This is a terrific question. Let’s walk through the steps to understand how to use Google Analytics to track offsite conversions.
Offsite Conversion Value
Let’s begin with the value of the conversion. On Amazon, the goal is sales. We want to sell as many of our products as possible. If we’re enrolled in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, then our goal is selling other peoples’ stuff. If we’re in Kindle Desktop Publishing for authors or Webstores, it’s selling our own products. For example, all of my books are sold both on my website and on Amazon.
Once we know what the overall sales goal is, we have to get our sales data from Amazon. Let’s use Marketing White Belt as an example. In the last 90 days, I’ve sold approximately $60 of Marketing White Belt on Amazon. So far, so good. I know what the overall value of Amazon is to my business. For Amazon Associates, export the payout report from the Associates reporting interface.
The next question is, how much traffic have I sent to Amazon? Using Google Analytics event tracking and Google Tag Manager, I can track how many times people click on my Marketing White Belt book ads on my website. For Amazon Associates, configure Tag Manager to track on any link containing amazon.com or your Associates code, as specified in the instructions on Google’s support page above:
I received 89 clicks in 90 days.
Value Per Click
Thus, I can make the starting inference that my value per click is $60/89, or 67 cents per click on my Marketing White Belt ads. Again, if I were tracking my Associates revenue, I’d use the number of clicks and the revenue from the reporting interface.
My final step would be to set up a goal in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, using the same tag but a new trigger, to fire a goal conversion any time someone clicked on one of my book links, or for Associates, any time someone clicked on an Amazon link from my site. The goal value would be 67 cents.
This isn’t exact. People can buy the book from Amazon without ever having been to my site. People can go to Amazon and not buy anything in that session.
To keep up with the changing whims of my audience, I’d re-do the math and the goal value of this analysis frequently. How frequently depends on how much business we derive from Amazon. If it’s beer money, perhaps every 30 – 90 days. If it’s mortgage money, I’d rebalance every week. Over time, I’d get enough data to create a reasonable average, and then use a rolling average to settle in on a value per click.
Be as granular as possible. If you’re an Associate focusing on several different verticals, consider setting up event tracking categories. You might have one tracking event for electronics, another for books, etc. and then from your Associates reports, break out the fees you earned in each category. Now you can set up goal conversions per category.
Good luck tracking!
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