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PPC Conversion Tracking

Updated on June 11, 2011

PPC Conversion Tracking

PPC Conversion Tracking is a method of measuring your Return On Investment (ROI) on your Pay Per Click campaigns.

While running your PPC Campaign you may already know how many sales or leads your website is generating, but with PPC Conversion Tracking you will be able to trace each sale or lead to a specific keyword, ad group and campaign.

This information will help you make better decisions regarding allocations of your PPC budget, and optimizing your PPC campaigns.

A conversion does not need to be a sale. A conversion can be any specific action you want a visitor to perform on your website that can be measured and analyzed. For instance, if you are collecting leads, a conversion goal is to get a person to give you his email address and other pertinent data. Typically this is done by the visitor enterring these details on an opt in form and clicking submit. The visitor is then usually taken to a thank you page or a confirmation page which has a tracking code that counts each hit to this page as 1 conversion.

With PPC Conversion Tracking in place, you are able to trace the steps of that visitor that converted into a lead, finding the exact keyword and ad that got him to your website.

To optimize your campaign and try to get more converting visitors, you can increase the bids on the keywords that convert the most and you can increase the ad group budget or the daily campaign limits in order to try to get more visitors and increase conversions.

You would also need to remove the keywords that bring visitors but do not lead to conversions, since they are just costing you more money. But before doing so, try to establish if these keywords are bringing in visitors who do not convert on the first visit but do so, when they later return to your site.

Google AdWords advertisers usually opt to use the built PPC Conversion Tracking feature but this has certain limitations.

For instance, the Google AdWords PPC Conversion Tracking feature does not reveal the actual keywords for broad or phrase matched versions of your bid keyword.

Here is an example.

If you were bidding on the keyword dog training in broad and phrase match, your ad will actually be displayed and get clicks or conversions for the following:

  • synonyms of dog training such as dog teaching, training a dog, labrador training, training dogs, etc
  • phrase matched search terms like "dog training for dobermans", dog training in california", etc.

Notice that in the first version, the ad gets shown for synonyms of the keyword you are bidding on, and in the second, your ad gets shown for searches which have your keyword as part of the phrase.

The AdWords built in reporting feature will not tell you the specific keywords but only shows the keyword that you are bidding on.

You would usually need a third party software to identify the actual keywords so you can create campaigns or ad groups to target these keywords.

Second problem with the AdWords built in PPC Conversion Tracking feature is that, if a visitor lands on your through your AdWords Ad, but leaves maybe to visit other websites, and returns minutes, hours, days or weeks later... this conversion is not reported which actually should be because this was a conversion nonetheless through your AdWords campaign even if the action or conversion took place later.

Again, this is solved if you have a different software for PPC Conversion Tracking and will record the conversion even if the conversion occured much later when the visitor returned to your website.

This can happen when you are selling a product for example, and the visitor goes to other websites to compare other products with yours and once they have finally made a decision to purchase, they return to your website by entering your website name into their browser and no longer via an AdWords ad.

PPC Conversion Tracking Software

For proper PPC Conversion Tracking, the software we recommend is Affiliate Prophet. Search for it on Google.

The performance and reliability of Affiliate Prophet as a PPC Conversion Tracking software are outstanding, and it is more than just used for tracking but for testing as well.

Comments or Questions on PPC Conversion Tracking

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    • JohnBarret profile image

      JohnBarret 6 years ago

      Watching your business closely is utmost necessity of any business.

    • profile image

      Pay Per Click Optimization 7 years ago

      Great hub, anyone who is spending money on PPC marketing SHOULD track conversions obsessively, it can lower your marketing spending and boost your profits immensely.