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Adwords Tip 2 – Set up conversion tracking

By Rob Drummond on Mon 16 August 2010 in Web Analytics

Conversion tracking is crucial...

Why set up conversion tracking?

Okay, you’ve set up your initial Adwords campaigns, and you’re up and running. You log in a week later, and find that your initial efforts appear to have been a roaring success – you’ve got a number of clicks on your ads and reasonable clickthrough rates. Unfortunately though, the cash register hasn’t been ringing – so what’s going wrong?

The first step is to make sure you are tracking conversions. Google allows you to add a script to your conversion pages, which recognises when a website visitor has taken an action valuable to your business, and tracks this back to a particular Google ad and keyword. That way, you get to see how well your ads are working in terms of real, revenue generating actions.

This is important on a number of levels:

Firstly, it makes sure you aren’t attracting ‘tire kickers’ with your Google Ads. By ‘tire kickers’ we mean people who click on your ads but are a bad fit for your products and offers – in other words people who click on your ads but are never going to buy what you are offering. This allows you to focus on the keywords that deliver the most responsive paying customers to your site.

Secondly, it allows you to see what you can and cannot afford to spend. So, if a particular keyword is costing you £5 per click (not an un-common amount for a competitive keyword), but you know from your conversion tracking that each click results – on average, in £6.50 worth of sales, then you know that this is a profitable keyword – and one that you may want to peel and stick into its own Ad Group.

In summary…

Google make it as easy as possible to track what happens to your paid search visitors, so you know for certain whether you are getting value for money or not. In a complex sales process you get to define different types of conversion – for example a new lead or a sale, newsletter signup or view of a key page. Importantly, you can then assign a value to each goal. This really comes down to knowing how valuable your leads are – for example a newsletter signup may be worth £5 to you, while a product enquiry might be worth £75. By assigning values to your goals you quickly see which keywords are most profitable, and which are simply draining your Adwords budget.