How Do You Track Offline PPC Conversions?

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If you read many blogs within the Internet marketing industry, you undoubtedly come across posts on a regular basis that discuss how to use analytics programs to track the online conversions associated with your PPC campaigns.  Although most of these posts do a great job of helping people understand not only how to get more out of their analytics programs, but also to run PPC campaigns that are more cost efficient, there is one area that most of these posts overlook.

The topic that I rarely see discussed in PPC blog posts within the Internet marketing industry is how to track offline conversions.  For most businesses, regardless of their size, there is a very good chance that this is an extremely important topic for them to understand.  So, if there are lots of people who are interested in understanding how to track offline PPC conversions, why do more of the posts not address the subject?  From what I have seen, the reason that most bloggers don’t talk about tracking offline PPC conversions is because it doesn’t directly apply to them.  Most of the people blogging about PPC are affiliate marketers, which means that they are only using PPC to generate leads or send traffic to merchants.  Since all of their activity takes place online, that is the only thing that they need to worry about tracking.

However, if you are a business owner instead of an affiliate marketer, this is data that you need to be able to track.  Regardless of whether you are using PPC to generate calls to your sales team, or are using PPC to persuade customers to come visit your store in person, you need to know if your PPC campaign is converting vistiors into offline customers and generating a positive ROI for your company.  Fortunately, there are several ways to track these kind of offline conversions.

If you are using PPC to generate phone leads to your business, the easiest thing you can do is setup a custom 800 number to use in conjunction with the campaign.  By keeping track of the calls to this special number, you can calculate an online to offline conversion ratio at the end of a campaign.  If you are looking for a more automated solution that works in a similar fashion, I recommend taking a look at the affordable solutions offered by Mongoose Metrics.

When it comes to tracking conversions from people who visit your landing page and then go to your store in person, most business owners find this to be a much more challenging scenario to track than one that involves a phone call.  Because of this, many settle for assuming that if their in-store sales go up, their PPC campaign is working.  I probably don’t have to tell you this, but that is an extremely inefficient way to track conversions (in fact, it’s not tracking or even estimating; it’s simply guesstimating).  Although there a couple of potential ways to track these kind of conversions, I have seen one method work much better than the others.

The best method I have seen for accomplishing this goal is to offer a special coupon or discount code on the PPC landing page.  By giving the customer something unique that they can bring to your business or store in person, you will be able to track the number of individuals who redeem this coupon or discount code to you in person, and then use that data to calculate an online to offline conversion ratio.

What other methods have you found that are effective in helping to track offline PPC conversions?

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