Four Steps for Successful Digital Marketing Tracking

July 17th, 2020 by Bailey Waltzer

Marketing campaigns are only as successful as the tracking put in place to measure their success.

A person holding a pen over a notebook

What’s that joke, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?” The same philosophy applies here! If a customer converts after engaging with one of your digital marketing campaigns and there isn’t reliable tracking in place to measure it, how do you know if the conversion is an outcome of your digital marketing efforts? Additionally, successful tracking parameters provide your marketing team with clarity around which tactics are and aren’t working. This way, there’s no guesswork involved on how to best spend your marketing dollars.

In this post, we’ll go through four helpful steps for tracking your digital marketing campaigns and why they’ll help your business.

#1 Know Your Metrics

Depending on your stakeholder, their industry, and their goals, the metrics you report on will differ. Let’s walk through a couple of results that are often top priorities for our clients.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

  • Return on ad spend calculates the return (revenue) a business recoups from the cost they’ve invested on advertising.
    • Return on Ad Spend = Revenue Per Sale/Cost Per Sale
  • Regardless of the stakeholder, their industry, and their specific goals, the ultimate goal will always be the same: bringing in more money.
  • Reporting on ROAS to your stakeholder allows you to say, “we’ve made X dollars after spending Y dollars on advertising.”

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

  • Cost per lead measures the average amount of money a business spends per lead.
    • Cost per Lead = Ad Spend/Lead
  • Tracking the cost per lead for a stakeholder goes beyond quantifying the total number of leads a campaign and/or platform is driving. It demonstrates how much it costs to actually the leads.

#2 Understand Which Metrics Matter to Your Stakeholder

With all of the tracking parameters available, the metrics you can report on are endless.
How can you ensure you report on the right data? Talk to your stakeholder about what’s important to them!

  • For example, a stakeholder says their main KPI (key performance indicator) is potential new patients.
  • The primary metric would be the number of leads generated through calls and form submissions.
  • The secondary metrics would be website traffic and clicks.

#3 Determine Your Technological Needs

What technology do you need to track your results? Continuing with the example above, the stakeholder’s main KPI is potential new patients. You’ve determined the metrics that matter are calls/forms and website traffic/clicks.

To report back to them on calls and forms, you need to set up call tracking and forms on their website.

  • Call tracking is the process of assigning a dedicated tracking phone number to a business for certain marketing campaigns.
    • For example, if a potential new patient finds your business via a Google Paid Search campaign, a dedicated call tracking number is associated with the advertisements.
    • This number automatically forwards to the business’s main line, but it allows you to see how many new prospects contacted your business because of this campaign.
  • A form is a short questionnaire that lives on a website that can be used to gain more information on potential new patients.
    • For example, if a prospect reads about a particular service on your website and wants to reach out for more information or to schedule an appointment, they can fill out a form.
    • This form will request various information (the potential new patient’s name, phone number, email address, etc.). Once it’s submitted, this information goes to your business (usually via email) in real-time so that you can follow up on the lead.

To report back on website traffic/clicks, we will need to set up Google Analytics.

  • Google Analytics is a free service provided by Google that allows you to collect and analyze data about your website, its visitors, and how those visitors behave on your website.
  • If you’re new to the platform, take some time to familiarize yourself with Google Analytics and how to best utilize it for your tracking purposes.

#4 Communicate Your Results

How do you communicate the great results you’ve worked so hard to determine, understand, and track?

A group of women sitting at a conference table

First, determine how often to report on the metrics that matter.

  • Here at Search Influence, we provide our clients with monthly reports.
  • Monthly reporting allows campaigns the time to run, accrue new data, and show progress.
  • While we keep a close eye on these campaigns in the interim, it also allows each campaign’s dedicated team member to check and adjust the status, make necessary revisions, and ensure that the campaign is optimized to the best of its ability.

Second, be strategic about what information to include in these reports.

  • Unless the information included is meaningful to your stakeholder, it’s really just fluff.
  • Create a SMART Goal for each campaign. A SMART Goal is a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goal determined based on—you guessed it—their goals.
  • Once that goal is set, ensure your tactics work towards achieving that goal.

Finally, make your report digestible for your stakeholders.

  • You can have every meaningful metric in a report, but if your stakeholder isn’t engaged or can’t understand the report, it’s not meaningful to them.
  • Listen and learn how your stakeholder communicates and receives information, and build your reporting from there.


  • A marketing campaign’s success is closely tied to the tracking in place.
  • Know your metrics and understand which metrics matter to your stakeholders.
  • Establish the technology needed to accurately track those metrics.
  • Master how to best communicate the results to your stakeholders.

The marketing experts at Search Influence can help you track the metrics that matter to your business. Schedule a consultation with our team to learn more about how we can help you optimize your digital marketing campaigns.