This post follows on from a blog we wrote a couple of months ago about what metrics you should track on your restaurant’s website, in and amongst a few other things the main take away from that post was you absolutely have to track the booking form or contact form via Google analytics. That way you know how your website performs from a bottom line perspective.
In the analytics sphere that’s known as a Macro conversion, which means it’s the most important one – i.e. the one that directly translates into a paying customer. For a restaurant that’s clearly a table booking, for an ecommerce site it’s an order and for a software subscription service like Dropbox, Xero etc. it’s a sign up for a recurring monthly fee.
Tracking those metrics is of course essential but there’s more to just your website than one purpose and that’s why you need to start looking at Micro Conversions. If macro conversions are the important conversion then micro conversions can be described as the lesser ones, ones that aren’t as clear cut as an order but in most cases without them you’d see a noticeable dip in turnover as they eventually lead to macro conversions.
By tracking micro conversions you begin to paint a much bigger picture of the effectiveness of both your website and any other marketing you maybe undertaking.
If you’re tracking table bookings via Google analytics then you’ll be given a figure called the conversion rate of that particular goal i.e. what percentage of visitors who land on your site end up making a booking. We’d estimate that could be anywhere between 0.1% to 5%, maybe even higher in some circumstances, or even lower (hopefully not!).
So if 5% convert, what happened to the other 95% of visitors? Were they just a waste? Some of them were, they landed on your site accidentally but not all of them that’s for sure. Those visitors didn’t come to book straight away – they came to research. They were looking for something, maybe job vacancies, or your menu. Perhaps they wanted to see if you had any offers running or they’d heard from a friend your email newsletter was worth signing up to.
By tracking these micro conversions you are able to view your site as a whole, and if you work to the hypothesis that a % of micro conversions lead to paying customers later down the line you can see just how valuable an asset your website is.
For example, if you know that for every email you send out to your email list, 10% of them visit your restaurant with a coupon, you’ll know that if 50 people sign up via your website next month – 5 of those will visit your restaurant at a later date. Yet if you didn’t track the micro conversion your website wouldn’t get the credit for it.
Business owners are often quick to play down the importance of their website but if they’re paying for SEO or online marketing then micro conversions allow both the owner to see the full extent of his site and the SEO team to fully report the fruits of their labour.
The benefits to doing this are plentiful; if you’re a restaurateur and you look after your own Google Analytics you’ll be happy because you’re on the path to fully understanding your website and making wise marketing decisions. If you’re a restaurateur who’s paying someone to increase traffic to your website and report on it then you’ll be happy that they’re doing their job properly, helping you improve your website and understand your marketing better. Not only that:
Every restaurant website is different but generally they’ll share some common things that can be identified and tracked as micro conversions, these include, but aren’t limited to:
Depending on how many potential micro conversions there are, or how big your site is, you can group them in various categories such as navigation based conversions (e.g. viewing a certain page), action based conversions (e.g. downloading a .pdf) and engagement based conversions (e.g. time on site over a certain pre-determined threshold).
In order to track any type of conversion you to need have Google analytics installed on your website, this is pretty much a pre-requisite of any website nowadays so if you haven’t got it installed then you need to do so. If the reason you haven’t got it installed is because your website is old and not getting updated then it might be time to start thinking about investing in a new one!
Google analytics comes with an inbuilt feature called event tracking, all you have to do is track the events you want and Google analytics will report them for you.
It’s pretty simple to setup but if you have no experience with analytrics or don’t have access to your websites backend then you might need some help. Nevertheless let’s look at a worked example:
Events come with 3 syntaxes that help you segment data:
If you look at the example below you have the HTML for a link where the GA code for event tracking has been appended to the link, this now tells analytics that when the link in question is clicked that it should log that click as an event.
<a href="some-menu.htm" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'category', 'action', 'label']);">Link to .pdf</a>
If you look at the example above which is a screen grab taken from La Grillade, a French Restaurant in Leeds and they have multiple micro conversions to track.
In this example we’ll look at implementing event tracking for the Early Birds Offer Voucher, but you’d look to do it for all 3 elements in the image – voucher, email signup and viewing a social profile.
Current HTML Code:
<a target="_new" href="http://www.lagrillade.co.uk/free-glass-of-champagne/" data-bitly-type="bitly_hover_card">To receive this offer
With Event Tracking:
<a target="_new" href="http://www.lagrillade.co.uk/free-glass-of-champagne/" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'PDF Vouchers', 'Download', 'Free Champagne']); data-bitly-type="bitly_hover_card">To receive this offer
Now that's setup every time a visitor to the website clicks on the banner it's recorded in Analytics as an event which helps you paint a much bigger picture of your website. With this method Le Grillard could calculate the value of that banner to the business.
You'd let the event tracking run for a month or two and then at the end of that period count up the number of vouchers used and reference against that the number of times it was clicked in analytics. So if the restaurant had 50 vouchers used within a 2 month period and Google analytics tracked 200 clicks on the link - you'd know that 25% of all people who viewed the voucher ended up printing it off and coming to the restaurant.
You can then set up the event in question as a Goal and add a monetary value to each click. For example - if the average table spend at the restaurant is £100 then based on the example above each click on the voucher is worth £25 to the restaurant.
Champagne Voucher Promotion Data No. of visitors who clicked the voucher 200 No. of vouchers used 50 % of vouchers views that turn into customers 25% Avg. spend per table £100 Revenue £5000 Value to the restaurant each time a user clicks the voucher £25
Viewing Events in Google Analytics
Viewing events in analytics is a simple process, just navigate to content and then hit events and overview and you'll be presented with an overview:
The example above is taken from a blog we run and we measure things including how many people clicked onto an external link to an article within a post, how many visitors clicked on a blog commenters URL etc. etc.
Setting up an event as a goal
In analytics go to Admin > Goals > Add New. Give the Goal a name such as "Voucher Downloads" and select the type as an event. Then fill it out like the following:
Now every time the voucher event is triggered above its recorded as a goal responsible for £25 revenue to the business. For more information of tracking events as goals check out this article from Google themselves.
So there you have it, hopefully you got a good idea of why tracking micro conversions is important. Macro + Micro = a much wider view of your website. Can you think of any micro conversions for a restaurant that we haven't covered?
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