We all know that affiliate marketing focuses on conversions. Some might say that conversions are all that matter. They are what pays your bills at the end of the day.
Optimizing these conversion rates can be quite difficult. One of the first steps is to create a conversion goal and try to accomplish it. This is where Google Analytics can come in handy. It offers detailed reports on how every aspect of your campaign is doing. You can use this data to improve your future advertising efforts.
What Is Google Analytics?
You may know about Google because of its search engine, but Google has also developed in-house solutions for tracking, analyzing, and optimizing ad campaigns. One of these tools is Google Analytics.
Analytics is a web analytic service that provides various data and statistical information that you can use to optimize your search engine optimization (SEO) or marketing campaigns. Its main use is to track performance and collect various data on visitors. This data is then processed and analytics determines things like traffic source, goals completed, patterns, trends, engagement, and much more.
To make Google Analytics work, all you as a website owner have to do is add a code snippet to your webpage. This will then help link your website up with the Analytics tool. After that, you can easily track your results and get the valuable data you need.
Why Is It Important To Track Your Conversion Rates?
Tracking your conversion rates can give you a lot of info about how well your campaigns are running. With proper tracking and data analysis, you can quickly find out what parts of your campaigns have issues. You can then remedy them and avoid wasting money on small issues that you can easily fix.
With proper tracking, you can also find out what some trends and opportunities are. You can see how seasonal changes affect your campaigns, and with enough knowledge, you can use this to your advantage in the future.
How Do You Track Your Data?
Tracking your data can be a little more complex than you might think at the beginning. You need to set up your Google Analytics profile to track specific goals tied to your account. You decide which goals you want to track. With the help of Google Analytics, you can specify the best way to track those goals and which metrics are most important for your business.
Goals can be a lot of things, and they vary greatly depending on what sort of business you are doing.
eCommerce sites usually track sales
Affiliate websites track affiliate link clicks
Lead generation websites track form submissions
These goals are very important and they will determine how Google Analytics tracks and analyzes your data.
How To Set Up Your Goals In Google Analytics?
First of all, you need to create a Google Analytics account or log in to an existing one. After that, you need to click on the Settings icon and then click on the Goal tab. Within this tab, you can set up a new goal and configure existing ones.
If you want to create a new goal you will be transferred to a goal setup screen where you can start the process. The first choice will be if you want to select a template goal configuration or a custom goal configuration that might better fit your campaigns. The templates are split into Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry, and Engagement. All of these have specific subcategories that you can select.
We recommend you use the templates if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. For this example, we will go with the template option.
After selecting the template and clicking on continue, you will have to complete the second step goal description. First of all, you will need to give your goal a name. This name will help you organize yourself later on and know exactly what your goal is and for what it is used.
The second thing you will need to set up is the goal type. There are four choices, and you should select the one that best fits your use case. The choices are:
This goal will measure visits to your URL on your page. This is perfect for tracking conversion rates (which we will focus on). These goals are often triggered by things like Thank-you pages or form submissions.
Duration measures how long a visitor stays on your website per session. This is usually used to gauge engagement rates by the length users are staying on. As an example, it is considered that someone that stays a few seconds isn't engaged by the website, while someone who stays over a minute or two is likely to interact with the content further.
After some time, these visitors will be counted as conversions. The exact time that a user needs to spend to convert can vary and they are determined by you. If you know that your page is short and doesn't have a lot of content, your duration should be set lower, while for longer and richer pages, that number should be higher (like 3-5 minutes)
Pages/ Screens per session
This goal tracks how many pages or screens a visitor visits per session. This is great for eCommerce pages that have many items, or any page that offers multiple products or services across multiple pages. This is a great measure of user engagement.
Event goals are a bit more advanced than the rest. They are triggered by specific actions or goals that the user does. These can be something specific as clicking a button, watching a video, ad click, or sharing a post to social media.
To continue you will need to pick a specific goal that you will focus on. In our example, we want to see conversion rates, so we will pick the “Destination” goal.
The next thing you will have to fill out is your goal details. For your goal details, you will need to add an URL that indicates that a conversion has occurred. This can be a thank you page, or some other destination URL that you want to act as your destination URL.
You will also need to fill out the “event conditions”. These are one or more conditions that need to be met for an event to be triggered. These events are sorted by category, action, label, and value.
You can also set funnels or monetary values to your goals as well. Funnels are secondary pages that users visit before converting. Monetary value lets you set a specific value for specific actions like conversions. There is also a handy verify button that helps prove if everything is set up correctly.
Using Conversion Rates To Improve Your Campaigns
After you set everything up and the first data starts to pour in, it's time to analyze it and take some valuable information out of it.
Finding the right opportunities
With the right data, you can find the perfect opportunities for your campaigns. Maybe it's a traffic source that is working surprisingly well or a campaign that is performing exceedingly well in a particular GEO. The more data you have the more you can get an understanding of what the right opportunities might be for you.
Finding the right conversion paths
There are many conversion paths for each campaign. Sometimes they come organically and other times they are brought in using paid ads. The more you know about what your specific paths are, the better you can optimize for them. To find out more about them all you need to do is go to the conversion section of your analysis tool and find the “reverse goal path” section.
Learn what works and what doesn't
As we all know most users won't convert. Those who will are often pushed to convert by a certain thing and knowing exactly what that is can help you optimize your conversion flow accordingly. The best way of doing this is by comparing converters to non-converters. This comparison can show you what works on who.
Some people can be persuaded to convert by one means while others will require a different approach. You can then segment your audience accordingly and create separate campaigns for these audiences. This will give you a flexible way to optimize your campaigns and improve your conversions.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you with all sorts of data collecting and analysis. We covered some basic ways of creating your campaigns, analyzing the data, and converting it into actions that might help your marketing efforts. The right data can make a huge difference and turn your losing campaign into a winner. You just need to know how to use the data properly!
Have you tracked your campaigns with Google Analytics? What are your key takeaways from it? Share your knowledge with us in the comments below!