Has this ever happened to you? You login to prepare the monthly report for your boss only to find out someone has changed your lead form? Crap. Now you’ve lost a couple weeks worth of lead data. Now you’re going to have a hard time proving the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Now you’re going to have an unclear or inflated ROI number!
This has happened to me many times.
- One time a client forgot to tell me that they were creating a new web form.
- One time a CEO, in an attempt to clean-up data, added a filter to Google Analytics that excluded all traffic.
- Someone updated a WordPress plugin which changed a lead form, removing its ability to track.
There were probably more, traumatic incidents that I’ve purged from my mind.
Of course, what’s worse is when you later find out you weren’t receiving any leads at all.
This is why I look at the following things in Google Analytics each week:
- How many times, over the last week, a lead form (goal) was completed.
- How many visitors (sessions), over the last week, came to my website.
- The proportion of visitors to my website, from each Channel/Medium.
This tells me a lot of information:
First of all I compare the number of leads and the number of visitors. If there are no leads but visitors, I might have a problem with my form. It’s worth submitting a test of the form, and making sure it works. I’d also confirm that the way I’m tracking the form, as a goal, hasn’t changed- by reviewing the Goal in the Admin. If the form is working and the goal has remained unchanged, it might just be a bad week (a week’s time scale is a short amount of time, for low-traffic websites) or seasonal (for instance, weeks of national holidays are always slow. Even if nothing is technically wrong with the site, this might be worth some time to investigate.
If I have no leads and lower traffic, then something might have gone wrong with a particular type of traffic. This is where I look at the proportion of traffic by Channel/Medium. If one of the kinds of traffic was down, could it have contributed to the loss of leads? Why did traffic like that go down? Did your credit card on file with Adwords expire? Do you have a manual penalty notification in Google Search Console? If traffic seems down across all channels, was the website up the entire week or did the IT department forget to tell you they were taking it down for maintenance, again? Perhaps you should setup a website monitoring service, like Pingdom?
If I have no leads and no traffic, something has gone terribly wrong. Don’t panic; investigate. Is the website live? That’s easy to check but don’t just rely on your own browser- use isitdownforeveryoneorjustme.com. Is the Google Analytics script on every page? Pull out your version of Screaming Frog and check.
If you check these things on a weekly basis, you can catch errors early. Heck, take a moment and setup a dashboard that gets mailed to you, each week, with this data. I’ve created an SEO dashboard that reports all this (and more) if that helps you.