Now, more than ever, we need to leverage all of the tools we have at our disposal. Given the necessity of a digital presence, going online in this day and age is unavoidable. Not being online or not being properly positioned online, puts you in a position of missing out on a large demographic of your clients. 

As a digital marketer, I’m often presented with the question, how do I track whether or not my marketing strategies are effective? 

One of my early experiences was with a clothing retail business that had both a walk-in shop and an online presence. The owner of the shop struggled to see the value of SEO to his bottom line. He would tell me that a lot more sales were coming from people visiting his shop than people buying through his Shopify store. Which was true. 

His understanding of SEO was that he would get more online sales from ranking better in Google. So when the money he was spending was not coming back to him in the form of eCommerce revenue, he wasn’t pleased. We lost that client not because we didn’t generate enough revenue, but because we couldn’t clearly explain to him how our work contributed to that foot traffic. 

SEO is no longer a one-dimensional marketing tool. It has a lot of moving parts.

I learned a ton from that experience. The biggest takeaway being that we need to have better processes for tracking the impact on off-line interactions. 

If you’re an eCommerce business, it’s a relatively straightforward process to track what channels your revenue is coming from. But when you have a brick-and-mortar shop there are a lot more variables to account for to get that attribution.

Here is how we track SEO performance for off-line sales

1. Google My Business

 Make sure that your GMB listing is active and complete. Your phone number, store hours, and address are no-brainers, but you should also be listing products, news, plus Q and A’s. Anything that is related to your business! Be sure to include UTM parameters on all of your GMB links to track performance.

2. Call Tracking

With call tracking software like CallRail or WhatConverts, you get a more accurate look at which channels are driving your calls. Ideal candidates for this are your GMB listing, campaigns or promotions, and on your social profiles.

3. Click to Collect

Having the payment transaction take place on your website, with the exchange of goods taking place in person, gives you a deeper understanding of what digital channels are driving sales.

4. Online coupon codes

An exclusive online coupon that is redeemable in-store only helps to paint the picture of which customers are engaging with your brand online.

5. Live chat

Giving your customers a direct line to your associates can help you move them over that finish line.

6. Customer Profiles

This can help you consolidate online orders and in-store purchase for your customers

SERP performance tracking

1. Surrounding postal codes

Tools like Stat (I’ll never get used to calling it Moz) and Local Falcon allow you track how your website ranks at a hyper-local level. Tracking search performance at this level will tell you if people in your neighbourhood are seeing your shop in their searches.

2. {Your Brand} + “phone number” and “address” 

This is a low-key way to assess if people are searching for your business details

3. Brand search performance

Beyond tracking your own name (which you should be doing), tracking how well your website ranks for the brands that you carry is also an important aspect. If users can see that you carry a certain brand, then they are more likely to walk through your doors.

4. Product Search Performance

The same can be said for the products you carry. Rank well for these long-tail terms and footfall is bound to follow. 

By no means is there a perfect system to track a person from online interaction to an in-store purchase (without evasive user tracking and 24-hour surveillance). But with a little ingenuity, you can start to build a better understanding of how your customers arrive at your shop.