Conversion metrics are a crucial part of any search engine marketing (SEM) campaign. SEM can put your offerings in front of customers as they're searching for them. But if you aren't measuring visitor actions, you don't really know what's working.
You can track many different conversion metrics — online sales, phone calls, app downloads, in-app actions, new leads and in-store purchases to name a few. Inc. even shares a helpful list of 11 Web analytics tools to help develop a strategy for optimizing your campaign according to your business goals. You should develop a strategy that includes knowing what behaviors you want to encourage of your visitors once they land on your site, but this will vary according your campaign goals and even the business you're in.
More Than Product Sales
If you're an ecommerce website, conversion goals are clear — you want a customer to buy your product. This makes analyzing ROI relatively easy. But for other types of websites, there can be multiple events before transactions even take place. Additionally, some content-rich sites rely on display advertising for revenue. If simply clicking on a page on your site is a conversion, then cost-per-click (CPC) modeling is ideal.
For businesses that want to increase brand awareness, simply putting your name in front of potential customers serves a purpose. Your best strategy is cost per thousand (CPM) impressions bidding, which will put your message in front of customers.
If lead generation is your focus, your conversion goal might be getting visitors to contact your company. You can achieve through a few different actions, such as opening a live chat session, submitting a contact form or calling a customer service representative. Tracking metrics like click-through rate (CTR), which is the number of targeted audience members who clicked on the links in your ad or email, will show you where you're getting the best bang for your buck. And cost-per-action (CPA) bidding allows you to optimize your strategy, measuring and tracking results according to what visitors do onsite.
Conversion tracking is more accessible via the tools available today, but it's not a magic bullet. It's an ongoing process, and once you get the information, your analysis of data and how you use that to inform your strategy can make the difference between failure or success.