Tracking is a pretty simple tool, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s easy to do, or to understand. There are different types of tracking for web design in particular, which include:
- Conversion tracking, or retracing the steps that led to a successful sale. From the moment your URL loads into a visitor’s web browser, there are a certain amount of steps, and a certain amount of seconds, had taken place between the actions. If a user spends a lot of time browsing a product page, and then clicks the “Learn More” link, and then clicks through to make the purchase, you’ve tracked their behavior, and you can learn more about what actually led to the sale. If certain steps are skipped entirely, that may or may not mean they need to be removed or improved upon. It depends on the context.
- Eye tracking, which is a relatively new and expensive way to actually physically track where a visitor’s eye is looking on a screen when they load a website. Eye tracking isn’t necessarily something that your business can or would do on its own, but public studies on eye tracking can lead to some very interesting information on where users are more likely to look on a screen, and for how long. If you want to know which elements get their attention first, it’s eye tracking reports that tell the entire story.
- Data tracking, which covers a lot of different topics that are relevant to your sales. For example, you could track the rate of traffic that your site gets from paid marketing as compared to organic links that are shared on social media or found through search engine queries. There’s just as many types of data tracking as there are types of data, but what sets it apart from conversion tracking is that there’s more of an emphasis on the entire “health” of your website, and not only your sales. SEO companies use data tracking to fine tune websites for better results over time, and comb over every aspect, from content, to color choices, to fonts, and more.
In terms of landing pages, tracking is actually even easier to do. Tracking the performance of a landing page means looking at how many conversions it gets, period. That means that you can directly compare the amount of traffic that you get to that page to the sales that you receive, which is conversion tracking in other words. You can then analyze how users interact with your landing page by where they click. For some landing pages, like review pages, that’s a simple matter of which review gets more clicks than others.
Tracking is the only way that you won’t fly blind as you put your website online. It can keep you from wasting a lot of time and money worrying about things that may not necessarily improve your traffic or your conversion rates, it also illuminates the aspects of your site that could be holding back your traffic.
A Second Opinion
One last, but very important note: Don’t trust tracking numbers at their face value. Any marketing firm will tell you that different numbers mean different things to different demographics, and how one group chooses to engage with a product they plan to purchase could be wildly different from another. If you only go by what you see in tracking numbers, you could technically come out with a higher conversion rate on your sales, but you could also potentially make changes that have the opposite effect in the long run as you’re trying to establish a brand.