Contact Us Conversion Tracking

Contact Us Conversion Tracking

Contact us conversion tracking counts the number of sales leads your business generates from your website. Just about every website offers a method for people to connect. How does your website ask people to connect with your business – A form, clicking an email or phone number, maybe all three?

If you want to know how many times these connection methods are used, this post is for you. It will show you step by step how to track form completions, phone and email clicks using Google Analytics.

Lead Conversion Tracking

Prerequisite of Contact Us Conversion Tracking.

Before getting into the details, make sure you have properly installed Google Analytics 4 and in Google Tag Manager you have set your GA4 configuration tag. If not follow the instructions on Google Analytics Installation Guide and then return to this post.

Phone and Email Click Tracking

Let’s start with phone clicks. Before we configure this in Tag Manager, we need to ensure your phone number is clickable.

Steps summary:

  • Check phone number on your website is clickable
  • Configure Tag
  • Set Trigger
  • Test the tags work

Check phone and email links are clickable

Before we open Google Tag Manager, we need to check that there is a phone and email link on your website. On a desktop computer, move the mouse over the phone number, and if it changes from an arrow to a finger pointing, the link is clickable. That’s good!

Do the same with an email address on your website. Hover over the email, and if the mouse becomes a pointing finger, the link is clickable. Again, this is good.

If the links are not clickable

If your email and phone number are not clickable, contact your website developer ask them to make these assets clickable. Be sure they make all instances your phone number and email address clickable!

Create your phone and email tags

Once you are certain your phone and email links are clickable, you are ready to make your tags. Here’s how:

  1. Log into your Google Tag Manager. You should be taken to the ‘Workspace’ area. On the left menu, click ‘Tags’ and then ‘New’ on the right.
  2. A new tag configuration will appear. At the top left, give the tag a name: you can name it what you wish. For this example, I chose ‘Contact Phone Number’.
  3. Next, click the ‘Tag Configuration’ area. A menu appears to choose your tag type. This will be a Google Analytics GA4 Event, so we will click that.
  4. Configuration Tag is your Google Analytics Measurement ID, which should be set up. Click the drop down, and then click the ID. This tells Tag Manager to send the click information to your Google Analytics 4 account.

Name the event: You can use any name you wish, but I recommend something you will recognize when analyzing data in Google Analytics. For this example, I use ‘phone_lead,’ because that identifies the click as a ‘lead’ and the lead came by ‘phone’.

Since this is a simple tag, I usually skip Event Parameters, User Properties, and Advanced Settings.

Set the Triggers for the phone and email tags

This brings us to ‘Triggering’. Most tags have a trigger. The trigger identifies the rules, or criteria, that must be met for the tag to work.

  1. Click in the ‘Triggering’ section where you will probably have a few triggers, including the ‘All Pages’ trigger, showing. These triggers were created automatically by Google. For what we are doing, we need to create a new trigger:
  2. Click the blue ‘+’ (plus) sign in the top right corner. We are now creating the trigger for the phone call clicks tag.
  3. In the top left corner, give the trigger a title. To make triggers easy to associate with tags, I suggest using the same name as your tag. Since the tag is called ‘Contact Phone Number’, give the trigger the same name.
  4. Next, click the ‘Trigger Configuration’ area, and the ‘Choose trigger type’ menu appears. This menu contains Google Tag Manager’s pre-configured trigger types. As you can see, there are several of them to choose from.
  5. Since the phone number is a link (remember, we had to hover over the phone number to see if a link existed?) We will choose ‘Just Links’.
  6. Skip ‘Wait for Tags’ and ‘Check Validation’.
  7. Under ‘This trigger fires on,’ the ‘All Link Clicks’ option is checked by default. However, we only want our trigger to fire on links related to the phone number, so check ‘Some Link Clicks.’
  8. There are three boxes that need to be completed: In the first box, click the dropdown menu and select ‘Click URL’. In the second box, click the drop down and select ‘Contains’, and then in the far left box, enter: ‘tel:’. This is the html code that makes your phone number clickable.
  9. Click ‘Save’ to save the trigger, then click ‘Save’ in the upper right corner.

You have completed making a Phone Click Tag!

Test that the Tags Work

  1. Click the ‘Preview’ button, and then the blue ‘Connect’ button.
  2. Once connected, find a phone number on your website, and click on it.
  3. Move to the ‘Tag Assistant (Connected)’ tab that automatically opened. Look for the ‘Phone Lead’ tag in the ‘Tags that fired’ section.
  4. If the tag fired, close the two preview browser tabs.

Email Link Tag

The email link tag will be almost identical to the phone tag. In fact, you can copy the phone tag and phone trigger.

Start with copying the trigger

  1. Change the trigger name in the top left to ‘email_lead,’ and then open the click URL box. The box on the right says ‘tel:’. Change that to ‘mailto:’ and click save in the top right. Your email trigger is complete.
  2. Return to the main workspace screen and in the left menu click ‘Tags’.
  3. Find the ‘phone_lead’ tag and open it. Find the three stacked dots on the right and click ‘Copy’.
  4. Change the tag name to ‘Email Lead’.
  5. Change the event name to ‘Email_lead’
  6. Click on the ‘triggering’ area and you will see the phone trigger appear. Remove that by clicking the minus sign.
  7. Click the plus sign, and then click on the email trigger. Click save.

