3 Basic Ways to Improve Your Digital Attribution Quickly

Detailed and accurate attribution is key to driving digital marketing performance. If the data that your decisions are based on is inaccurate or not detailed enough, then you’re at risk of not making the most optimal decisions.

Often, we find that clients are aware that what they’re tracking isn’t a complete picture of all their marketing efforts and their website. But they believe that it’s good enough. 

They seem to believe making any fixes won’t create a significant enough difference to warrant their efforts. But it’s really essential to fully understand how your customers interact with your website and brand across the internet. 

Accurate attribution that details your customer’s entire marketing journey can make a real difference. It won’t just change the way you manage performance, but also how you invest in growth.

Below are common ways you can improve digital attribution quickly so that you’re making the most optimal decisions.

Issue 1: Track phone calls

Phone numbers are displayed across websites throughout the internet. However, companies don’t have tracking set up to tell them which of their various marketing sources are delivering those phone calls. They don’t know which marketing channels are delivering phone calls that are actual leads or whether a certain marketing channel is delivering non-lead related phone calls.

The Fix:

Google provides a free solution – they offer dynamically-generated Google forwarding numbers that replace your business number on your website. Your developer will need to add a conversion tracking tag and a JavaScript snippet to your website to enable this.

Using these phone numbers will allow you to connect phone calls to specific channels, campaigns, and keywords. Google also offers Phone Analytics reporting that will allow you to see this performance.

There are more-expensive-but-better call tracking solutions offered by companies like CallRail or Invoca. There are some valuable advantages to using these services:

  • They’ll scrub these numbers to ensure that you’re not getting bad phone calls from whoever was using the number before. 
  • They have customer service that can respond to your problems. 
  • The reporting is much more robust. 
  • They have detailed interactive voice response systems that can be customized for your business.

Issue 2:  Track across domains

A lot of client’s have multiple domains or subdomains that link to each other – making it easier for visitors to see all the content that is available. But one issue that comes up often is the URL parameter that contains all the vital information campaign/ad/keyword information is lost when a visitor crosses to different websites. 

When this happens, Google Analytics will report that a visitor to clientbrand.com came from otherclientbrand.com. This obviously isn’t true. That visitor must have come from some source and not just spontaneously been generated within the client’s network of websites.

It’s important to know if visitors coming from one marketing campaign end up leaving one brand website or landing page to go to another domain. This information is vital in letting you know if you’re serving people relevant content for your campaign.

The Fix:

Enabling cross-domain tracking in Google Analytics allows the IDs and all attribution information for each visitor to be transferred between Google Analytics properties.

To enable cross-domain tracking, you need to add an analytics.js code snippet to your website. This can be done through a developer placing the code on the website or through Google Tag Manager.

Each major CRM – like Hubspot, Salesforce, etc. – has a solution for cross-domain tracking that can be found in their documentation.

Issue 3: Track non-sales or lead events.

Most clients only track sales or leads. But visitors often take a ton of different actions on a website. All of these events are important. Tracking a variety of events on a website can give insight into what is working on your site. Is there an unexpected obstacle keeping people from finishing a checkout? Are visitors clicking on text that they’re expecting to be a link but isn’t? 

You can create a website with specific intentions for how visitors will interact with it. But you’ll never know what people are really doing unless you’re tracking key events all over your website.

The Fix:

There are a variety of heatmap tools available at several different price points. Heatmap software lets you see how visitors interact with your site. You can see where they click, where they scroll, etc. 

The point of a heatmap is to get insight into what the sticky points and dropout points are on your website.

You can also work to identify several different events on your website to track. These events can be anything you can think of – clicks, scroll depth, time on page, etc. 

Then you can set up event tracking on Google Analytics to count how many times people do these events. You can set these up through Google Tag Manager. If you don’t have Google Tag Manager, you can add a code snippet to your website to track these events.

Using Events as Conversions

If you want to see what kinds of events your marketing campaigns drive, you can import these events into Google Ads as conversions. If you only want to track these conversions and not have your automated bidding optimize for these events, then you can go into your Google Ads account to Settings > Conversions

Find the conversion you don’t want to track. Then uncheck the box next to “Include in Conversions.” From then on, you’ll see those events under the All Conversions column, but not the Conversions column.

Once you have these common issues addressed, you’ll start to get worthwhile insights about your website and marketing. Then you can make effective decisions that can make a positive impact on your leads or revenue. 

Fixing these issues can also form a foundation for you to set up more complex tracking – like recording exactly how long people take in your checkout or identifying pagespeed issues.