The Thoroughly Modern Marketing angels are on their next case. Local restaurant owner, Doug Smith, wanted advice on how to track off-line conversions. He ultimately wants to know which segments of his web traffic convert to diners in his brick and mortar location in downtown Portland:
How can I find out where my web traffic is coming from and if this traffic actually comes into my brick and mortar business/restaurant?
Doug, in order to discover where your web traffic is coming from, you should use Google Analytics. This free tool will show your traffic sources from referral websites, search engines, cpc campaigns etc. The next step, tracking your off-line conversions or diners arriving from the web, is a bit more difficult. I would suggest you employ some smart tracking strategies such as coupon offers that can be downloaded from your website after a user fills out a simple form (name, phone number and email). If you wanted to further segment your customers, you could offer coupons for unique segments of your web traffic (e.g. Citysearch, Google local maps, your Facebook page, etc.) they would need to have unique codes so you’d know exactly which segment made it through your doors.
I agree with Sabrina, Doug. Your first step is to use Google Analytics or a similar tool to track your website traffic. You can even use an analytics program to track unique visitor interactions with your website’s Store Locator or Directions. If someone uses your map or directions, then there is a high probability that this individual plans on visiting your store in the future. This method will give you deeper insight into your visitors’ intentions, but you still need to have a strategy to track your visitors’ offline behavior. As Sabrina suggested, using a downloadable coupon (or promoting a special offer) on your website is great call to action that you can measure as you receive the coupons at your place of business. If you have a customer email list, experiment with sending out an e-blast containing a limited-time offer, then see if that causes an increase in foot traffic. Finally, I wouldn’t waste your time asking your customers the question, “How did you hear about us?,” as most people won’t remember and will most likely give an incorrect response. Stick with methods that you can track and measure!
Doug, great question! You are getting beyond simple traffic to your website and thinking about the bigger picture – revenue. The girls are on the right track. Google Analytics will tell you where your online traffic is coming from, but it won’t deliver information on which segments are ultimately converting or spending money at your restaurant. I agree that using coupons and special offers to track which segments are converting is a good way to go. I think this strategy goes beyond the web as you attempt to discover other channels that may be sending customers your way. Any of your offline advertising can be measured in the same way, offering a unique promotion that you can track right to your doorstep. Once you have some idea which segments of the offline and online community are feeding your business, then it becomes much easier to target those segments with relevant offers that might increase the numbers YOU’RE feeding.
Category: Ask TMM