Now perform a preview to ensure the tag works.

If the tag works, click the blue ‘Submit’ button in the top right.

Form Tagging

You probably have some type of contact form on your website. This section shows some ways to tag your forms, so the number of completions is reported in your Google Analytics.

The form tracking shown in this post is for very simple forms that can use Google Tag Manager’s pre-configured form variables, such as Form ID and Form Class.

What you need for Form Tagging

Before we start, you should be using a Chrome browser because that makes it easier to find elements of code we will need.

  1. Have your website open on a page with your form.
  2. Open another tab and make sure you are logged into your Google Tag Manager Account and on the Workspace screen.

Check what you can see behind the form

We need to determine if we can create the form tag ourselves, or if a developer needs to become involved. This requires looking at the code managing forms on your website. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.

  1. Go to any form on your website and locate the submit button.
  2. Right click on the submit button
  3. If you are using the Google Chrome browser, at the bottom of your screen will be a lot of code.

Look through that for either ‘form ID, or ‘form class’. If you find either of those items, we should be able to build the form tag.

Cannot find either Form ID or Form Class

If you cannot find either ‘form ID’, or ‘form class’, this post will not be able to help you. You should contact your website developer and engage their assistance. Most developers can get this type of thing done in a couple of hours.

You Found either form ID or Form Class

Keep reading! You are almost finished setting up conversion tracking, and your form can easily be tracked. Follow the instructions below:

Enable Google Tag Manager Built-In Form Variables

We need to enable all the form variables ‘Form ID’ and ‘Form Class so we can use them as needed to configure our trigger.

From the Google Tag Manager ‘Workspace Screen’:

  1. Click ‘Variables’ in the left menu.
  2. A new menu pops out on the right side of your screen. Scroll down that menu until you see ‘Forms’. This shows you all Tag Manager’s built-in form variables that can be used to capture information.
  3. It’s harmless to check off all the form boxes, but you really only need ‘Form Class’ and ‘Form ID’. Notice to the left, each of the checked form variables are added to the list of enabled variables. These are all ready for use.
  4. To close the variables menu, click the ‘X’ at the top of this menu.

Build the From Trigger

  1. On the left menu, click triggers. We are going to build the rules for the form tag.
  2. Click ‘New’ in the upper right
  3. Name the trigger ‘Lead Form Trigger’
  4. Click the ‘Trigger Configuration’ area; the ‘Choose trigger type’ menu pops out.
  5. Click ‘Form Submission’.
  6. Leave the ‘Wait for Tags’ box unchecked.
  7. Check the ‘Check Validation’ box, which opens an additional configuration. The check validation means the form must be completed, or the tag will not work/fire. It prevents the tag from firing when users do not properly complete the form.
  8. Now we are going to set up the ‘Check Validation’ boxes. Starting with the far left box, click the down arrow and find ‘Page URL’. If you cannot find ‘Page URL’, click ‘Choose Built-in Variable’ at the bottom of the dropdown menu, and then find ‘Page URL’.
  9. In second box, click the down arrow, and find ‘matches RegEx’.
  10. In the third box, enter ‘.*’ (that’s a dot with an asterisk).
  11. The next section is ‘This trigger fires on’. Check ‘Some Forms.’
  12. Starting with the left box, select either ‘Form Classes’ or ‘Form ID, whichever one you found when looking at the form code.
  13. In the next box, select ‘Contains.’
  14. Open the tab with your website form and go to the form submission button.
  15. Return to your website form code, and copy either the form class or form Id, whichever one you have. Paste this into the last box on the right.
  16. Click save at the top.

Build The Tag

  1. Next, we need to make the tag. Click on ‘Tags’ on the left menu and then ‘New’ in the upper right.
  2. Name the tag ‘Lead Form’.
  3. Click the tag configuration area, and from the menu on the right, select ‘Google Analytics: GA4 Event.’
  4. Add your GA4 Configuration ID
  5. Under ‘Event Name,’ input ‘form_submission_lead’.
  6. Click the ‘Trigger’ area and click on the form trigger we just made ‘Lead Form Trigger.’
  7. Click save.

Form Testing

So, let’s see if what we did works, like we did with the phone and email tags.

  1. In the top right corner, click ‘Preview’, then ‘Connect.
  2. Navigate to the page with your form and complete the form.
  3. Go to the ‘Tag Assistant [Connected]’ tab and see if the tag fired.

If the tag fired, congratulations, tag is working!

If the tag did not fire, we need to revisit the trigger and try a new input:

  1. Close the preview tabs and return to your Tag Manager workspace home.
  2. Click ‘Triggers’ in the left menu.
  3. Open the form trigger.
  4. In the box where we have ‘Form Classes,’ click the drop down and select ‘Form ID.’
  5. Return to the tab with your web form open, right click the submission button, and look for ‘id=’ and copy the words / numbers that follow. Paste that information in the far right box back on the form trigger.
  6. Save the trigger and click the preview button and repeat the process of completing your form and identifying if the tag fired.
  7. If the tag fired, click save. And then ‘Publish’ in the top right corner.

