Whether you're new to marketing automation or have used other marketing-automation software, this article will help you identify the resources you'll need to gather and the items you'll need to map out before you install Web Tracking on your site.
Web Tracking is one of the most powerful features included in Higher Logic Thrive Marketing Professional (Thrive Marketing Professional). It allows you to generate code specific to a domain you wish to track. Once that code is installed onto your website, Thrive Marketing Professional will start receiving data about who is accessing your website and how they are interacting with it. Web Tracking is very similar to Google Analytics (it also coexists with Google Analytics peacefully), and now allows you to harness its analytical data for your digital-marketing efforts. Web Tracking is both an insight and action tool, not just a reporting tool. And while it is a powerful tool, properly planning to implement Web Tracking is perhaps the most important step of all.
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Web Tracking code
Once you have your Thrive Marketing Professional account established, it provides you with the code for your website. You can even track multiple domains at once. Getting the necessary code from Thrive Marketing Professional is quick and easy, but before that code gets added to your website, stop and take some time to map out:
- What you want to do with Web Tracking
- What you want it to do for you
Web Tracking interactions
Interactions are a key part of Web Tracking. You can set up the code to track specific interactions on your website (e.g., page views, downloading a white paper, clicking a link, etc.). To be efficient, you’ll really want to come up with a list of all the interactions your organization wants to track. A great way to start is by making a spreadsheet of all of the desired interactions. If you're not sure which interactions to track, start by asking yourself what you would do if you knew that someone interacted with your site in a certain way. “If I knew that, would I be able to do this afterward?” This allows you to leverage one insight to do something specific.
An important aspect of successful Web Track is empathizing with how your users may feel about being targeted based on their interactions across your site. You certainly don’t want anyone to feel like they're being spied on, so try to be as selective as possible in how you use Web Tracking interactions to target them and send personalized mailings. For example, users will likely feel overwhelmed if they receive mailings every time they click a link or visit a page on your site. Think of how waiters in restaurants observe and serve. You wouldn’t return to a restaurant if the wait staff constantly tried to push additional food or drinks on you every few minutes! However, if they happen to notice your wine glass is empty, it’s perfectly acceptable if they ask you if you would like another glass. In short, establish boundaries and respect them. Identify the highest value interactions and focus on those the most.
Consider the cost
Always be mindful of anything that might require an outside vendor or third-party contractor. Not everyone has a web developer on staff, and if you have contractors who manage your site, they're likely not doing it for free. The more planning that goes into your Web Tracking before you have the code installed, the less likely you will have to pay someone to install the code, and then again later to make revisions or fixes. If there is anything that you will use the Web Tracking for that involves another vendor or that would create additional costs to you, make sure to plan as much as possible to minimize costs wherever possible.
Page tags enable you to group Web Tracking for specific pages on your site. For example, if you've created 15 pages about an upcoming event, you may not want to know how each individual page has performed, but you do want to track how all event pages have performed as a whole. To achieve this, you can simply tag each of the 15 pages, and then the web tracking results for all 15 of them will be combined under one page tag. And the best part is that page tags are created and managed by Higher Logic, so you won’t need to involve a web developer.
What to do after Web Tracking is installed
The basic explanation about how Web Tracking works is simple: Whenever someone clicks a link in one of your mailings that launches a web browser, it will also automatically install a cookie on their browser. As long as that cookie is installed, and as long as they continue to use that specific browser, Thrive Marketing Professional can establish unique identities when they visit your website. We know which one of your subscribers that person is and we can see every trackable interaction they have with your site. After Web Tracking has been installed, consider sending out emails that are designed to be click-bait. You’ll want your subscribers to have those cookies installed as quickly as possible so that you can start tracking them. One idea would be to send out mailings that require them to click a link to confirm their subscriber details or preferences. The more clicks that you get, the more of your subscribers you'll be able to track.