Living in the “Information Age” has made us used to get whatever information we need instantly.
If you need to know the weather forecast for the next few days, you can check the app on your smartphone and know within seconds.
If you’re having trouble remembering the name of an actress from a movie, there’s a website that can tell you right away.
If you have a leaky faucet and want to know how to fix it yourself, there are countless instructional videos online that will show you how to do it step by step.
Information has never been easier to find, which can be a blessing and a curse.
The other side of the coin is that information can be so easy to get today that it’s simple to assume that you have all the information you need.
However, that’s not always the case. Take, for example, the information that Internet marketers get from their lead generation websites.
Google Analytics provides online marketers with numbers that tell them exactly how many conversions their websites have generated, but this may not be telling them the entire story.
Here at Internet marketing services firm Straight North, we’ve found that nearly half of website conversions don’t lead to new customers.
That’s because, half of those conversions might be customer service inquiries, job applications or even incomplete form submissions.
However, by taking the raw conversion numbers from Google Analytics at face value, marketers can get the mistaken impression that their lead generation websites are more successful than they are.
This can cause some significant pitfalls for marketers when the time comes for them to make improvements to their websites.
For example, let’s say a lead generation website has two main sources that generate conversions.
Source A generates 100 conversions a month, whereas Source B generates 50 conversions. Based on the raw conversion data, the marketer may assume Source A is more successful and pour more resources into it than Source B.
However, validating those conversions might reveal that out of Source A’s 100 conversions, only 20 were true sales leads.
Source B might turn out to generate 40 true sales leads out of its 50 conversions, making it the higher-performing source.
With that additional level of information, the marketer would know to put more resources into Source B and perhaps work on improving Source A’s lead generation.
Following the Process
This is why lead validation and tracking are essential components of an Internet marketing campaign, and why they need to be implemented to ensure that lead generation websites are delivering the highest return on investment.
These processes need to be implemented not only on the lead generation website itself but also by partnering with a vendor that can accurately monitor and validate leads received via phone calls.
To ensure that your lead generation website can provide you with more detailed information about your conversions, you need to:
- Confirm that the primary contact form on your website has a “comments” field and that it is a required field.
- Confirm that your website is running Google Analytics.
- Confirm that your website is running on a content management system that stores each form submission in a table with a unique ID assigned to it.
- Modify your Google Analytics code to pass the form submission ID to Google Analytics using a custom dimension.
Tracking phone calls is an important dimension to add to a lead generation campaign because a substantial number of people still prefer to connect with a company over the phone as opposed to email.
To implement phone call tracking, you should:
- Find a call tracking vendor that can track each phone call back to a specific marketing source.
- Implement the call tracking vendor’s code on your website to start tracking phone calls.
- Make sure your phone call tracking vendor can provide you with a single tracked phone number that you can hardcode on your website to replace your business phone number.
The following guide lays out the process of incorporating lead tracking and validation step by step.
Following the process can help ensure that your website doesn’t just provide you with instant information, but useful information.
It’s never been easier to get information, so make sure you’re not overlooking anything that could help you drive your business to even greater success.
Matt Cannon is Director of Web Services at Straight North, a full-service Internet marketing company in Chicago that offers SEO, PPC and web design services. Cannon manages all web development activities, making sure that every project is applying current development standards and techniques.