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26 Aug 2011

AdWords Conversion Tracking

August 26, 2011PPC Advertising
Making a conversion is the key goal for any AdWords user. It is one thing to have a potential customer click an ad that leads them to your site; it is another when that person makes a purchase, and is thus converted into a true customer.

Thankfully, AdWords has a way of tracking your conversions through the use of cookies and the Google server. Every time a person clicks on your ad, AdWords attaches a cookie that identifies their computer and activity. When that potential customer finally reaches a conversion page (most often an order confirmation page) a tiny tracking conversion image becomes visible on your website. Google recognizes that image and records this as a successful conversion. Your conversion rate is the number of conversions you receive, divided by the number of visits.

So, why is conversion tracking beneficial to you? You should set up this tool for many reasons. The insight that you can gather from conversion data will help you make educated, researched decisions about your approaches to online advertising. Most importantly, it will help you optimize the keywords that trigger the highest responses.

For example, let’s say you own a company that sells purses and accessories. You are looking over the details of your AdWords campaign, and you can see how many clicks you have received but you want access to a more in-depth breakdown that tells you which of your selected keywords are converting into the most sales. Through basic conversion tracking you find that the keyword “Discount Handbags” has a 300% return on investment. Knowing this, you can now optimize your campaign by adjusting your bidding and adding similar keywords that are likely to draw the same high responses. In addition, by taking advantage of customized conversion tracking, you can also choose to report the dollar amount of each sale to determine the total value generated by each keyword in comparison to the total cost of the keyword. This will help you determine the best keywords in which to invest your advertising dollars. Using these conversion tracking tools can guide you in the direction of increasing the overall ROI of your AdWords Campaigns.

To set up conversion tracking on your AdWords account, you will need to obtain snippets of code to add to your conversion confirmation pages. To get started, go to your “Reporting and Tools” tab in AdWords and click “Conversions”, near the top. Click the “New Conversion” button, then name the conversion and select the category, or tracking purpose, you wish to associate with this entry. After you click “Save & Continue” you will be redirected to the Code tab to begin setting up the conversion code snippet settings. Follow the remaining instructions from Google as they guide you through your new conversion tracking settings. An advertiser ID will automatically be issued upon activation of conversion tracking. Google will use this to track your account in a transparent manner. If you wish, you may also opt to set up a visible Google Site Stats text block on your page that registers tracked conversions and allows you to view them there.

You should take advantage of this valuable tracking tool, as it is guaranteed to help you make better investment choices in AdWords. Knowing the results of each separate keyword sets you up for success and gives you the means to establish profitable campaigns now and in the future.

1 Comment

  • Peter Rigg Aug 27, 2011

    Nice article guys. I agree that performance is all about conversions, however the setting up and constant refinement of conversion tracking takes professional expertise. While businesses can do the basics in-house, I think it's more logical and cost effective to outsource to an expert agency. In my experience, the money saved will always cover the agency's fees and usually deliver a nice profit on top :-)

    Check out my film, which advocates the role of experts – it's called Pay Per Click Management explained in 90 seconds: http://bit.ly/jXxkwz