Zach Mandelblatt
By Zach Mandelblatt | SEM | February 10, 2014

You Installed Conversion Tracking. Now What?

Over the last couple months, I’ve written  a lot about setting up conversion tracking for your AdWords account and for Google Analytics.  Getting your tracking properly calibrated is a great accomplishment, but once you have all that data at your fingertips, how do you use it to optimize your ad spend?

You’ve run off with your new bride, the lovely Ms. Conversion Tracking… now what???

The answer to that question depends on whether your budget is capped or whether you’re happy with any conversion so long as it comes below a target CPA (cost/conversion).

If you are an e-commerce store with conversion tracking configured correctly,  Google Analytics E-Commerce Tracking is pumping revenue-data into your AdWords account as “Total Conversion Value”.   “Total Conversion Value/Cost”, a statistic you can display in your AdWords account, will tell you how many dollars of revenue are produced by each dollar of AdWords spend – even down to the keyword level.  If you are working with a fixed budget, you should use Total Conversion Value/Cost to maximize your revenue given your fixed budget.  Are some keywords more profitable than others?  Pause the less valuable keywords and see if you can spend your full budget on the best parts of your AdWords account!  Have you tried Bing Ads?  Google Analytics will tell you how much revenue your Bing Ads account is generating (just make sure to tag your ad destination URLs in Bing properly using a URL Builder, or else Bing Ads traffic will show up as Bing or Yahoo organic traffic in your GA).  We have clients with limited budgets who started out spending their limited budget exclusively on AdWords, but now spend their entire budget on Bing Ads. Why? Because their E-Commerce tracking told us that Bing Ads returned twice the revenue per dollar spent than AdWords did.

If you’re working with a target CPA, you are happy with any Conversion Value/Cost that meets a certain standard. In my opinion, these types of advertisers get to have the most fun and can fully utilize the power of conversion tracking to improve their sales. Let’s pretend you are happy with any $1 of ad spend that returns $5 of revenue. With GA E-Commerce tracking configured properly, you can see every keyword, ad, and campaign that meets or surpasses that target ROI. As long as you keep hitting that 5:1 ROI, you can expand your budget and increase your bids to generate more revenue. If you saturate AdWords text campaigns, try other less used marketing platforms. Bing Ads, Google Video Network, Facebook, Twitter, any number of product feeds like Shopzilla or Amazon, and many more possible revenue sources could provide more revenue at the target 5:1 return.  If you properly tag your links and have your tracking set up correctly,  you can use Google Analytics to identify winners and losers.

 

 These seem like simple and intuitive concepts, but you would be surprised by how many advertisers gather tons of conversion tracking data but don’t act on it.  Indeed, Adwords and Google Analytics can be overwhelming.  However, if your conversion tracking is set up properly and you are willing to slog through the numbers, you can find many ways to massively increase the impact of your advertising dollars.

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