An Introduction to tracking

Flora Rowe, 
Strategy Development Exec, 

Tracking is something that we frequently get asked questions about; “why do I need tracking?”, “how does tracking work?”, “does it matter if my tracking doesn’t work?”.

In this post, you’ll discover why tracking is paramount for running digital Ad campaigns, how it works, about the types of tracking and the tools to set up tracking. Whatever industry you are in, this is the only guide you’ll need to understand tracking.

What is Tracking?

Conversion Tracking (also known as just “tracking”) is a tool that is used to measure the success of your digital campaigns and to measure the effectiveness of your website.

Tracking allows us to measure how many people do a variety of different actions such as:

  • How many people have downloaded your app
  • How many people make transactions on your site
  • How many people have phoned your business
  • How many times people have clicked on your email address
  • How many people have filled in a contact form
  • How many times people have located your store
  • And more…

Tracking gives us more data and more insights

How does tracking work?

Tracking works like a light switch and a light bulb: When you hit the light switch, the light bulb turns on. Tracking is the same. There is a trigger on your website and when that is triggered, a goal is fired.

Intro to the different types of tracking:

There are ways you can track most actions on your website but the most commonly tracked events are:

  • eCommerce tracking
  • Destination tracking
  • Event tracking
  • Call tracking
  • Click tracking

eCommerce Tracking

eCommerce tracking fires when a purchase happens online. It allows us to not only track the number of sales but it also tracks the value, the currency, and the product ID. eCommerce tracking allows us to work out the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Destination Tracking

We use this when you want to track a specific page on your website. Often when forms are submitted, the user is redirected to a thank you page. We can then set up tracking to see how many users reached this page and therefore understand how many people filled in the form to get there.

Event Tracking

Event tracking allows you to track when a specific action has happened on the website. Examples of this are when someone submits a form, signs up to a newsletter or clicks on a specific button. Event tracking is set up using elements from the website code. When an action on the site, the event is triggered.

Call Tracking

Call Tracking allows us to see when certain phone numbers are called. We recommend setting this up using a 3rd party tool. These tools allow you to buy a second phone number and set it up so when someone clicks through an ad, they see the second phone number instead of the original one. Any calls to this second number are redirected to the original phone number. The user will never notice the difference. This means we can see how many people call a business after clicking on an Ad.

Click Tracking

Click Tracking allows us to see when something has been clicked on. For example, if you have an external booking system or a chatbot, click tracking allows you to see when this happens. You could also see if someone was to click through to your social media or YouTube.

Tools for Tracking

There are lots of handy tools for tracking your website. We use a wide variety of them to make sure that we set up the best solution for you. Below are some examples of the most widely used tools.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics works by the inclusion of a code on your website. Google Analytics is built to work with Google’s advertising and publisher products. On Analytics, you can create the conversion goals and see actions from all of the website traffic. The data gathered in Google Analytics allows you to identify your target audience and learn more about their behaviour.

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to update measurement codes (aka tags) on your website without going into the back end of the site. It makes tracking quick and simple! Google tag manager acts as a bridge between your website and other third-party tools and uses tags to share information. Tags are snippets of code or tracking pixels from third-party tools. When the tags are triggered, they then feedback to the other tools what has happened.

Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel is a tool from Facebook that allows you to measure the success of your online campaigns by monitoring your website users actions. The pixel not only tracks the actions taken on your side but it also allows you to show your ads to the right people at the right time.

Call Tracking Metrics

Call tracking gives you the ability to not only quantify incoming phone call leads but also produce reports that show where the leads came from, how long each call was and the quality of the lead.Call tracking allows you to see the lead to sale conversion rate.

How does tracking help my campaigns?

Tracking conversions allows us to see valuable customers and find out more about them. We can then use this information to find more customers in the future. We can also see which users are not valuable to us to help us be more efficient with Ad spend.

Tips and Reminders for Tracking

  • Tracking can be complicated for some sites. It is always best to work in collaboration with the website’s developer to get this set up accurately.
  • A common mistake with tracking is to focus on the number of leads and not look at how many leads convert to sales and the value of the leads.
  • Keep an eye on the tracking! If there are changes to the website, the tracking could be disturbed. It’s important to check the tracking to ensure that it’s still accurate.
  • Think about your attribution model!
  • Use Google and Facebook’s online information portals. There is always an article to help with any issues.
  • Use the data from tracking to optimize your Ad campaigns, to allocate budget to the best channels and avoid wasting spend
  • Jump into the data from the tracking to learn more about your target audience, their interests and how they behave online!

Tracking is so important if you want to grow your business online. At the start of this article, we asked “why do I need tracking?”. Tracking can save you money, give you more insights into your data but most of all, it is the golden ticket to taking your digital strategies to the next level.

Struggling to get tracking in place and need help to grow your results online? Get in touch with our team of experts. While this article was accurate at the time it was written, like everything in the digital sphere, it changes rapidly. Working with an agency can help you keep on top of the latest changes.