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Today I setup conversion tracking for a website that was designed around a more-complex-than-usual intake form. This form required the user to select from check boxes at each step (5 steps total). The final submission passed the values from the check boxes along with the lead’s contact details.

Here’s an example of Step 1 of the form. The subsequent steps were all roughly similar.

As part of this conversion tracking, I wanted to store the values of the check boxes in Google Analytics.


1) Identifying the campaigns that are effective

I find it valuable to know which campaigns led to which category of leads.

2) Identifying the campaigns that lead to more revenue

If some categories of leads are more valuable than others, then the campaigns leading to the more valuable leads can be determined.

3) Passing the likely revenue back to the advertising platform in order to optimize for revenue

Thirdly, if some categories of leads are more valuable than others, the likely value of a lead can be calculated based on an average revenue from that type of lead given the company’s sales closing rate, and then conversion values from each type of lead can be passed into Google Ads as conversions. This tells Google Ads how much revenue that person was worth. Then with more accurate revenue being reflected in Google Ads you can ask Google Ads to optimize for conversion value (revenue) and it will attempt to show your ads to more people like the ones who chose the most valuable categories.

This is even more valuable when your form leads directly to a transaction, such as when you are selling information products through the use of a form. You might sell a product and offer an up-sell which adds revenue to the total if the user ticks a checkbox. In this scenario, whether the checkbox is ticked or not directly impacts the revenue being collected and so it is necessary to track the checkbox in order to track the revenue.

When you are collecting revenue for Google Ads and Facebook, it’s important to track an accurate amount of revenue so that their algorithms can find more of the people who spent more money with you.

If this is a new concept, as I know it will be for many, you can ask Google Ads and Facebook to choose who to show your ads to based on how much revenue you are likely to make. Google and Facebook can only make this prediction if you feed them accurate data.

4) Developing intelligence about how different categories of users are behaving on your website

If a user self-selects a checkbox and you know that other people who selected that checkbox were most likely to read certain articles or pages on your website before transacting, then you can send the user followup emails containing links to those pages. Customers like to feel in control of their decisions and will seek out relevant articles on your website before speaking to a salesperson.

Tracking a checkbox has some technical complexity however.

The difference between a checkbox and a form entry (I have a blog post about collecting values from a form here) is that if you click a checkbox an odd number of times it is selected, whereas if you click a checkbox an even number of times it is deselected. To get an accurate tracking result, you need to make sure that check boxes that have been deselected do not count towards the final result.

To achieve this, I used a first party cookie for each check box. A cookie is just a little piece of information that stores some data on your website. You could also store data on the Google Tag Manager data layer. There are pros and cons for each, and this is a topic for another article. I use cookies when I want the information to persist as the user uses the website, no matter if they change to a different page.

If a user clicks a check box and the cookie is currently not active, the cookie is added and the check box is deemed to be checked.

If a user clicks a check box and the cookie is currently active, the cookie value is removed and the check box is deemed to now be unchecked again.

When the user submits the form, all the active check box selections are passed to Google Analytics. I set the value of the check box as a label so that the numbers can be tallied up in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Checkbox Results

Depending on how the form is coded, it is also possible to do this without a cookie if the value of the checkbox is stored in the HTML code as an attribute.

Sorry, that is getting a bit tecchie! Basically there are times when the way I did it in this case is not the best option. The best way to track conversions for any given circumstance should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, as there are too many exceptions to every rule.

I do conversion tracking as a service, so please reach out to me here if you are wanting your own website conversions or revenue tracked.

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Sophie Abnett Digital Marketing Project Manager at 1834 Hotels Ecommerce / Hotel Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager & Google Data Studio Integration April 23, 2020

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