Tracking Both Online & Offline Marketing Efforts Through Call Tracking And Web Analytics

Tracking Both Online & Offline Marketing Efforts Through Call Tracking & Web Analytics

Being able to track the success of any marketing campaign, whether online or offline, is crucial to the growth of your business. Tracking every marketing campaign, will help you to determine which marketing channels produce a return on investment and which which will destroy your marketing funds in a hurry.

This post will walk you through tracking both your online and offline marketing efforts through web analytics. So to get started, let’s jump into online marketing tracking.

Online Marketing Tracking

Tracking online marketing efforts is pretty simple and straightforward. All you really need is a solid analytics package installed on your domain and you are up and running.

Google Analytics is my go to analytics package, mostly because it is free and gives me pretty much everything I need to determine if my marketing efforts are really impacting my business positively. Some of the more common metrics to look at to determine the success of your efforts are as follows:

  • Growth in organic traffic
  • Growth in referring traffic
  • Growth in keywords driving traffic
  • Growth in traffic coming from social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest

Again, these are a few of the more common metrics and there are many others you can and should be looking at on a regular basis. Now, if you want to take your tracking to a whole new level, there are a few other things you can bolt on to Google Analytics to help you better understand conversion rate and the success of each campaign, the first is phone call tracking.

Phone Call Tracking

Phone call tracking is relatively new and most businesses generating phone calls from their online marketing efforts aren’t using it, which is a crying shame. With phone call tracking, the provider will give you unique phone numbers for each marketing campaign you want to run, online and offline (we’ll get more into offline in a minute). You can then use these numbers to determine the success of each of your campaigns.

Here’s how it works:

If you have a phone number on your  website, you can place a snippet of code around that phone number that will cause it to change based on the following criteria:

  • When someone comes to your site from the search engines (tracks which keywords drive phone calls)
  • When someone visits your site from another website (which referring sites drive phone calls)

phone call tracking

This data is then housed in the call tracking providers reporting dashboard and in some cases can even be pulled into your Google Analytics. Here’s what it might look like depending on who your provider is:

phone call tracking - referral traffic

keywords driving traffic - phone call tracking

Photos courtesy of Century Interactive

Phone call tracking is a very powerful tool and when used in conjunction with Google Analytics can give you a full understanding of how your online campaigns are performing. If you generate business via phone calls, I highly recommend you look into purchasing it.

Campaign Tracking

If you are putting together a specific online marketing campaign, such as purchasing display ads or even running a social media campaign through Twitter, you will want to set up campaign tracking. This can easily be done by using the Google URL Builder (a free tool provided by Google).

Here you can set up as many campaigns as you want and each of these campaigns will be tied right into Google Analytics for your viewing pleasure. Here’s how you set up a campaign:

  • First, provide the URL you want to track
  • Second, specify the campaign source (twitter, stumbleupon, newsletter-name, etc)
  • Third, specify the campaign medium (email, paid search, banner ad, etc)
  • Fourth, specify the name of the campaign (I like to name this something similar to the piece of content I’m promoting)

When you are done, you will get this really ugly URL:

http://www.seo.com/?utm_source=searchmarketingweekly&utm_medium=bannerad&utm_campaign=homepage

You will then take the really ugly URL and use it in your campaigns.

After you start using these URLs, you will want to track the success of each campaign in Google Analytics. Here’s how you will get to that data:

  • First, log into Google Analytics
  • Second, select that account you want to view
  • Third, click on traffic sources
  • Fourth, click on campaigns

Then you will see this:

campaign tracking

From here, you will be able to view each campaign that you have run and the results of each campaign. This is very valuable information for any online marketer running multiple online marketing campaigns and I highly suggest you use it.

Okay… onward to tracking your offline marketing efforts!

Offline Marketing Tracking

Many marketers believe that traditional marketing efforts cannot be tracked effectively, however, using the same techniques mentioned above, you can get a more accurate reading of your offline marketing efforts and if they are indeed providing a return on your investment and helping to grow your business.

Phone Call Tracking

Phone call tracking can be just as effective in tracking offline marketing efforts as it is in tracking your online efforts. Through your call tracking provider, they can assign you dedicated tracking numbers for you to tack the effectiveness of each campaign.

Here is a list of the different offline marketing channels that you can use call tracking for:

  • Billboard advertising
  • Yard sign advertising
  • Newspaper ads
  • Radio ads
  • Magazine ads
  • Mailers

call tracking number on billboard

PRO TIP: If you are a smart marketer and testing different versions or placements of your ads, you can take this a step further and get multiple numbers from your provider to test the effectiveness of each ad or placement.

Campaign Tracking

I’ve been using campaign tracking to track my offline marketing efforts for a few years now and I can tell you from experience, it is awesome!!! To get started, we will need to set up tracking URL(s) to use for each ad or placement.

To set up a tracking URL for an offline marketing campaign, you can simply follow the steps I walked through above:

  • First, provide the URL you want to track
  • Second, specify the campaign source (magazine name, radio station name, etc)
  • Third, specify the campaign medium (magazine, billboard, radio)
  • Fourth, specify the name of the campaign (I like to name this something similar to the piece of content I’m promoting)

Again, when you are done, you will get another ugly URL:

http://www.seo.com/?utm_source=incmagazine&utm_medium=thanksad&utm_campaign=inc500award

**This is where you will want to pay attention, because you need to take it a step further**

When building an offline campaign, you will NOT want to use the ugly URL in your ad creative. You will want to create a vanity URL and 301 redirect it to your campaign URL. For example:

Vanity URL: www.seo.com/Inc500

301 Redirect: http://www.seo.com/?utm_source=incmagazine&utm_medium=thanksad&utm_campaign=inc500award

When someone visits the vanity URL, it will redirect and capture all of the campaign information in Google Analytics. I should probably add a disclaimer about using campaign tracking for your offline marketing efforts:

(Disclaimer: this may not be 100% accurate as your visitors have their own agency to key in your URL www.seo.com vs www.seo.com/Inc500)

vanity url

PRO TIP: To help limit the amount of people not visiting your vanity URL, create messaging around needing to visit that exact URL to get the information they are looking for. Again, not 100% accurate, but getting closer.

I hope that this post was valuable for both online and offline marketers and that from this, you can start to more effectively monitor and measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to lave them in the comments section below.

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3 Comments

  1. Mark Cody says

    As much as I engage in Facebook and encourage links to my site and write blogs on it I dont see a great deal of return in my Google Analytics.

    Sometimes I feel I best concentrate on my website content itself and thinks thats the best way forward. 

  2. says

    Is there any way an online business can track leads going to offline stores so that online biz can charge on revenue sharing basis? what incentives can be given to offline stores to report accurate data

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