Does your business have marketing goals?
If the answer is no I hope you have an alternative source of income.
If your answer is yes then your business should be tracking conversions.
One of the most common misconceptions about conversion tracking is that it only works for purchases made online. In reality, a conversion is any meaningful action completed by a visitor on your website. Something as simple as subscribing to your company blog, downloading a whitepaper, or even viewing an important webpage on your site can be tracked as a conversion.
So first, define what actions are meaningful to your business. Perhaps you own a sports camp and visitors who explore your interactive activities map on one of your web page’s tend to be valuable to the growth of your business. Even though these visitors are not directly increasing revenue they’re converting by expressing an interest to learn more about the services and activities you offer (making them an attractive lead).
Do you want to find out what’s working and what’s not?
Do you want to optimize your Google Ads account to improve performance?
Do you want to save money and improve your ROI?
If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, you absolutely MUST track conversions in Google Ads!
The point is conversions are important, which makes tracking them even more important. I was deeply saddened to hear that less than 50% of active Google Ads accounts have conversion tracking implemented. Not tracking conversions is essentially like driving down a windy road, in the dark, without your glasses. There is no clarity as to whether your marketing efforts are actually working. You could be wasting your dime and time on PPC due to a lack of conversions. According to Dan Norris, co-founder of Informly, “Blogs that don’t employ conversion strategies generally convert at less than 1%. Ones that do convert at 5% or higher.”
Certain clients of mine who are following my advice and tracking conversions have found that they are getting a heaping pile of ad impressions and even clicks to their sites, but those visitors aren’t converting. How frustrating! But at least they now have a clear path to focus on – for example by improving their site relevancy and optimizing their landing pages, conversions are likely to follow! But without this tracking set up, we would be stumbling down a crooked path with a blindfold on.
One of our Paid Search Strategists here at WordStream, Jason Gannon, conducted a case study in July of 2013 on one of Google’s newer features at the time, enhanced sitelinks applied at the ad group level. Jason looked at a shoe retailer in Canada focusing on CTR, conversion rate (1-per click) and conversion rate (many-per-click) to see how upgraded sitelinks affected the account. Jason found a significant impact on clicks and conversions, which helped the retailer gain more conversions and a better ROI.
“Improving conversion rate just the slightest amount is going to have a significant impact,” wrote Jason. “If all else stays equal and you can improve conversion rate by .5%, that could almost double your business!”
There is no way to make these crucial improvements without implementing conversion tracking to be aware of what changes are working or hurting your business.
In order to track conversions from PPC, you need to create a code to insert into the thank-you or confirmation page a visitor lands on after converting. So if you have multiple conversions you’re going to need a landing page, confirmation page, and code for each one. You likely already have two of these three components in place. To address the latter, follow the below steps to get coding in Google Ads:
NOTE: WordStream customers can easily generate Google Ads conversion codes through the “Show me more tab” under the Manage PPC section of the software. Reach out to your Customer Success Rep if additional guidance is needed.
Now that you are all set up with conversion tracking (provided you’ve avoided these conversion tracking mistakes), let your account run for a bit to gather data, and then make a habit of allocating time each month to analyze and optimize. Look at your conversions and conversion rate for specific campaigns, ad groups, keywords, ads, and landing pages. Allocate more budget to those that are converting well, and revamp underperforming ads or landing pages.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and test additional functionality that you may have not used in the past, for example implementing sitelink extensions or creating a remarketing campaign through the display network. According to Fit Marketing’s Chris Kilbourn, “Even the slightest bump in conversion rate can generate significant incremental business for your company.”
So take your blindfold off, put your glasses on, and start tracking conversions!
Margot is a content marketing specialist at WordStream and nutrition graduate student at Framingham State. She loves all things digital, learning about nutrition, running, traveling, and cooking.
See other posts by Margot Whitney
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