What to do if struggling to get form tracking to work

If the tag did not fire, it is alright. Remember, forms are the trickiest item to configure. You may want to consider hiring someone to build your form tag or change your form provider.

On the other hand if you insist on learning how to do this yourself Analytics Mania has a very helpful blog. One post in particular is all about forms. There’s lots of helpful information on the website.

For WordPress websites, Gravity Forms is an excellent form management choice. There is a ton of flexibility to collect valuable information, and it’s very easy to track form completions with Tag Manager. However, it’s not free!

Setting Conversions in GA4

The good news is, that technical ‘heavy lifting’ is now done. The final step in conversion tracking set up is to ‘tell’ Google Analytics your conversions. When someone on your website clicks your phone number or email address, or completes your form, we want Google to count those actions as conversions.

We just need to tell that to Google Analytics, and that’s easy.

Before you can set your conversions in GA4, go on your website and click a phone number, click an email, and complete a form. This ensures that all three happened on your website. Then, wait 24 hours.


After 24 hours, you’re ready to set your conversions:

Log into your Google Analytics Account. Make sure you are looking at the GA4 Property. The ID number will be only numbers, no letters.

  1. On the far left menu there are icons. Hover your mouse over those icons and click on ‘Configure’.
  2. You should now see all the events from your website. We are only interested in those we configured in Tag Manager. Remember, we gave each of those events a name:
  • Phone Clicks: phone_lead
  • Email Clicks: Email_lead
  • Form Completions: form_submission_lead

Look for each of these event names in the chart.

  1. In the far right column, you will see ‘Mark as conversion’. Make sure that button is turned on for phone clicks, email clicks and form completions.
  2. If you do not see these events listed, return to your website and perform each of these events on your website. Wait 24 hours, and then return to this page and mark the conversions.

Congratulations, now you are all set with conversion tracking!

Google Analytics 4 Installation Guide

Google Analytics 4 Installation Guide

Google Analytics installation is the first step to conversion tracking. You need conversion tracking to understand if your marketing is making money or wasting money. Without concrete data you’re left guessing and hoping that your online campaigns are working. And you know the old saying: Hope is not a strategy.

This post shows you how to install Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager and together these two products make conversion tracking much easier. We’ll cover installation of Tag Manager and Google Analytics (GA4).

Let’s get Google Tag Manager on your website and then install Google Analytics. Here’s how it works:

Identifying your Google Analytics Installation

There are currently two versions of Analytics available:

  • Universal Analytics, which has been around for several years and will be deprecated in June 2023. Data currently in your UA account cannot be transferred to GA4. The databases are completely different.
  • GA4, which is the replacement version and is available now.

Your Google Analytics situation will fit one of these scenarios:

  1. You have GA4 installed on your website. If so, skip down to the Google Tag Manager Section.
  2. You have the old version Google Analytics, but are unsure if you have GA4, or know you do not have it.
  3. You do not have a Google Analytics account.

You have the old version of Google Analytics but you’re unsure if you have GA4

Let’s check to see if you have a Google Analytics 4 property:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics account.
  2. Google Analytics AdminIn the bottom left corner, click the admin or ‘gear’ icon.
  3. A three-panel screen will open—Account, Property, and View. Look at the center panel, ‘Property’. You will see your Universal Analytics (older version) at the top. We know it’s Universal Analytics because the ID number is prefaced by ‘UA-‘. If you see a down arrow over to the right, it means you have multiple properties (which is a good sign for GA4).
  4. If you see a down arrow, click on it to
  5. You will see a list of all your properties. GA4 properties will have all numbers in the ID and are NOT prefaced by ‘UA-‘.

Create a GA4 Property on Your Existing Analytics Account

If you do not see a GA4 property, we can create one right now in just a few minutes:

  1. Click the blue ‘Create Property’ button. If that button is greyed out it means you do not have Administrator level access. You will need to ask the person who manages your Analytics account to upgrade your authorization.
  2. After clicking on ‘+ Create Property,’ follow the ‘Property setup prompts on the next screen: Property Name (use your website domain name); Set Time Zone and Currency, then click ‘Next’.
  3. The next screen asks for information about your business; check the appropriate boxes and click ‘Create’. You now have a Google Analytics GA4 property!
  4. You will be presented with the ‘Google Site Tag,’ which has some code to be installed on your website. To reduce the number of tags on your website, we will be installing your Analytics using Google Tag Manager. You can close out the code on your screen.

Leave this browser tab open, we will need it shortly.

Now go to the Google Tag Manager Section below.

I do not have a Google Analytics Account

If you do not have a Google Analytics account, you will need to create one. It’s easy, and only takes a moment.

