Building Successful PPC: Tracking Success

Chad Kearns, Vice President of Marketing Services
Tracking Success Hero

Now that we have built the account structure, populated the ad groups with keywords, written compelling ad copy, and added in ad extensions, it’s time to go live!…

Hold Your Horses.

Are you set up to track performance? Having the ability to track the success of paid search campaigns is vital to the success of your efforts. Being able to track key performance indicators such as leads generated or transactions completed is an invaluable tool for optimization.

If you think about it in simple business terms, you need to know how much revenue you’re generating in relation to the amount of ad spend. If you can’t do this effectively, you will have a hard time validating paid search campaigns.

There are two main ways within Google that advertisers can track the success of their paid search efforts.

Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Ads offers an easy way to track conversions by using code that records when a customer lands on a pre-determined page on the business website.

Tracking individual pages such as the “thank you” or “confirmation” page is a powerful way to track the amount of people who complete a goal.

Setting up Ads conversion tracking starts by clicking the Tools and Analysis tab at the top of the Ads interface.

AdWords Tools and Analysis

Then, click Conversions.

Add Conversion Example

To create your conversion, click the +Conversion button.

The default conversion name will be “Conversion #1;” let’s change that. Name it something descriptive like “Transaction Completed” or “Lead Submitted.”

The Source should be kept at Webpage; after this, save the changes.

Next, after saving the changes, choose a Conversion Category.

There are four main conversion categories: Purchase/Sale, Signup, Lead, or View of a page.

With these four options, you need to choose the category that best applies to the goal we have defined for our visitors.

After you select the category, choose the Markup Language for our conversion code. The default is set to HTML, which is typically what most advertisers use, but there are other types such as CHTML, XHTML or WML.

Save the changes and now the final step.

If you are capable of making these site changes on your own, then do so; otherwise hiring someone to do it correctly the first time is worth it.

Once your code populates it will look similar to the code below:

AdWords conversion code

It is critical that we only post the code on a page which can only be reached once the visitor completes the desired goal.

For businesses, the typical pages for the code to be added include the thank you or confirmations page, which can only be landed on once completing a contact form or purchase.

Click Done to complete the setup process.

Once the code is implemented onto the correct page, your tracking is set up.

Linking Ads and Google Analytics

If Ads conversion tracking is the BMW of tracking solutions, then linking your Google Analytics account with your Ads account is the Ferrari. It will give you great insights that will allow you to take tracking to the next level.

By linking both these Google accounts, advertisers will be able to see their website traffic metrics such as average time on site, bounce rate and page/visits.

In addition to these insights, e-commerce businesses with correctly implemented analytics tracking can track revenue numbers.

Using this type of data, advertisers are able to see how ad spend correlates with revenue figures.

To get started, click the Tools and Analysis tab in the Ads interface, then click Google Analytics.

Next, click the Admin tab in the upper right-hand corner of the interface.

Then click the account that holds your active Google Analytics profile.

Find your active profile, and click the star to the left of the profile name. Do not click the profile name.

Google Analytics Profile

Once the profile star is highlighted, click the Data Sources tab.

Data Sources Tab

Next, click Link Accounts.

AdWords GA Link Accounts

The last step in the process is to make sure that your active profile is selected and your ads are getting auto-tagged.

Auto tagging set up

Click Continue to finalize the linking between your Ads and Analytics accounts.

An account build following the guidelines we have laid out with the proper conversion tracking will make account management that much more enjoyable.

Check out the rest of the six-part series:

PRIMER: What is PPC – Pay Per Click Marketing Explained
PART 1: Structuring Your Google Ads Account
PART 2: Understanding Campaign Settings
PART 3: Researching Keywords
PART 4: Writing Engaging Ads
PART 5: The Best Google Ads Extensions to Implement
PART 6: Tracking Success (you are here)

If you want to improve conversion tracking, we recommend syncing your CRM to your Google Ads account known as offline conversion tracking.

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