Top 5 Tips for PPC Conversion Tracking
One of the most important elements of any paid search account, be it Google or Bing, is conversion tracking – recording the counts of desired actions from your inbound traffic. Without it, you are throwing marketing dollars into a black hole, and will never know which keyword or ad variation helped generate results, which is the foundation for optimization.
As a business owner or marketing lead, you may ask “how do I even start tracking?” or later on “how do I know my current tracking setup is accurate?”. To help, we’ve compiled the top five tips you should know.
1 // Determine your conversion types and categorize them.
To start, you need to answer the “what” – what is the desired action that you want potential customers to complete, that is specific to your business goals? For example, service providers will want to schedule appointments, retailers will want eCommerce transactions, and marketing technology services will most likely want demo requests – these are considered “hard conversions” that affect your bottom line. But what about the other actions that users may complete along the conversion funnel, which assist the bottom line? These are called “soft conversions”, sometimes represented as newsletter sign-ups or whitepaper downloads, and can be used in lead nurturing or remarketing campaigns later on to close the deal.
2 // Identify where conversions are being completed.
So you know what you need to track and why, but where are they occurring? It’s important to map out whether your conversions are website form submissions, live chats started, phone calls, downloads or simply video views. This will help determine the type of tracking code needed, where to place it, and how.
3 // Implement the proper tracking code.
Phone call tracking can vary depending on your business’ technology platforms. If you already use a call tracking platform such as CallRail, CallTrackingMetrics or others, phone call conversions can be recorded by linking the platform to Google Analytics, creating a new event-based goal, and importing that goal into Google Ads as a new conversion action. If your business uses one local phone number for all calls, set-up is done within your Ads platform and uses an assigned forwarding number unique to your account.
4 // VERIFY.
After all tracking code has been implemented, or conversion IDs have been added and published with your tag management system, never forget to verify it! Go back to your conversion actions and make sure the status is not “inactive” before enabling any PPC campaigns.
5 // Customize the conversion settings.
In Google Ads specifically, once you create a conversion action you can edit the settings in a number of ways. For calls, determine a minimum call length (to optimize toward) – does it require a long conversation to close a customer? Perhaps setting the minimum call time to 60 or 120 seconds to be labeled as a conversion is best. For forms, simply un-check the “add into conversions” box for actions that you want visibility into but don’t necessarily want to optimize toward with automated bidding – an example would be newsletter sign-ups, for an appointment-based business (they are nice to see, but not a primary conversion).