Working with startups, I see a lot. But, there’s a lot I don’t see, which I wish I could. And that’s for one reason – because they haven’t been tracking their data.
As a startup, I’m guessing you love to move and break, change, disrupt. While you’re moving forward with ferocity, you may have forgotten a tracking tool or two. It doesn’t seem like much of a problem, until you realise that you’ve had 4,000 people visit your website in the last month and you don’t know anything about them and have no way to get yourself back in front of them.
What if an investor, a buyer or a partner asks you:
- Which channel drives most of your traffic? Which channel drives most of your customers? What is its conversion rate?
- What is your site wide conversion rate?
- How large is your Facebook and Google retargeting audience?
- Do you have a retargeting audience?
- How many emails do you have in your database?
- What pages do people tend to convert on?
- What pages do people get stuck on?
- What percentage of website visitors even see your lead form?
Okay, you don’t even need some big honcho to be asking those questions for you to need answers. The answers to those questions will help you to refine your offering, your website and your marketing – and you should be able to answer those questions right now. It will give you the power to make your marketing time and dollars more effective, and you might just get one extra hour of sleep tonight for it.
So, here we go, 7 things to get set up on your website. I’ll take you through seven platforms to set up on site, why you should have them and how you should set them up. I will write this in order of what to do first and sequentially from there.
This article will be written assuming you have a WordPress site, though all of these items are easily set up on Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, etc. etc. etc.
GOOGLE TAG MANAGER
Shopify users, avert your eyes! Get started on the next tool.
Think of Google Tag Manager as two things.
- The home to store all of your other tracking codes.
- The most tech-y thing you’ll need to do, because I’ve just saved you from installing bundles of different pieces of code in your site.
Google Tag Manager acts as a central repository for all pieces of tracking software. That means that once you install GTM on your website, you’ll never need to install any other pieces of software.
Google Tag Manager also grants you special powers to make the most of your Google Analytics. For example, setting up specific events to track. An event is any action taken on your site. For example, you may have a button to ‘Learn More’ on your website, and you’d like to track the effectiveness of each of your marketing channels in urging your audience to click this button. But we can talk more about that in our dedicated write up on how to track an event. I haven’t written that yet though, so for the meantime I recommend this article.
Okay, sounds cool. How?
I’m glad you asked! Head to Google Tag Manager’s website and create an account. You’ll need to enter some basic details, and choose whether you’re tracking a Web, iOS or Android item. Okay cool. Now, as soon as you’ve done this, you’ll have the install guide pop up. Depending on what you do, you may find it to look like two scary pieces of code, or not. It should look something like this.
To find the <head> of your website, you may need some help from your developer. If you don’t have one, then I recommend to try and use a WordPress plug in. Here’s one to try.
Okay, now that you’ve installed Google Tag Manager you’ve honestly done about 80% of the work.
If you can’t quite figure out what to do, I’ve also made this quick video to help you along the way.
Google Analytics is the 101 of website tracking. Almost every website in the world has it installed and I wish almost every website was making good use of it. It’s incredibly powerful and made by Google, a company whose mission it is to organise the world’s information. Read: your information, your website information. You literally have a worldwide behemoth offering to organise your information for you, for free.
Think of Google Analytics like your personal dictionary. There’ll be a tonne of information in there, and you’ll need to learn how to read through it. If you could read through everything on Google Analytics, or the Oxford Dictionary, then you’d be pretty darn smart. Let’s put one leg up and start the journey of discovery.
Google Analytics unpacks into 4 main categories:
- Audience – Who is visiting your site. New or returning users? How old are they? Where do they live? What language do they speak? What device are they using?
- Acquisition – Where did your users come from? Facebook, Google, another website? Bing, Email? Or just directly typed in the URL?
- Behaviour – What did they do on-site? How long did they spend? What pages did they visit? How did they flow from one page to another, and what was the drop off?
- Conversion – What actions did users take on your site to convert? Did they buy something, fill in a form, click a button? What percentage of them did?
Okay, sounds like I need this. How?
Head to Google Analytics and sign right up! You’ll be asked again whether you’d like to track a Web, iOS or Android property. Choose the correct property and then fill in the basic details. You’ll be taken straight to the installation page. Okay, here’s where the fun starts. Remember how we said that GTM is the home to store all other codes?
IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE RUNNING AN ECOMMERCE SITE, THEN IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO TURN ON ADVANCED ECOMMERCE TRACKING. SCROLL TO THE END OF THIS ARTICLE AND THE LAST VIDEO WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO DO THIS. OR, FOLLOW THESE STEPS.
GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
Google Search Console is basically like plugging yourself into Google’s own data, when it’s relevant to you. GSC will show you the search terms you’ve ranked for, and how many impressions and clicks you received for each search term.
First and foremost, because 9 times out of 10 you’ll likely be surprised by the terms you’re ranking for. Secondly, because it pays to know how people find you. Thirdly, because you’ll start to see what position you’re ranking for each term. Are you 1st on Google for your brand name, or third? How many people clicked it? And is it worth improving your presence there?
Or, I just had an example come out today. A client has a very popular blog which is driving a tonne of traffic. It turns out the search term driving the most traffic for that blog included the word ‘template’ in it. People are looking for a template that they can use. But, the blog didn’t have the template – it just talked about the topic. Voila! My client now has the perfect opportunity to capture emails by offering a template behind an email gate. GSC at it’s finest. 😉
Okay, you’ve sold me! Have you got a template I can follow to set this up?
