s available to them in the back end of the platform.
Understanding more about how users are discovering your site and what they’re doing (or not doing) once they get there is invaluable to you as the business owner, and can make business decisions ten times easier by equipping you with meaningful data.
The first step here, if you haven’t done it already (please tell me you’ve done this already) is to set up a Google Analytics account.
Once all up and running, the next step is to work out a system to tag and track your traffic to give you more visibility into where it’s coming from and what your most valuable sources of revenue are.
To do so, you’ll want to leverage Urchin Tracking Modules – don’t worry, I won’t make you remember that – more commonly known as UTMs.
This allows you to see at a high level where users are clicking through from – Facebook, your email newsletter, Google – right down to details like the ad that has driven the click or the email send out that triggered a sale.
UTMs are added on to the tail end of your URLs, for example: https://thenatives.com.au/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&campaign=traffic
At a glance, I can see that this user has clicked through from a Facebook paid traffic campaign.
The key to successfully using UTMs to improve your eCommerce website is consistency. If in one place you’re referring to ‘facebook’ and in another it’s tagged as ‘fb,’ you will get two different line items when looking at your traffic sources in Analytics.
Create a template for your different traffic drivers (and stick to it) so you can keep your Analytics as tidy as possible.
The last key to the UTM puzzle – actually using them. Add UTMs to your paid ads campaigns, your social profiles, your EDM send outs – any digital touchpoints that might send a user to your website that you’d want to know about.
While you’re in Analytics, make sure you’ve got eCommerce conversion tracking set up. My favourite feature of this section of Analytics is the conversion journeys, which shows you the touchpoints that a user has interacted with on their path to purchase. You might be able to identify a hurdle in your conversion journey, or see how your different paid ads efforts work together to drive that final purchase.
Lastly, while actions like a newsletter sign-up or adds to cart might not drive revenue in and of themselves, they’re still key events that you should be measuring and reporting on. Set up goals for any key actions that a user can take on your site so you can check in on how these are (or aren’t converting).
A hot tip – if you turn these into events, you’ll be able to import them into your Google Ads account to save having to repeat the conversion set up.