  1. Go to https://analytics.google.com and follow the create account prompts. The system will automatically create a GA4 property for you.
  2. After clicking on ‘+ Create Property,’ follow the ‘Property setup’ prompts on the next screen: Property Name (use your website domain name), Set Time Zone and Currency, then click ‘Next’.
  3. The next screen asks for information about your business; check the appropriate boxes and click ‘Create’. You now have a Google Analytics GA4 property!
  4. You will be presented with the ‘Google Site Tag,’ which has some code to be installed on your website. To reduce the number of tags on your website, we will be installing your Analytics using Google Tag Manager. You can close out the code on your screen.

Leave this browser tab open, we will need it shortly.

Now go to the Google Tag Manager Section below.

Leave this browser tab open, we will need it shortly.

Now go to the Google Tag Manager Section below.

Create Google Tag Manager Account

You can skip this section if you already have a Google Tag Manager Account with a GA4 configuration tag.

Gmail account

In order to create a Google Tag Manager account, you must have either a free or paid Gmail account. If you don’t have a gmail address, create one before taking away further steps.

Create Account and Container

Installing Google Analytics begins with Installing Google Tag Manager.

Go to https://tagmanager.google.com and click the ‘create account’ link. On the ‘Add New Account’ page complete the form:

  1. ‘Account name’ should be your business name.
  2. Country; the country of your business.
  3. ‘Container Name’ should be your website address.
  4. Target platform should be ‘Web’.
  5. Click ‘Create.’

Read the terms, and if you agree, click through.

You have created your Google Tag Manager account!

Load Tag Manager on Your Website

The next step is to load Tag Manager on every page of your website.

Tag Manager presents you with a screen containing two sets of code. To a non-coder, this does not mean very much. But don’t worry, you don’t have to understand the code, you just have to copy and paste one in the <head> of each website page and post the other in the <body> of each website page.

For non techies like me, if you did not understand about the head tag and body tag, do not attempt to insert the code to your website. You could bring down your site.

There are easier ways:

  1. Ask your website developer to load the code.
  2. Use a website plugin. Most popular website platforms like WordPress, Shopify, etc. have created simple ways to install Google Tag Manager without being bothered with code. For WordPress websites,
  3. add a header / footer ‘injection’ plugin and paste the Google Tag Manager code.

Option 1 – Ask your website developer to install the code

This is the simplest option. It should take your website manager only a few minutes to install the code. In fact, it’s very rare for a developer to charge for such a simple task.

Here’s what you need to prepare for your developer

Web code can be finicky, and sometimes applications like MSWord and email applications change the code’s symbols when pasted to their application.

For this reason, DO NOT paste this code directly into these applications.

Instead, open a text program, such as Notepad, and paste the Tag Manager code in there. Save the file. These programs will preserve the integrity of the code. Include the installation instructions in your message to your developer.

Option 2—Install Tag Manager with a Plugin

If you are using a plugin, you likely won’t need that code. Instead, you will need your Google Tag Manager Container ID.

To find your Container ID, click on ‘Admin’ in the top navigation menu. On the upper right side of the screen, you will see an alpha numeric code that begins with ‘GTM-‘. Copy that ID.

Go into your website plugin and find the place to enter that code. If you use WordPress, download a Google Tag Manager Plugin, and activate it.

If you are using Shopify, go into the ‘Marketing’ area and you will find a place to insert the ID number.

Most website platforms have a place to load Google Tag Manager for you. If needed, use the platform’s support to find the spot.

Paste the Google Tag Manager ID in the designated place and save the work.

We are now ready to go inside Tag Manager and make a few tags.

WordPress websites: Installing Tag Manager with a ‘Header / Footer Plugin

The Tag Manager code instructions tell us to insert the code into the ‘head’ of each page. There are WordPress plugins that will do just that.

Here’s how to find and configure a header/footer plugin:

  1. Log into your WordPress website and click on ‘Plugins’ on the left menu and then click ‘Add New’. If you do not see Plugins listed in the left menu, this means you do not have administrative access to your website. Contact your web developer or whoever has administrative access and ask them to increase your user access to ‘Administrator’.
  2. Click ‘search,’ and in the search box write ‘Head / Footer injection.’ Download and activate a plugin you like. Here’s a tip: Try to find a plugin with a high number of ‘active installs,’ good ratings, and has been updated recently. All this information is visible in the plugin details.
  3. Install and activate the plugin.
  4. Find the plugin information, which in the left menu. Some plugins create a new menu item, others get added under Tools.
  5. In the plugin setup, there will be a spot to paste the code and then save.

Google Tag Manager is now installed on your website!

