If you don't have proper tracking in your online store, you shouldn't be surprised if the conversion rates don't go quite as well as you'd like.
With proper tracking, not only do you get new optimization ideas, but you also enter a new world and get to know your store even better. There are so many reasons why you should do nothing other than add tracking to your store at this very moment.
More on this today with Jörg Dennis Krüger, the master of tracking and hacking.
TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS EPISODE OF THE PODCAST
Yes, hello, my name is Jörg Dennis Krüger, and as my bean counter at reception has already said:
Yes, I am the conversion hacker.
And in this edition of the Conversion Hacking Podcast, I want to talk about the most important thing when it comes to conversion optimization. Namely, conversion and measuring conversion and the conversion rate and everything behind it, so that we have a basis for optimizing our store in some way.
Because actually (and I'm always massively shocked by this), tracking, web analytics and so on are still completely underestimated. As I wrote my book, "Conversion boosting with website testing"(2011, well over ten years ago), I distributed the first ten pages beforehand to do some advertising. And the first ten pages are very much about tracking.
My boss at the time, Norman Nötzold from Quisma, read through it and saw my examples where I write about people having the wrong numbers and no proper tracking and so on. Then he looked at me and asked, "Dennis, is that really the case? Are there people who don't have proper tracking numbers, who somehow rely on the wrong tools? That's not realistic at all."
And yes, it would be great if that wasn't realistic. In most projects, we first have to clean up our tracking data because customers come around the corner with completely incorrect data. And why do I say that? I had another case just today. A new customer comes in and says he has a conversion rate of almost 10 percent. In this case, I could almost believe him, because it was really just a single-page store and a landing page, and then the checkout. If it's good traffic, it's possible that we can achieve a 10 percent conversion rate. I know this from our Conversion X-Ray, which also has a similar conversion rate.
But then I look at the data at home and realize that there is no 10% conversion rate in this person's store. This is because the data was simply looked at in the completely wrong place and not all visitors were included at all. This 10 percent is the check-out rate of those who have already placed something in the shopping cart and then ultimately make a purchase. And then the rate is pretty bad, the 10 percent check-out rate should be significantly higher.
Then you look, okay, how do you measure that? And I realize that Google Analytics isn't really set up here, the landing page isn't included either, because these are different systems. You notice that conversion tracking doesn't really work anyway, it's somehow so difficult to integrate and so on.
So hey, you do online advertising, you want to make thousands, tens of thousands of sales a month, and then you don't even have your tracking under control. Sorry, that's really the last straw! And then there's no Google Analytics four in the site, but Universal Analytics, which isn't even set up properly. And that's where it really turns me around, because the numbers, the data are absolutely the most important thing for us to understand what's going on on our website. Everything else is like driving on the highway at 180 km/h in thick fog. You can just about get your bearings, but it's super dangerous, and you only know afterwards whether something will really come of it or just a big accident.
In any case, the risk is extremely high that it won't work at all because you don't know what to do. And yes, that's why I can only say again and again, "Setting up tracking properly is the absolute first step".
In every roadmap I provide, the first thing I always include is: check tracking, set up tracking so that we really know what data we have. And so that we know that our data is tracked correctly, that nothing is somehow assigned to PayPal and so on. And oh, so many other things that you have to set up once in web analytics, and then you really have a proper view of the data.
Without proper data, I can't see my change at all. It's particularly bad when I put work into the store and then can't quantify what this work has achieved. And that's exactly why we need proper tracking data. And if I have a Shopify store, for example, it's super easy to set up proper conversion tracking. If I have a WooCommerce store, it's actually even easier and even better to set up proper tracking. Okay, I have to buy a plug-in for that, but then the whole thing runs like clockwork, and that also applies to all other systems.
Google Analytics is actually so easy to get into everywhere, and even for Matomo, if it really has to be, there is excellent support in most systems, and I can then track very well in there. And then I can make decisions, and then I can really make sure that my store is developing in the right direction.
And the coolest thing is that once you've set up tracking properly, the store operator is completely surprised that you can suddenly see so much. That happened recently in a call where I set up Google Analytics Four properly and the customer was so surprised that he could see which products were placed in the shopping cart and which of them were purchased. And in the end, it was really just a few clicks to get the plug-in working in WooCommerce.
It's not complicated at all to throw Universal and GA4 into Tracking in parallel. The customer was suddenly in a whole new world. He recognized his store anew and began to understand it. And then, of course, completely new optimization ideas emerge because I can then really see and analyze which products are visited, put in the shopping cart and which products are purchased. And I can also see where something is abandoned.
And Google Analytics 4 in particular offers us so many new possibilities (yes, you have to get used to using it, I realize) that work really well and where you can extract an incredible amount of information. As sorry as I am, Google Analytics is somehow still the gold standard for web analytics. Everything else is either technically not so good that it simply doesn't track enough, or it's difficult to integrate, or the reporting is just super bad.
I don't want to name names, but even large commercial systems have real problems with usability. Therefore, even if it is better with GA4 than with Universal Analytics in terms of data protection, I would always rely on Google Analytics. But tracking is not just Google Analytics. Of course, I also have to make sure that my Meter and TikTok tracking works properly, that my Google tracking is really set up so that I collect as much data as possible in Google Ads and so on. Everything is then data, and I can make so many decisions about data and do so much right.
So homework for you: check Google Analytics now, check your tracking now, and if you're not tracking everything properly in there, then set it up properly now! Not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow, now, when you're listening to this podcast! Because the big problem is that what we don't track is gone. We can't track anything retrospectively, we can't change anything retrospectively, even in the configuration, so that we see the data differently.
So we need to make sure as quickly as possible that our data is correct and as clean as possible in Google Analytics and all systems, because otherwise we simply won't have this data. And that's why we need to start tracking properly as early as possible so that we really have all the data and can then work with it. Anyone who puts this off is beyond help because, as I mentioned earlier, they are flying blind. Blind on the highway, in the fog, always keeping your foot on the gas. In other words, throwing a lot of money at Facebook and so on, putting a lot of work into the store, but not knowing at all whether there might be a heavy goods vehicle in front of us that we're about to drive into, and then it's over.
Tough example, but it's true. So here we go. Take care of your tracking. Now! Yeah, and like I said, five stars is what I'd like on Spotify, Apple, where you can rate me like that, and if you have any questions, if you need more input and stuff like that, just email email@example.com or comment under this post on our website jdk.de/podcast.
Just step on the gas! E-commerce is so great, and with tracking and much more conversion hacking, it's even more fun.
See you soon! Yours, Jörg Dennis Krüger!