Head to Google Search Console. Once you’ve logged in with a Google account, it will come up with two different ways to move forward – Domain or URL Prefix. To cover all bases, I recommend to sign up with the Domain option – then, click CONTINUE. If you’re using G Suite for your emails, it should automatically verify. If not, you’ll need to add a TXT record to your DNS. That sounds super confusing, hey.
- Shopify users, use these instructions!
- Everyone else, watch the video below.
The Facebook Pixel is the reason why everything always follows you back to Facebook. It is a piece of code which you can place on your website. It will match a visitor on your site with a Facebook profile, and add that profile to your potential advertising audience.
Because every day that you don’t have your Pixel installed, you’re letting potential customers fall out of your bucket. I didn’t want to tell you, but if you don’t have the Facebook Pixel installed, then you have a leaky bucket. Your bucket. Is leaking!!
Yes, you may not be advertising on Facebook right now, or in the immediate future. But, does that mean that you should let people potentially interested in your product to visit your website, and leave, with no way of you being able to get back in front of them?
Think about it this way. You may have dismissed Facebook advertising because you can’t find a qualified audience, or believe the task will be difficult. And that’s fair enough. But what if I told you that you already own an audience of 4,000 people who’ve visited your site in the last month? Facebook advertising may seem a little more appetising, hey?
I almost forgot the best part, it will also automatically segment your audience based on the pages they visit on site and the actions they take. You can then use this information to advertise only to segmented audiences (for example, those who have viewed the cart page but did not convert to a customer).
Thankfully, you’ve already installed Google Tag Manager. That means that Facebook will give us the easy option out to install the Facebook Pixel.
If you haven’t already, create a Facebook Business Manager (oooh, a bonus platform!). Facebook Business Manager will provide you a space that is uniquely for your business. It will separate your personal account from your business, and just like that, reduce your anxiety about 5%. It’s super easy to set up, just follow the instructions here.
Once you’ve got Facebook Business Manager set up, head to the ‘Pixels’ section in the drop down menu. Then, click ‘Add New Data Source’. From here, you’ll be able to click the Google Tag Manager integration. Facebook has a super simple Pixel Event tool too, which is a visual editor on your website allowing you to set up specific events.
At the time of filming, there was an integration error between Google and Facebook. This video will be uploaded shortly.
GOOGLE REMARKETING TAG
Just like the Facebook Pixel, the Google Pixel is the reason why you’re always being followed around the web. Google own something called AdSense, which is an advertising network which publishers can use to monetise their sites. Any publisher can sign up, and place an ad box on their website. Google will then manage the distribution of the ads on their site for the publisher, and pay out the publisher dependent on the amount of views the ads receive. Which, in turn, birthed the term click-bait. Because the more clicks you get, the more dollars you get.
Because you’ll have the super power of not only being able to retarget people on Facebook (and Facebook owned properties), but also across the web on any page that utilises Google’s network to make money. There’s a tonne of sites out there that use it. Oh, and have you heard of a thing called YouTube? Yeah, Google also owns that, and you’ll be able to use this audience to market to on YouTube.
Hotjar takes your tracking of your audience to the next level. It provides powerful heatmaps, click maps, scroll maps and screen recordings (seriously) of your website. This will show you what buttons people click on, how far down the page they scroll, where they find frustrations with your site and more. It will even take a screen recording of users using your website.
You’ll be able to record interactions with three pages on your site for free, with up to 1,000 pageviews tracked. Not enough for a truly scientific test, but more than The Daily Mail requires for the editorial quality.
Because sometimes raw data just isn’t good enough. Hotjar produces beautiful visuals of your website with true heat maps which indicate how users are interacting with your website. It is super easy to use and understand. Hotjar is often helpful to fine tune your on-site experience to encourage and nurture specific actions to be taken.
YOUR FAVOURITE EMAIL PLATFORM
Okay, this one’s a bit different to the others, but I like to throw it in as a must have. For a time, email was the forgotten child. Gen Z moved onto the likes of Snapchat and TikTok and the world forgot to talk about email. But, email is one of the most powerful tools you can have. It is an audience you own and can shoot direct messaging to.
Because by collecting an email address you’ve just moved 50% of the way to a sale. You know that this individual is likely interested in what you offer and that they are happy for you to contact them. Sounds like a bloody win!
Most good email platforms will have a plug in which will allow you to directly connect them to your WordPress. There would be too many videos to make if I were to make a video for every email platform. So, my advice? Try and see if you favourite platform has a plug in made for WordPress. Follow the instructions that come with that plug in – and – voila!
DID SOMEONE SAY BONUS CONTENT?
LINKEDIN INSIGHT TAG AND TWITTER WEBSITE TAG
I’m going to keep it short here. Essentially, read what I wrote for the Facebook Pixel and the Google Ads Pixel above. Replace any mention of Facebook/Google with LinkedIn/Twitter and you’ll have yourself the full story.
LinkedIn tends to be on the pricier side of things, which makes sense. You’re directly targeting people in positions you want / because they’ve visited your website. Twitter tends to be a much more cost effective form of digital advertising, especially in Australia where no one *really* uses it.
- Follow these instructions to install the LinkedIn Insight Tag
- Follow these instructions to set up the Twitter Website Tag – just make sure to scroll down to the Google Tag Manager section.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS ECOMMERCE TRACKING
If you’re running an online store you’ll want to know what people are buying, where they came from, and how to optimise. By turning on Google Analytics eCommerce tracking you’ll be able to tie purchases to website data. It will make you feel 10x smarter and have the power to make 10x more money.