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Adwords Conversion Tracking - Using Google Analytic's to work out your ppc conversions

Updated on June 30, 2012

Setting up Your conversion Tracking

People who run Google AdWords campaigns don't know about or don't use Conversion Tracking. It's such a critical part of any AdWords campaign, and a much more accurate indicator of your success than a high Click Through Rate or a low Cost per Click.

AdWords Conversion Tracking is a tool to help you measure conversions, and ultimately help you identify how effective your AdWords ads and keywords are for you.

The basics are you need to add the conversion code to the website, see the video on how to do this below:

How to set-up AdWords conversion tracking

The Basics

Is AdWords conversion tracking the same as google analytics? Well yes and know they both track progress, however conversion is an active process and takes a lot of the work out of you producing your own stats, because the conversion tracking will place a cookie on your customer’s computer. Once they reach the page you have dedicated as a successful conversion i.e. "After they have signed up", or after they have submitted their payment details. There cookies will match and that will result in a successful conversion being tracked. Remember cookies on the customer’s computer expire after 30 days, so if they bookmark but purchase after this date then the conversion will not be tracked.


How will it benefit me? Google Ad to Amazon conversion

Now I hear you say, how does conversion tracking help me. Well it allows you to make more informed decisions about your online advertising. Mainly in what ads and keywords you invest in. This data allows you to measure your return on investment (ROI), for your AdWords campaigns with much more accuracy.

Say Kate owns a B&B and her conversion tracking works when her customers pay the deposit on a booking. You already know that you can use your CTR and quality score to monitor the success of your ads, if you’re not sure see my hub on Creating A Good AdWords PPC Advert. However wouldn't it be better to know which keywords/Ads are not only getting clicks but which are converting to Sales.

With conversion tracking Kate can get this valuable information, and more he can also see a dollar amount of each sale and get the total monies earned by each of his keywords/Ads and comparing this to the cost of the keyword/Ad.

With the conversion tracking Kate realizes that she is getting a 400% ROI on the term "guest house" but only a 210% return on the word "B&B", so she increases the spend on the keyword "guest house"

So as you can see conversion tracking is a very powerful tool. See the video below for more on ROI.

ROI with Conversion Tracking

Conversion Funnel

Important Concepts

So as you can see conversion tracking is a very powerful tool.

Now how is your conversion rate calculated, well you know that your CTR is:

CTR = (Clicks/Impressions) x 100

Conversion rate is very similar:

Conversion rate = (conversions/clicks) x 100

The next most important thing is where do I put my tracking code, the best place normally is just before the closing <body> tag on the sign-up thank you page or credit card processed successfully page, or any other page ONLY accessible after a successful conversion, that way you can be sure it was an actual conversion.

Now a question which is very difficult to answer, because it tends to be unique to the product/service you are offering. What is a good conversion rate? Well from my experience here are my thoughts.

  • An excellent Conversion rate is a conversion rate which is making you a massive profit per clicks month on month, and in my experience is about 10% plus.
  • A Very good conversion Rate should be making you a good steady profit is about 2%+, by split testing, optimizing by working with CTR and advert tweaking you can reach double figures.
  • A good conversion rate should be making you a standard profit month on month and this is about 1%, however there is still much room for improvement.
  • A conversion rate of about 0.5% is ok and you should be making a small profit, but needs a lot of work.
  • A conversion rate of under 0.5% is normally a cause for concern and you may be making a loss. Either remove this ad/keyword, or try a radical new approach in you advert.

I hope this helps, but bear in mind if you are selling very high value products a 0.1% conversion rate might be amazing due to the profit you would make, so always adjust these for your personal circumstance.

Mobile devices

Lastly a gentle word of warning, Google advertise that conversion tracking can be used on mobile devices, whilst this is technically true there are some serious implications you should be made aware of.

Many mobile phones do not allow JavaScript to run on their browsers. Even with those that do allow JavaScript, many do not allow cookies. In fact, a number of mobile network operators block cookies as well as session details from being passed on to third parties such as Google AdWords. Also most mobiles only store cookies for a very short period of time not the 30 days conversion tracking normally gives.

Without cookies, the vast majority of conversions resulting from AdWords ads on mobile devices will go unrecorded. This is a serious issue, as it implies that the ROI calculations and conversion statistics you make for your campaigns will be far from the actual figures.
Here is what a Google account manage said on the matter:

“A significant percentage of mobile browser and carrier combinations do not support cookies. Google adds cookies to a user’s mobile device when he or she clicks on an ad to track conversions. Therefore, if users are using mobile browsers or carriers that do not accept or support cookies, they will not be included in your conversion tracking statistics,

Additionally, cookies on mobile phones expire faster than the ones created for PCs. Therefore, a significant number of conversions for your site may go unrecorded after a certain period of time. When viewing conversions for a specified time period, note that conversions are assigned to the date on which the ad click occurs, not the date on which the conversion occurs. In addition, we will not be able to report conversions for users who disable cookies.
Conversion tracking is also not supported when users disable images on their mobile phones.

Although Google cannot record every conversion due to the reasons mentioned above, your conversion rate, cost-per-conversion, cost-per-transaction and value/click are adjusted to reflect only those sites from which we can track conversions.“

I hope this guide is useful source of info why not check out some of my other guides.


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    • dipless profile image

      dipless 6 years ago from Manchester

      Glad that it was of help to you.


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