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How to Track and Validate Website Sales Leads by Marketing Channel

By Matt Cannon, Director-Web Services, Straight North

Matt Cannon, Director-Web Services, Straight North

All internet marketers want to improve the ROI of their websites and drive more customers to their businesses. There are a lot of different techniques out there that they can employ to optimize their websites, but there’s a simple improvement they can make that doesn’t involve overhauling an entire campaign. It involves simply drilling deeper into the data they already receive from their websites through lead validation and tracking.

From SEO to PPC services, many internet marketers could be getting more out of their data. Many of them rely on raw conversion numbers alone to tell them how well their sites are performing at driving new customers, but that information is incomplete. Those numbers don’t tell them anything about sales leads that come in over the phone, for instance. That’s a big segment of sales leads that the conversion numbers simply ignore. Conversion numbers alone also tell marketers nothing about which conversions are true sales leads and which are not. That’s significant because, nearly half the time, conversions turn out to be interactions other than sales leads, such as job applications or customer service inquiries.

Based on that incomplete information, marketers put themselves at risk of making bad judgments when the time comes to optimize their websites. They may emphasize sources that generate a lot of conversions but are a poor ratio of sales leads to other types of interactions. They might misinterpret a source’s conversion tallies as a sign that it doesn’t perform as well as another source with a higher number of overall conversions, unaware that it actually generates more true sales leads. The layer of information provided by lead validation and tracking can help marketers avoid making these unwitting mistakes and provide much-needed context they need to create better ROI for their lead generation websites.

"From SEO to PPC services, many internet marketers could be getting more out of their data"

Implementing the Process

To ensure that your lead generation website can provide you with more detailed information about your conversions, you need to:

1. Confirm that the primary contact form on your website has a “comments” field and that it is a required field.

2. Confirm that your website is running Google Analytics.

3. 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.

4. Modify your Google Analytics code to pass the form submission ID to Google Analytics using a custom dimension.

Tracking phone calls is an important component 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:

1. Find a call tracking vendor that can track each phone call back to a specific marketing source.

2. Implement the call tracking vendor’s code on your website to start tracking phone calls.

3. 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.

Although implementing lead validation and tracking may seem like a lot of extra work, once they are up and running, there’s nothing left to do but sit back and collect the additional data. Armed with that precious information, marketers can have what they need to improve the ROI of their websites and ultimately drive greater success for their businesses.

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