September 28, 2015 | Sarah Danks
As a business that focuses on lead generation, we’re well aware of how important tracking leads is for our own lead gen-focused clients. But how to go about tracking leads from your website (or PPC landing pages)?
Let me tell you.
You know that in order to capture a lead you need them to contact you in some way. Here I’m going to talk about online forms and how to track those prospective clients that fill them out.
By now you know that you not only need some type of intake form; you need to optimize that online form to work its best for you.
The entire point of a having an online form is to get people to contact you. But there’s more: you need to be able to TRACK that someone did, in fact, fill out that form. Of course you’ll get the email, but how will your analytics program be able to compile that data?
With a confirmation page, of course.
What’s a Confirmation Page, and Why Do I Need One?
First, you need to get people to your landing page or website. Then you’ve got to get them to your online form…
…once there, the entire point of bringing in visitors is to get them to fill out said form and convert.
The confirmation page is where you say “thank you,” and well, confirm to the visitor that their action was completed — i.e., they successfully filled out the form. When you offer them a page that assures them “yes, your action was successful,” it’s a great experience, sure.
But it’s also got another, more important, purpose.
See, once your visitor fills out the form and becomes an official conversion, you’re not done. You’ve got to be able to TRACK your conversions.
And the confirmation page is how you do that.
It’s All in the Analytics…Or Is It?
But it’s not enough to just flash a thank-you message randomly at your converted visitors; it must be a separate page.
See, Google Analytics tracks pages by URL — so if you don’t have a unique URL for your confirmation message, Google doesn’t know a conversion occurred.
Look at this example to see what I mean.
This law firm in Minneapolis has their online contact form at .com/ContactUs:
This all looks well and good, but look what happens when a visitor fills out said form:
So, you can see there’s a nice “thank you” message there…
…unfortunately it resides on the EXACT URL as the online form. They’ve set this message to fire upon completion of the form, but they didn’t give it a unique — and TRACKABLE — URL.
While the law firm will receive the incoming email generated by the online form fill-out, their analytics program (they’re using Google Analytics) will have no idea that a conversion occurred.
Because they’re using the same URL for two different things:
- Thing 1 — the visitor navigates to .com/ContactUs (Analytics tracks this).
- Thing 2 — the visitor fills out the form, hits “submit” and receives the confirmation message. BUT, said confirmation message resides on .com/ContactUs (Analytics isn’t tracking anything since it doesn’t know the visitor completed the action).
No new URL for confirmation message = no new action recorded by Analytics.
Their Analytics will never be able to segment their traffic into those who merely visited the Contact Us page and those who actually filled out the form.
All because they’re not using a unique URL for their confirmation page.
When you do use a unique thank-you page, you’re able to track each and every form fill-out.
Like this law firm in Minneapolis. Here’s their contact page:
And here’s the confirmation page a visitor receives after submitting the form:
Notice the unique URL for the confirmation page (along with unique messaging that reassures the visitor that his/her form was successfully submitted).
So, you’ve got a unique thank-you page…
Well, you have to tell your Analytics platform that it’s a conversion, of course.
See, when you set up your goals in Google Analytics, you want to measure your conversion data separately. To do that, you input your confirmation page’s URL as one of the goals.
So you see this:
Keep in mind the ONLY way visitors see the thank-you page is upon filling out the form.
In order to quickly see how many times the confirmation page has been generated (in Google Analytics) you head to Conversions, then Goals. You’ll see something similar to the screenshot above.
Voilà! You’re properly measuring your conversions.
(Of course, you’re probably noticing that I navigated to the aforementioned thank-you page. So I must’ve filled out the form, right? Wrong. They’re a client of ours so I knew the URL.
But we’ve also blocked ourselves from their traffic report so it won’t show as a conversion in their Analytics data.)
The Nitty-Gritty of Confirmation Pages
Again: a confirmation (i.e., thank-you) page is the page that fires after people have filled out your online form, thanking them for getting in touch with you.
In a nutshell it says “thank you for filling out this form;” reassures them that they’ve been successful at reaching out to you.
But, if you don’t have a unique URL for your thank-you page, it’s not trackable. Sure, you know that someone’s filled out your form when you get the email, but does your analytics program?
You may be using online forms for your lead generation, but until you create a confirmation page with a unique URL, you can’t accurately track your leads.
So: make sure you’ve got a trackable confirmation to accurately monitor your lead activity!