About 50% of the time, when we bring on a new client they have no idea what they’re getting out of their website or online marketing. Tracking is one of the first things that we implement for anyone that hires us for SEO services. These are the things that we recommend tracking for your brand and your website:
There are many different tools available that you can use to monitor and track your website visits. For local roofers we suggest using Google Analytics at the very least.
Google Analytics – this is a free tool offered by Google to track your website traffic. Inside this system you can dig much deeper than just watching the number of visitors your site has over a period of time. You can see how people move through your site, the bounce rate, how many of your visitors are unique, where they are located, how they came to your website and if you set it up, you can even track the number of leads you’re receiving. We highly suggest hooking this up to your site.
When comparing data, we recommend comparing a full month to the month prior. Then compare that month to the same time period the year before if you have the data. If you don’t see an increase month over month you could be seeing some seasonality within your industry. If you don’t see an increase year over year, you may want to evaluate your marketing efforts if you’re unhappy with the number of leads you’re getting.
Mouseflow– For something a bit more in-depth to monitor your traffic, we recommend installing Mouseflow on your site. Mouseflow will record your visitor sessions and you can log in to your account and watch the recordings. You’ll be able to see things like people clicking on things that are not buttons or links, if they are taking the time to read your content, people that start to fill out your contact forms and don’t finish them, etc. Monitoring your user interaction is kind of like holding a focus group. You can use the information to make informed changes to your site.
Get the idea out of your head that you can only use one phone number for your business. If you want to actually know where your calls are coming from, using a call tracking system will make it easier for you. Some of our clients still insist on just having their front desk person ask their leads how they found out about them but this is not a perfect solution. If the person forgets to ask the question on the phone or the lead just says they used “Google” to find you. That really doesn’t narrow down the tracking enough to know what marketing effort generated the call.
We use a company called Call Tracking Metrics for our call tracking. You can purchase a number from them and forward it to your normal business phone number. You can also place code on your website which will dynamically insert your number when a person comes from a source you want to track. For example, if you want to be able to keep track of all of the calls that you receive from Google organic search, you can use this to tool to dynamically insert a different phone number on your website when people come from Google organic search results. If that person calls the number, it will show up in your Call Tracking Metrics account and you can have the call recorded to go back and listen to later.
We very highly recommend this to all of our clients.
Do you know if you’re website form submissions are working? Do you know where they are going? If not, you’ll want to get that figured out ASAP. Next, you’re going to want to track those form submissions. You can track the number of submissions in Google Analytics using a few different methods but we suggest the “page load” option. You may need some help from a web developer or SEO for this.
On your website, you are going to want to add a “Thank you” page that is set up as an automatic redirect when a form is submitted on your site. We recommend having different thank you pages for each individual form on your site so you can track them individually. Your thank you page should just thank the person for contacting you and let them know someone will be in touch with them shortly. Getting the form to redirect can be a little tricky so you may need to ask for some assistance from pro.
Next, in your Google Analytics account, create a new goal that will track on page load. You’ll follow the steps and enter the URL for the thank you page that you created. If all are working correctly, your Analytics account should now track any time someone submits a form in the goals section. It will also break the goals down based on acquisition. That means you’ll see how many come from direct traffic, organic search visitors, social media, etc.
After deciding what your target keywords are going to be, you should keep track of your rank to see if you’re moving up toward your goals. There are many tools online that you can use for this but our favorite is BrightLocal. They have a collection of tracking reports that you can run on a regular basis to make sure you’re staying on track. It also gives you as close to real results as you’re going to get.
It’s hard to base your success solely off of rank because everyone’s search results are different. What you see when you perform a Google search for your keywords could be completely different from someone 3 miles down the road from you or even the person sitting next to you for a number of reasons. We recommend tracking rank but don’t go over react if you see a bit of fluctuation. Fluctuation in rank is natural. As long as the leads are still coming in, don’t fret about your position for individual search terms.
Google My Business Insights
In your Google My Business account there is a section called insights. This provides you tracking information from your Google Maps listing. You’ll find information such as:
- Customer search metrics
- Listing views
- Customer actions such as:
- Visits to your website
- Requests for directions
- Photo views
You can’t pull any kind of comparison data or select specific time frames using Insights so we keep track of the customer actions for our clients on a spreadsheet to compare month over month.
Top performing keywords
If you are ranking for the top keyword that you or your SEO Company chose to target for your company, you probably already have a pretty good idea what searches are generating the most traffic and leads for your business online. We recommend taking a look at your search terms report inside of your Google Webmaster Tools (Google Search Console) account anyway. Pulling that report will give you an idea of what searches are supplying the most impressions and clicks for you site. You may also find some good opportunities in this report.
If you have search terms on this report that have a high number of impressions but a low number of clicks that probably means that you don’t rank very high for that phrase but there is a lot of search for it, making it an opportunity if it makes sense for your business.
Pay attention to your best performing search terms and keep up with an SEO plan to stay competitive.
All of these elements funnel into the broader category of lead tracking. Every company should invest in some kind of CRM to track their leads. Using a CRM allows you to track the number or total leads you have, who is handling them, where they are in the sales process and what ultimately happened.
At the very least, lead tracking with a CRM will organize your customer information and remind you to take care of the people that have contacted you. If you have a significant amount of leads coming in at one time, there’s really no other way to keep it all straight and make sure you don’t forget about anyone. Don’t leave money on the table.
You can also use this to track seasonality in your business. You can see when you get the most or the best leads during the year and use that information to plan for the following year.
If you or your marketing company has not implemented any kind of tracking, how do you really know what is working and what isn’t?