GA4 Configuration Tag

Now that Google Tag Manager is installed on your website, let’s connect it to your Google Analytics account. All we need to do is insert your Analytics Measurement ID into Tag Manager. Here’s how:

Return to Analytics to get your Measurement ID

  1. In your open Google Analytics browser tab (or a new browser tab), return to your Google Analytics account.
  2. In the bottom left panel, click ‘Admin’.
  3. On the right panel under ‘Property’ click the ‘Data Streams’ menu item.
  4. You will see your Analytics account. Click the arrow on the far right to open the ‘Web stream details’ screen.
  5. In the top right corner, you will see ‘MEASUREMENT ID’. We will need that ID to put Google Analytics on your website. Copy the ID to your clip board.
  6. Return to your Google Tag Manager tab and Click on the ‘Tags’ in the left side menu and then click ‘New’.
  7. Name the tag in the upper left: Google Analytics [paste your Google Analytics measurement ID].
  8. Click in the ‘Tag Configuration’ area, which opens a menu. Choose ‘Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration.’
  9. The next screen shows a box called ‘Measurement ID’. Paste your Google Analytics measurement ID there. Make sure the ‘Send a page view event when this configuration loads’ box is checked.
  10. Scroll down to ‘Triggering,’ and click in the white space there. Select the ‘All Pages’ Trigger.
  11. Click ‘Save’.

Make sure the tag words with a quick test

Before we can call this tag complete, we need to test it. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the ‘Tags’ screen.
  2. In the top right corner, you will see ‘Preview’ and ‘Submit’. Click ‘Preview.
  3. On the next screen, input your website URL, including the prefix ‘https://’ and then click ‘Connect’.
  4. Two browser tabs open; one titled ‘Tag Assistant [Connected]’, the other your website name. Go to the ‘Tag Assistant’ tab and click ‘Connect’. You should see ‘Tags Fired,’ and under that you should see the tag you just created. It will be the name of the tag.
  5. Close this tab and return to Tag Manager. Click ‘Submit’ in the upper right corner.

You have just loaded Google Analytics to your website!

If the tag did not fire, go back through these instructions.


You have successfully installed Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics 4 on your website. Now you are ready for website tagging and tracking important conversions like form completions, phone call and email clicks and a whole lot more!



How Conversion Tracking Works

How Conversion Tracking Works

You’ve invested a lot of time and money into your website so that it can attract new customers and generate leads and sales for your business. But do you know if it’s paying off? How much revenue has your website generated for you in the past week, month, or even year? If you are able to answer this, congratulations, you likely have conversion tracking set up. If not, this post is for you.

Conversion tracking is crucial to understanding how well your website is working for you. Below, I will explain what it is, how it works, and why it’s so important. Subsequent posts provide instructions to set up GA4 conversion tracking.

What is a Conversion

Let’s start with what a conversion actually is. Simply put, a conversion is Google’s way of saying “people doing what you want them to do on your website.”

For example, on an e-commerce website, a conversion would be when a customer places an order. On a lead generation website, a conversion can be completing a contact form, clicking on a phone number to call you, opening an online chat session, or clicking an email button to send you a message.

Each of these actions are conversions for your business through your website.

Why is Conversion Tracking so Important?

There’s a famous marketing expression you may have heard: “I know half my marketing is working; I just don’t know which half.” (John Wannamaker, July 11, 1838 – December 12, 1922)

John Wanamaker famous quote

You don’t have to guess with conversion tracking

Thankfully, the website tracking software we have today takes that guesswork away and gives you a clear picture of your website data, so you can see exactly which advertising and traffic sources are generating sales.

That information is captured by two free products working together on your website: Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is free website tracking software that can tell you where your website traffic comes from, which devices people are using when they visit your website, what buttons they click, which pages they view, and a lot more.

Using the data from Google Analytics will allow you to make informed decisions about your online marketing programs, because you’ll be able to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Although Google Analytics is a very useful and powerful tool, it’s not perfect on its own. It’s built to record clicks, page views, and many other actions visitors take on your website, but it isn’t good at providing specific information about what the actions actually mean. For example, if a phone number is clicked, Google Analytics will tell you there was a click, but not that it was on the phone number. For this information, you need to also set up tags.

Google Analytics Plays Tag with Website Assets

Simply put, tags are pieces of code with filing instructions for Google Analytics. When any action, or asset, you want to track on your website is given a tag, you’re telling Google Analytics exactly what the action is, and in turn, Google Analytics can give you concrete data on how often those actions were taken on your site.

Tagging Website Assets Drives Conversion Tracking

Tags provide instructions to Google Analytics on how you want the click data stored. But it hasn’t always been easy.

It used to be a lot more technical to configure tags, because it involved inserting code directly into the website’s html code. As a result, tagging consumed a lot of web developers’ time because each individual asset required a tag. For example, if your website displayed your phone number in 10 different places, you would need to configure 10 tags. This also applied to each appearance of videos, forms, and any other valuable asset on your site.

Too many tags can make the website run much slower. It’s a little like running a 100-meter dash with a sack of potatoes tied to your ankles.

Google Tag Manager – the Conversion Tracker’s Best Friend

Google Tag Manager is a powerful and versatile free product that allows you to track just about anything on your site without the added bloat of injected code. It’s also a lot easier to set up and use.

Once it’s installed on each of your website pages, Google Tag Manager lets you create tags that capture click data from every asset you configure. This data is sent to your Google Analytics, so it can be read in a way that makes sense. For example, you will know a specific phone number was clicked or a form completed.

