Google Analytics: How To Track Off-Site Conversions

I think one of the biggest challenges in using Google Analytics – or any other analytics software – is tracking conversions that don’t happen on our site. Most people think this would be impossible – but in reality, it’s not.

You can combine analytics event tracking and a few custom reports, and voila! Tracking off-site conversions just got that much easier. Now, you’re not going to be able to get a direct link from the web site visitor to the actual conversion (off-site), but it’s the next best thing (other than guessing).

There are two ways we can set up this tracking: manually or automatic. We’ll take a look at manually tracking outbound links first.

You can easily track exit links as events and then tie them back to your campaign. When you set up your event, you specify the event category, action, label, and value. If you want to track an outbound link as an event, you can set it up like this:

[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#FFFCB5″ end_color=”#F4CBCB” border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″]<a href=” onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘outbound’, ‘click’, ‘Application Link’]);”>Apply Now</a>[/message]

To view specific events, go to Google Analytics reports -> Content -> Event Tracking. This is how it will appear in your reports:










“Application Link” is the event label in this example.





Now you’re tracking your outbound links as events. So what else can you do?

If you want to automate tracking on your outbound links, you can always use the gaAddons script. This script will automatically track outbound, download, and mailto links as events (and more). Here are some easy instructions for implementing the script.

So now that we have our event tracking in place, let’s create a custom report to easily see how your campaigns are doing.

We’ll call this report “Events by Campaign”.















This custom report will allow you to see at once if any of your campaigns have let to an event.








Well, that’s it! Let us know what you think!



Google AdWords: Enhanced Campaigns & Mobile

If you’re running any campaigns in Google AdWords, you’ve either already switched to the new enhanced campaign feature or you will be required to in the near future (mid-2013). People are either very excited about the new features or downplaying it since some people hate change – and there’s nothing like AdWords to keep you on your toes at all times.

Enhanced campaigns have three main features:

  • Greater campaign and budget management
  • Ads based on delivery context
  • New conversion types

We’ve converted about half of our accounts to enhanced, but by far the biggest challenge for us is the inability to set an exclusive mobile campaign setting. Google’s reasoning behind the removal of a mobile setting was the growing realization that we live in a constantly connected world. They believe that “advertisers need to be present and relevant across the growing number and wide range of devices”. (source) In fact, they went so far as to visually show us their reasoning:


There’s some pretty good business reasoning behind this when we look at our own campaign metrics across various industry accounts at MarketizeIt. Three out of four mobile searches trigger follow-up actions, whether it’s further research, an in-store visit, a phone call or a purchase/lead.

So, how should you approach your mobile strategy?

  1. Review your overall mobile traffic from all sources. Compare to paid search to understand what’s really happening.
  2. Examine the page per visit, time on site, and conversions from mobile traffic to determine your actual mobile engagement. If it’s low, it’s definitely time to optimize your website’s mobile experience.
  3. If you have an ok conversion rate from mobile traffic, start thinking about how to optimize with mobile specific pages and offers.
  4. Dig into paid search settings by reviewing past mobile CPCs and adjusting enhanced campaign percentage to similar. Review locations or time of day to identify trends and considering bid adjustments to capture this.

Weekly Wrap

Some reading for your weekend!

K-Mart is being funny 🙂 Watch here

Google has your back in case you die 🙁 Set your Inactive Account Manager up today

These 4 Head-Smackingly Simple UX Changes Grew Sales 50%

You’re being monetized whether you like it or not Read More

Mobile bid adjustments at the adgroup level Read More

MarketizeIt – The Thinking Man’s (& Woman’s) Company

thinkingWe’ve been having some pretty heavy conversations here at MarketizeIt the past few weeks. Our growth rate is starting to soar and we’re experiencing the pains of any growing business. Determining our growth strategy in conjunction with our partners; working on our ever expanding workforce with high caliber employees – we assume this is the norm for any business whose tagline dares to proclaim “We Do It Better”.

No, apart from all that, we’re contemplating the thinking part of our business. It’s one thing for start ups to shoot for exercise machines and ping-pong in the middle of the desks – everyone needs a break – we get that. No one can expect to be on their game 100% of the time without pause. But it’s the pause that has our attention.

It seems that within the lines of work vs. play we’re constantly bombarded with, we’ve been told these are the lines of balance. But we’re discovering in our growth that this is, in fact, not true. There is one key element missing and it’s so pervasive we’re wondering why no one comments on it.

The true balance that occurs between work and play is thought. Thought is the common denominator that seems to be sadly and thoughtlessly thrown by the wayside in the majority of our daily work life. Thought is not a synonym for decisiveness or action – it is instead that period of time in which you remove yourself from your day and truly think about what you are doing. About a memory. About the future. About research. About the grand scheme of life.

We’re a digital marketing agency. There are days when the whole team is operating like a flight of drones attempting meaningful copy to help our clients. Or staring at PPC campaigns for 8 hours straight. Or flying to meet clients and partners. And we may have that moment when we stop and think, “What am I doing?” “What is the big picture here?”

It’s ok to have moments of doubt, of contemplation, of resetting and rebooting your own internal hard drive. To allow yourself the time to consider the impact you’re having on potential consumers’ actions. To make sure you’re doing it right.

You cannot have foresight without thought. You cannot build a successful, long serving business without thought. Are your thoughts meriting and reflecting your actions? As a young company, we want to promote ourselves as a thinking man’s company. We genuinely want the best from ourselves – and from you – in our day to day business. Think with us – because in the end that will all make us do better.


Are You Sure You Need PPC Management?

We’re getting a lot of calls lately from people looking for help managing their AdWords accounts (ppc management). At first, I attributed it to the fact that Google is transitioning all campaigns to enhanced, but I’m slowly starting to see it’s really something else. Most of our conversations are starting with our standard line of questioning – who is currently working on your campaigns, what problems are you seeing, have your conversion costs been rising, etc. But when we start the second tier of questions – the ones that really delve into your cross-channel marketing, the deliverability of your brand, the real meat of how your company presents, interacts, and remarkets to its customers – that we either get a long pause or a blank stare:

“ don’t understand, I just want someone to help me with my AdWords campaign…”

There is a major disconnect here.

If you’re starting to notice problems with your campaigns (i.e., conversion rates, quality scores, click through rates, etc.) the very first place you need to look at it your metrics.

At MarketizeIt, we look at your web strategy as a whole – not just individual pieces like campaign performance. We need to see the big picture to determine immediate short term solutions and plan for long term, ongoing optimization strategies.

To help you get started on identifying immediate areas of concern, we’re providing two free custom Google Analytics reports.

All you need to do is make sure you’re signed into your GA account as an administrator and then click on each link below. The reports will automatically load in your Custom Reports header.

Compare Days of the Week – This report is awesome for using historical trend conversion data to determine when to ramp up your adspend.

Perfect Revenue/ROI Dashboard – Want to see how you’re doing at a glance? Way more information than your average dashboard.

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