Zach Mandelblatt
By Zach Mandelblatt | SEM | November 19, 2013

The Importance of Having (& Using!) Conversion Tracking (Part 1)

Take a moment to do an experiment with me: go into your AdWords account and scan the columns you currently have displayed.  Do you see a column called “Conversions”?.  If you don’t, well, let’s talk.A lot of new advertisers start an AdWords campaign, create some keywords and ads, turn it on and start making some money.  They naturally attribute that new revenue stream to AdWords and as long as the money they put into AdWords leads to a worthwhile return (website revenue, lead generation etc.) they are happy.But what if you could cut your AdWords costs in half and still generate the same revenue through your website?  It is entirely possible that only half the keywords you’re paying for actually convert. Cutting the other half can save you a ton of money!  What if you could cut most of your AdWords budget and see little to no decrease in website sales?  I’ve seen quite a few accounts where, once we get conversion tracking setup, we find that the advertiser is making all their sales via organic traffic or referrals. It turns out that, for this advertiser’s revenue stream, their AdWords spend was lighting money on fire (they were making the classic “Mistaking Activity For Achievement” error).

joker
                                                            Is this all AdWords is accomplishing for you? Conversion tracking will let you know
      Getting conversion tracking working properly is the single most important part of your AdWords and Google Analytics setup, and using that conversion tracking data is the basis of good ongoing PPC Management.  There is a reason it is the most important topic we teach new Account Technicians.  You simply can’t construct a successful advertising game plan without it, as you have no idea what works and what doesn’t.  This means not just having AdWords conversion tracking working, but also rigging up your Google Analytics account to give you even more in-depth data.  Conversion tracking can instantaneously make you the knowledgeable and successful Brad Pitt/Billy Beane Oakland Athletics of Moneyball lore instead of the hapless Kansas City Royals.  The statistical revolution is here, use it to make you more money!
brad pitt            baseball

Which one of these guys do you want to be?   

     Now, let’s say you already had conversion tracking setup and running. Are you using it properly?  Do you even use it at all?  Have you been using the power of statistical significance to perform ad rotations & figure out your optimal ad language?   Have you tried advertising platforms other than Google (like Bing which provides a better ROI for most of our clients)?  If you have an extra $1000 per month of advertising windfall, are you best served dumping it into AdWords or applying it to a long term Search Engine Optimization strategy that increases your organic traffic?  Conversion tracking can help you answer all these questions, but only if you use it.  As Will Smith teaches us so aptly Hancock, having super powers is one thing, but getting out there and using them for good is another thing entirely.There are many different kinds of conversions out there, from online purchases to phone calls to form fill-outs to video views.  AdWords & Google Analytics can track all of them.  Come back next week as I’ll go through the three basic types of conversions and the best way to use the tools available to us to track them (or give us a call & see how we can help you track your conversions!)
the fresh prince
                                             The Fresh Prince may have conversion tracking, but in some movies he sure ain’t using it properly!
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