April 22, 2013 Michelle Garber

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=”http://www.domain.com/offsite_tracking.html 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:

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

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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”.

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

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

 

 

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About the Author

Michelle Garber
Michelle Garber Michelle Garber (Flagstad) started out her career online doing .NET web development for the State of Missouri. After working on a variety of payment solutions and grants application development, she decided to move into the private sector. After a couple years of business analysis at DST, Inc. she started working freelance helping those in the financial services verticals with their landing pages and conversion rates. Since joining MarketizeIt as a partner, Michelle has worked on a variety of projects to help increase web quality, PPC conversion rates, web A/B testing, internal lead portal systems, SEO structuring, and a million other things to help the clients of MarketizeIt.

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