Tracking offline conversions in Google Analytics is crucial as it shows how effective your online digital activities are at driving sales offline. For this article, we take a look at how to measure offline conversions in Google Analytics so that you can improve your customer acquisition, and more importantly, increase ROI.
One of the core benefits of digital marketing is that it’s highly measurable.
Tools like Google Analytics do a great job of tracking at online transactions and form completions but fall short when it comes to tracking offline conversions.
Luckily, there are a few methods you can use to help connect the dots in Google Analytics between the leads you generate online with the sales you convert offline.
For this guide, we’ll discuss:
- How offline conversions work
- Tracking phone calls in Google Analytics
- Vanity URLs for tracking offline conversions online
- Promo codes of offline advertising.
What is an offline conversion?
For the sake of clarity, let’s quickly explain how offline conversions work.
Offline conversions are leads that start their journey online but are converted offline – either by a phone call or store visit.
In most cases, an offline customer will begin their journey online and will weave throughout online and offline channels before making an enquiry or purchase.
Offline conversions can be used by almost anyone but are extremely common for businesses who operate in the service industry or sell high-value products such as cars or properties.
Once you integrate your digital marketing campaigns with offline conversion data, you can pinpoint the campaigns, ads and keywords that are most successful at generating the most offline conversions.
Tracking Offline Conversions in Google Analytics
Before we jump into it, there are a few things you need to put in place before you can track offline conversions in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics Account: Goes without saying, but you will need a Google Analytics account if you want to track your offline conversions and match them against your online marketing metrics.
Call Tracking: Google Analytics doesn’t have the functionality readily available to track calls. So, you will need a call tracking solution if you want to measure phone enquiries in Google Analytics.
Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM): Ideally to track offline conversions, you need a CRM tool that can capture and manage your leads—both online and offline—so that you can send any relevant data to your Google Analytics account. This isn’t necessary, but your offline conversion tracking is going to be limited.
Tracking calls in Google Analytics
Setting up call tracking in Google Analytics is simple — when you know how to do it.
For this setup, we’re going to use Ruler Analytics call tracking software.
Ruler Analytics allows you to integrate with Google Analytics to create Goals for Phone Calls via our official Google Analytics technology partner integration, allowing you to track calls throughout the Google Analytics and Ads reporting suite.
Step 1: Login into Google Analytics and click on “Admin”.
Step 2: Click on “Goals”.
Step 3: Select “+ NEW GOAL”.
Step 4: Click on “Custom”.
Step 5: Give the Goal a name such as “Phone Call” and choose type “Event” then click on “Continue”.
Step 6: Type “Call” to “Category | Equal to” and “Inbound|Offline” to “Action | Regular Expression”.
Once you’ve set your event conditions, you’ll be asked whether you want to use the Event value as the Goal Value for the conversion.
If you’re using Ruler Analytics, then you’ll want to leave this as “YES”.
Basic call tracking can help you identify which channels are driving the most phone enquiries, but Ruler Analytics goes one step beyond as it can help you identify which channels and campaigns are driving the most revenue through inbound calls.
Like most call tracking providers, Ruler Analytics works by overriding the phone number on your website and replacing it with a unique phone number for each individual visitor.
When the number is dialed, the call is routed to your destination number.
Sounds good, right?
Well, the best is yet to come.
Ruler Analytics tracks each anonymous visitor individually, and records how that user found your site and tracks any subsequent visits to, or interactions with, other marketing channels and campaigns.
When a visitor provides information about themselves, whether they fill out a form, make a telephone call, subscribe to your newsletter, or request a demo, Ruler will update the data on that user to create a journey map for what is now known as a lead.
Next, Ruler will pass all the marketing and conversion data it’s collected to your CRM. Sales can see what specific products, services or feature each individual engaged with.
Whenever your lead converts into a sale – whether that be tomorrow or next year – Ruler Analytics will utilise a pre-built integration to pass real conversion and revenue data back to your Google Analytics reporting suite.
Allowing you to see offline revenue for phone calls in Google Analytics like below:
We have an eBook that explains this process in more detail which you can download here. Or, if you’d prefer, book a demo with the Ruler Analytics to learn more on how to import offline revenue for phone calls in Google Analytics.
Vanity URLs for tracking offline conversions online
A vanity URL is a custom URL typically used for tracking offline campaigns.
For example, let’s say you have a print ad in the newspaper for 20% of gardening furniture.
By adding a vanity URL, you can track what influence that specific ad has had on your online traffic and sales.
There are two ways you can set up vanity URLs:
Create a unique landing page on your website
The easiest way to create a vanity URL is to create a landing page on your website.
Typically, your vanity URL is made up of your domain name and promotional offer.
If your domain was gardenfurniture.com and your promotional offer was Sale20, then your vanity URL should look something like this: gardenfurniture.com/sale20.
If you do this, then make sure that you add a NoIndex meta tag to prevent other forms of traffic landing on this page.
Purchase a domain
Another way to set up a vanity URL is to purchase a unique domain that you would want to feature in your offline advertising.
Step 1: Purchase a unique domain which you would want to feature throughout your print ads. Piece of advice would be to keep it as relevant to your brand as possible.
Step 2: Create a trackable URL. You can achieve this by heading over to Google’s URL builder. Add in the destination page where you want your readers to land when they type in your Vanity URL. Then, add in any relevant information in the remaining campaign fields.
Step 3: Go to the provider where you purchased the vanity URL and log in to your account. In the account setting for that URL, select the “redirect” or “forward” option. Copy and paste the campaign tracking URL you generated in Google’s URL builder.
Step 4: Now it’s time to create an offline report in Google Analytics. You can follow the steps below to set this up.
- Go to your Google Analytics account.
- Click on the website account for which you’re setting up a vanity URL
- Go to “Dashboard” and select “New Dashboard”.
- Navigate to “Starter Dashboard” and name it something you will remember.
- To view new visits from your vanity URL click “Add a Filter” under “Filter this Data”.
Step 5: Before you launch your campaign, make sure to test your vanity URL, and check your Google Analytics report to ensure everything is displayed correctly.
Before you launch your campaign, test your vanity URL and check your Google Analytics report to ensure everything is displayed correctly.
Again, don’t forget to add a noindex meta tag to your landing pages as this will keep them from being indexed by the search engines. And, it will also intercept other forms of traffic from coming to your landing pages.
Coupon codes for offline advertising
Coupon codes are another solution to help track your offline marketing campaigns and are commonly used to connect print advertising with online traffic.
Aside from tracking, coupon codes can also influence people to purchase more products online.
Before you track your coupon codes Google Analytics, you will need to enable eCommerce tracking on your website.
We’ve added a couple of our favourite guides below, in case you need help setting this up.
Setting up eCommerce Tracking Google Analytics:
Here’s how track coupon codes in Google Analytics:
Step 1: Go to Google Analytics, navigate to the menu on the left-hand side and click on “Conversions”.
Step 2: Select “Ecommerce” and then “Marketing“.
Step 3: Click on “Product Coupon”.
And that’s all there is to it!
Using the techniques above, you can optimise your campaigns to increase conversions and boost sales.
Ready to take your marketing measurement to the next level?
Book a demo of Ruler Analytics and learn on to track and attribute revenue to offline conversions in Google Analytics.