Instructions on how to configure Google Tag Manager to capture specific data about clicks on individual assets is covered in another post.

How to Get Your Advertising Results Without Guessing

How to Get Your Advertising Results Without Guessing

Understand your Advertising ResultsAdvertising across multiple platforms is a great way to increase sales. But how do you know which advertising works, which advertising results are best? Which advertising source brings you the most sales?

Checking the data on each platform individually is time-consuming and inefficient and that usually pushes most of us to guess.

John Wanamaker had to guess advertising results

Source; Wikipedia

We’re in the digital age and tracking advertising results is really not that hard.

Keep All Your Advertising Results In One Place

It’s best to track all your advertising data in one place such as Google Analytics website tracking application. With just a quick tweak to the link in your ad you can have all your results in Google Analytics.

This way, when you advertise on Google and through social media platforms like Facebook, you can get an at-a-glance comparison of your sales leads from each source.

Three Basics of Advertising Results Tracking

In fact, there are three things that must be in place before I begin any advertising with my customers:

  1. Goals are set in Google Analytics.
  2. Google Ads Auto Tagging and Goal Import is set up.
  3. Facebook and all other online ads are tagged with a UTM code.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.

Google Analytics Goals

Google Analytics’ free website tracking application is the core of your data tracking. This is where you’ll go to view and compare your data.

Here’s how to set this up:

  1. Set up Google Tag Manager: This free product tracks clicks on your forms. On e-commerce sites, you can enable e-commerce tracking. For Shopify sites, the setting for e-commerce tracking is under ‘Online Store’ under ‘Preferences’. Ensure the ‘E-commerce’ box is enabled.
  2. Set your goals in Google Analytics: You will find those in the Admin section under the ‘View’ panel.

Google Ads Auto Tagging and Goal Import

Auto Tagging is what enables your Google Ads click and conversion data to be transferred between Analytics and Google Ads.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Link your Google Analytics to your Google Ads account: In Google Analytics, go into Admin, and in the ‘Property’ panel, click ‘Linked Products.’ Select Google Ads and input your account number.
  2. Set up Auto Tagging: Go into your Google Ads account, and under ‘Account Settings’ on the side menu, ensure ‘Auto Tagging’ is set to ‘’
  3. Import your Goals from Google Analytics to your Google Ads account: Click the wrench icon in the upper right navigation menu, then click ‘Conversions.’ Select ‘Import,’ and your Google Analytics goals should appear. Check off the goals you want to import.

Facebook and other Advertising Tracking

When you compare all your traffic sources against each other in Google Analytics, you can actually see what sources are converting, bouncing, full of new users, and much more advertising results. The Google Analytics screenshot below shows the traffic volume from each source and the number of times a sales lead was generated from that source. What a wonderful instant comparison!

Source Medium shows Advertising Results

Notice numbers five, seven and ten: PaidSocial / Facebook, Kitchissippi Times (a local newspaper), and GMB (Google My Business) / Organic. None of these are included in Google Analytics by default; they are all third party advertising vehicles.

I track the performance of these advertisements by ‘tagging’ the link to back to your website.

Let’s play tag

A tag is a set of instructions that tells Google Analytics how to classify a link. It’s actually an HTML code called an UTM code that surrounds your link.

Here’s an example of what a tagged link (with HTML code embedded) might look like:


Don’t worry… it’s not as scary as it looks.

Wait it’s much easier…. There’s a free tool to do it for you.

First, here are a couple of useless facts:

  1. UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module.
  2. Urchin was a company that Google purchased many years ago.

Google has built an easy-to-use tool that does all the coding for you. It’s called Google URL Builder, and yes, it’s free!

When you open the Google URL Builder tool, the first thing you will need to do is input your landing page. This is the page you are sending the user to when they click your ad.

Next, there are three more fields to navigate:

Source: The site where the traffic is coming from. For example, Facebook, Google My Business, New York Times, etc.

Medium: This is a broad channel grouping. For example, Social, Organic, Paid, Email, Affiliates, PaidSocial.

Each medium may have many sources. For example Paid Social (representing social media advertising you are paying for) might include sources such as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, and other social media sites.

Campaign (optional): This is the promotion or product that is being promoted.

Google URL Builder creates your tag as you complete the fields

As you complete the fields, you’ll notice a URL full of %, ? symbols at the bottom of the page. Don’t worry, it all means something. Once you’re done filling in the fields, just copy the URL and past it into your ads.

Some of these URLs might be overly long. I suggest using a URL shortener like Bitly to cut them down to size.

Make sure the link works

When you add your URL to your ads, test it to ensure it links to the correct landing page. Then, check your Google Analytics Realtime traffic sources to test that it is picking up the correct source and medium.

By following these simple steps, you can keep all your advertising data in one place, and quickly and easily see your advertising results.

6 Reasons You Are Missing Marketing Opportunities

6 Reasons You Are Missing Marketing Opportunities

You would know more about your business if you listened to your website

Have you ever felt like you know if you are missing marketing opportunities? It’s kind of like, ’I don’t know what I don’t know.’

