If you operate an e-commerce business, your primary objective will be to get visitors to make a purchase. But there are many other kinds of visitor interactions you may want to promote.
Whatever your objective may be, measuring how successful you are in achieving it is vital. Driving traffic to your website will likely involve a blend of strategies, including organic SEO, PPC, social media and paid-for advertising. All of these will require investing time, money – or both, so refining your activities to get the best return relative to how much of either of these you spend is crucial to your commercial success.
In an e-commerce business especially, monitoring your sale-to-revenue equation is fundamental. The more you’re able to reduce the cost of making a sale, the higher the margin of profit for you.
There was a time when investing in marketing and advertising was something of a gamble. The nineteenth-century American merchant and marketing pioneer John Wannamaker once famously said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, and the trouble is I don’t know which half.” It was true at the time, but Wannamaker was working in a pre-digital age. Today, thanks to web analytics tools that track and report web traffic, things are a lot more scientific. Any business depending on its website to generate leads or sales can access a wide range of invaluable insights.
There are many analytics tools to choose from. The most popular and our personal favourite here at Wicko Design is Google Analytics. Currently in its fourth iteration (GA4) and – according to builtwith, used on nearly 30 million live websites, Google Analytics is a powerful piece of software that’s completely free to use and install on any website. It can provide a range of essential data including, who has visited your website, how they were directed to it, the pages they viewed and the actions they took.
If you have Google Analytics on your website, you have access to reports that can help inform how and where you invest in marketing. And if you don’t already have it set up, you should.
In the early days of web analytics, the focus was predominantly on visitor numbers, but over the years, analytic tools have become incredibly sophisticated, providing deep insights to inform sales and marketing activity.
With so much information at your fingertips, it’s essential to focus on data that’s of real practical value. While tracking how many visitors are directed to your website from different places is useful and will give you an idea of how the channels you use are performing relative to one another, it won’t give you the level of detail you need to make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts.
Having data to see how key web pages, marketing activities, and advertising campaigns are performing is vital. To do this, you’ll need to set up your web analytics to monitor visitor activity in more depth, tracking and reporting on conversion rates.
There are two kinds of conversions you can configure your analytics tool to measure:
- E-commerce transaction conversions
If you run an e-commerce business, you can link your shopping cart – such as WooCommerce or Shopify – directly to your analytics tool. By tagging all the products you sell with a sale value as well as a unique reference, you’ll be able to see conversion rates as financial metrics. This will enable you to measure your return on investment accurately, and you can use this knowledge to help you reduce your cost of sales to the absolute minimum.
As well as having an overview of your e-commerce conversion rates, transactions and average order values, you’ll be able to see how visitors interact with your website and track their shopping habits and checkout behaviours.
- Goal conversions
Even if the focus of your website is not e-commerce, there will be non-purchase-based actions you’ll want to encourage visitors to take. In web analytics terms, these are called goals, and they can encompass any completed activity that’s important to the success of your business.
Examples of goals you may want to track in your business might include opening a particular web page, registering for a newsletter, completing a form or booking an event. A goal may not have a monetary value against it, but it could be a critical step in your business model.
Tracking e-commerce transaction and goal conversion rates in your web analytics will help you calculate your return on investment for sales and marketing. In addition, knowing the steps that your customers take and the pages they view before making a purchase decision will help you analyse the value of individual pages and the overall effectiveness of your web marketing strategy.
Setting up analytics tools to track basic metrics is relatively simple. But going deeper to allocate values to products, set specific goals and track conversion rates can be quite technical. Using an analytics professional will save you time and ensure that reporting is tailored to meet your exact requirements,
Let Wicko Design Set up Goals & Conversions for You!
Do you want to be able to base important decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget on solid facts rather than guesswork? Would you like conversion rates and return on investment statistics for activities and campaigns, so you can understand which ones are working for you? Would you like accurate data you can use to fine-tune your website’s effectiveness?
At Wicko Design, we have many years of experience helping clients improve their performance through web analytics. We can configure Google Analytics, to your bespoke requirements – including creating transaction and goal conversions to give you total transparency.
Get a FREE SEO Audit worth £50 of Your Website!