Advertising With Google Adwords

Ways to Track Conversions from Google Adwords

10/09/2009 11:19

One of the most important parts of using Google Adwords is being able to track conversions accurately. After you've made your selection of keywords, created a compelling ad, and then implemented your Google Adwords campaign, the next step is to start tracking conversions and reviewing the results.

A common way to track conversions is to look at your landing page hits and your sales quantity for a given period. However, Google provides Adwords advertisers some tools to automate the process. Below are some guidelines for tracking your conversions with Google Adwords.

Google uses a Javascript code to gather conversion data from your links. You need to embed this code in your links. This method can also be used in most checkout processes including shopping carts.

This tool does not show the number of visitors to your site; but it tracks click-throughs on your ads that resulted in a conversion. Once you place the simple code into your website, you can then access the data in the Reports Center of Google Adwords under 'Campaign Summary'.

The only requirements for installing conversion tracking on your website is that you are running approved Adwords ads on the site, and that the code snippet is placed only on your conversion page. If you're missing either of these elements, you will not be able to generate accurate data about your Adwords campaign.

You can confirm that the code is working by doing a complete conversion yourself. Just remember not to click on your own ads as this is against Adword's TOS. Once a conversion is done, you will be able to see the click-through and conversion data within twenty-four hours.

If you are using PayPal or another payment checkout system, you can still track conversions by setting up your Google Adwrods conversion tracker correctly. All you need to do in this case is set up a conversion confirmation web page within PayPal; you can then insert the Google Adwords JavaScript code directly into the web page. Whenever a customer completes the PayPal or other shopping cart process, you'll have a record of their visit, and, most importantly, the conversion.

Authors Sarah Milstein, J.D. Biersdorfer and Mathew McDonald of the book "Google: The Missing Manual", explain that it's also important to determine your total cost-per-conversion over any given campaign period.

This information will let you understand how much it actually costs to generate your sale; you can calculate this by using the free conversion-tracking tools and matching the number of conversions up with the total cost of your campaign for any given period of time. To calculate this, you will need to produce a summary report of keyword purchases at the end of each month and divide the number of conversions by your total costs to run the ad.


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