Marketing gives many of us that feeling, because we often cannot see direct outcomes of our investments and effort.

When done correctly, marketing gets customers through your door or to your website. Whether it’s through social media, speaking, networking, or paid advertising, businesses need marketing to grow.

But how do you know if your marketing strategy is working? This is a question business people have been asking since marketing and advertising were invented. Back in the 1920s, department store magnate John Wanamaker famously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

John Wanamaker famous quote

Thankfully, we live in a digital age where everything can be tracked, so you can easily see which half of your marketing is working. This means you can spot marketing opportunities and do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.

Unfortunately, I see too many businesses that are missing key marketing opportunities because the owners have misconceptions about online tracking. Not taking the time to fully understand how to track your online marketing puts you in the same boat as John Wanamaker.

Here are the top six misconceptions about tracking online marketing—and why they may be holding you back:

1.  Believing Tracking Marketing Results is Difficult

Web tracking is different, but not difficult. There’s a lot of data packed into charts and graphs, with terminology like users, sessions, and conversions. Google Analytics (free web tracking software) gives the definitions in the charts and graphs, so you always know what you are looking at.

2.  Believing They Don’t Have Marketing Tracking Technology

Google Analytics is a free web tracking software that tells you where website visitors came from (including which marketing program), what pages they visited, which buttons they clicked, and a lot more. Google Analytics is free, and when your website was created, your developer probably loaded it onto your site.  You would be amazed how many times I tell customers they already have in installed.

3.  Not Using the Full Power of Google Analytics

Many businesses that know Google Analytics is installed on their website have not done any setup or configuration. In just a few minutes, Google Analytics can be configured so it presents data that is useful to you.

For example, how nice would it be to know at a glance:

  • How many lead forms were completed on each of your marketing programs?
  • How many sales were made in each of your marketing programs?
  • How many people signed up for your email list through your various marketing programs?
  • And so much more.

By configuring Google Analytics, your data is organized to answer just about any important marketing questions you have.

4.  Believing Marketing Tracking is Too Expensive

A basic web tracking set up for most businesses is generally done in a few hours, for under $500. Almost all the work is done at the beginning, with setting up goals, filters, etc. This is the ‘set and forget’ stuff—once it’s done, you don’t have to go back to it for a long time.

Web tracking is not expensive…. It just needs a little TLC to get started.

5.  Not using tracking codes for email newsletters, Social Media, and other Campaigns

Tracking codes are added to the links that go back to your website from your email blast, social media, advertisements, etc. You need a unique tracking code for each marketing campaign you run.

For example, suppose you have a ‘Spring blowout sale’ that you promote on Facebook, email blasts and an advertisement on another website. All have links back to the ‘spring blowout sale’ landing page on your website. Each of those links should contain a different:

  • Facebook (you can see how many sales came from Facebook); and
  • Email blast

6.  Not Looking at Marketing Tracking Frequently Enough

It’s easy to forget. We’re all busy and have tons of things to do, and besides, it’s not always fun looking at charts and graphs.

Use automated reports

Being busy is business reality. Automated reports send a snapshot of your marketing performance to your inbox once a week, once a month, or once a day—whatever frequency you choose. If you see an issue, click on the report and investigate. Really, it’s that easy!

How to set up Google Ads Conversion Tracking

How to set up Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Paper airplane arcing and swerving to target

Tracking advertising results can be a bit like following a paper airplane arc and swerve toward a target. Google Ads conversion tracking removes the swooping and swerving enabling you see what users do after they click on your ad; the pages they visit, the buttons they click, which business goals are achieved and much more.


With conversion tracking properly implemented you can quickly and unequivocally answer your most important questions:

  • How many lead forms did we get (from Google Ads, Social Media, SEO, etc.)?
  • How many sales were made?
  • How many people signed up for your email list?
  • And too many more things about your business marketing to list here.

This is the information you use to optimize your campaigns, ad groups, keywords, extensions and ads. You know exactly what is working and what isn’t.

In this article you will learn your Google Ads conversion tracking choices, the value of linking with Google Analytics and then how to import goals from Analytics to Google Ads.

Google Ads Conversion Tracking Choices

You actually have three choices when setting up Google Ads conversion tracking:

  1. Website: Tracks sales and other meaningful actions on your website
  2. Import: Conversions are imported from other systems, like Google Analytics
  3. Phone Calls: Tracks the use of calls from your ads.

Google Ads Conversion Options

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Website: Tracks sales and other meaningful actions on your website

This is my least favourite option because it only tracks Google Ads conversions, ignoring all other traffic sources, such as SEO, social media, etc. For that reason, I have never implemented this method of conversion tracking.

When to use Website Conversion Tracking

In my opinion… never.

Phone Calls: Tracks the use of calls from your ads

Google Ads phone call conversion tracking only tracks phone calls when people click on the phone number in your ad. It is common for mobile users to click the phone number in a Google Ad to contact the business. That’s a conversion! But remember, this method doesn’t bring them to your website.

Phone call conversion tracking should be used simultaneously with either the ‘Website’ method or the ‘Import’ method, which we’ll get into in a moment.

When to use phone call conversion tracking

In my opinion… always. Set this up when you use call extensions in Google Ads. Once you set call extensions or call-only ads, Google Ads automatically tracks calls.

Important: Phone call tracking can (and should) be set up with any other conversion tracking method, either Website or Import.

Import: Conversions are imported from Google Analytics

In my opinion, this is by far the best choice. It leaves little room for error (unlike the ‘Website’ option) and is relatively easy to implement.

‘Website’ (pasting conversion code into your website’s HTML code) appears deceptively simple but is fraught with technical potholes capable of ruining conversion tracking.

Here is a more in depth comparison of Importing from Google Analytics and the Website Tracking code option.

Import is a little more work to set up, but the rich data returned to you makes this option incredibly valuable. Here’s how to implement it:

Setting up Import Goals from Google Analytics

Google Ads conversion tracking actually begins with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, both of which are free products. These two tracking applications provide vital performance information for all your website traffic sources.

Presumably, you are using Google Ads to get more business. But you only know if Google Ads is producing that additional business if proper tracking is implemented. Any good tracking system also makes traffic source comparison easy; Google Ads’ performance should be compared to other sales channels, like social media, other advertising, SEO, and more.

Broadly speaking, with a little effort and time you can set up your tracking in three steps:

  1. Identify what you want people to do on your website.
  2. Tag website assets and set goals in Google Analytics.
  3. Set up your Google Ads conversion tracking.

Let’s take a closer look at each step.

Identify the actions you want people to take on your website

It sounds obvious. Your list probably includes having people to buy something, collecting sales leads, engaging with your business. This is where details matter—what website assets enable people to accomplish these goals? You probably have a form, email address, phone number, maybe even chat boxes. E-commerce sites have shopping cart buttons and payment processor sites people need to get to.

Take a moment to think about what you want people to do on your website and how that is handled.  For example:

  • Contact your business (by completing a form or clicking your phone number or email)
  • Make a purchase (by clicking they buy button and going to the payment processor)
  • Engage with your website (by spending five minutes on the site)
  • Engage with your business (by subscribing to your email list)
  • The list goes on. Your list may have different actions, but what’s important is that you make your list.

Set Goals in Google Analytics

Ready Set Goal - Google Analytics goal set up

Google Analytics is free website tracking software and the workhorse of your data’s organization. It may already be loaded on your website—many developers just add it as a good practice. However, most businesses have not done any setup, like setting goals, so they can retrieve interesting but useless information, such as numbers of page views, users, etc.


There’s nothing like data organized by specific, targeted actions to sharpen your decision-making focus. In a few clicks, you can quickly answer questions like:

  • How many lead forms did we get (from Google Ads, Social Media, SEO, etc.)
  • How many sales were made?
  • How many people signed up for your email list?
  • And too many more things about your business marketing to list here.

Literally, by clicking a few buttons those questions are answered!

The Role of Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager helps Google Analytics track actions taken on your website. By default, Google Analytics is built to count only when a website page changes. For example, when a user goes from your home page to your products / services page, and then to your Contact us page, it would track all three pages.

However, many important actions, like form completions, playing a video, clicking email links, etc. happen without a website page changing. If the web page does not change, the action is not tracked unless you use Google Tag Manger—it too is free.

Among the many things that Google Tag Manager tracks are the clicks on website assets that you have ‘tagged.’ Each ‘tag’ offers Google Analytics a set of instructions on how to store this data.

I highly recommend installing Google Tag Manager. It’s an awesome product that does so much more, but that’s another story.

With Google Tag Manger, you ‘tag’ your forms, email and phone links, videos, PDFs, and anything else you consider an important action. Tagging some website assets may require a developer to deal with web language and some scripting, but it’s usually pretty routine.

Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics working together

Set Goals in Google Analytics

With Google Tag Manger and Google Analytics working together, we must get into your Analytics and start ‘telling’ it about that list of actions you want people to take on your website. These are called ‘goals’ in Google Analytics. Setting them takes only a few minutes, and usually does not require a developer or any programming.

With your goals set in in Analytics, you’re ready to start tracking Google Ads’ performance, and the performance of any other digital sales and advertising channel you choose to use. We have two more steps in your performance set up; and they’re both easy.

Link your Google Analytics and Google Ads Accounts

Importing your Analytics Goals to your Google Ads conversions requires linking your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts. Linking allows goals to be imported to your Ads’ account, which become your ‘conversions.’

Added benefits of linking

Linking the two applications saves the hassle of manually toggling between the two. Here’s how it works:

  • Google Analytics sends valuable engagement information to Google Ads—Bounce rate, pages/session, time on site, and percentage of new sessions.
  • Google Ads sends Google Analytics valuable click information—Clicks, CPC (cost per click) and total cost.

With Google Ads and Analytics linked, all you have to do is import the desired goals from Google Analytics into Ads.

It sounds like a lot, but it won’t take long. Besides, when you get the insights about your marketing investments, you will be glad you invested an hour or so setting up performance tracking.