One of the best things about Google Ads is that you can launch a campaign today and see new traffic to your website right away. But it won’t take very long to wonder “What is all this traffic doing?”
Especially since the majority of traffic who might be buyers of your products or services, won’t usually make a purchase on the first visit.
Certainly, there is a large volume of data that Google supplies in your account dashboard (where the ads are monitored), including:
- how many times the ads were presented (impressions)
- how many people clicked on the ads
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
- Cost per Click (CPC)
- overall cost
- and much more
As valuable as all that information is, the standard dashboard data can only measure what happens up to the instant someone clicks on an ad.
Yet, if you’re not also tracking what happens after visitors click on your ads, who then visit your website, you’re missing some significant information.
For instance, the standard dashboard metrics do not tell you how many visitors did make a purchase. It doesn’t tell you which ad or keywords resulted in a purchase (or conversion).
The good news is that Google opens up the door to much more information about your advertising traffic if you’re willing to invest a little more labor into installing some tracking codes on your website.
Google provides a free tool called “Conversion tracking” for this purpose. Installing this code on your website results in an ongoing tabulation of what happens after a visitor interacts with your ads, which is vital towards improving the performance of your advertising.
By the way, the term “Conversion” is a general word to represent any number of desired actions that support your marketing goals. The first type of conversion that comes to mind for many would be a sale, or any type of product purchase. However, there are many other conversions, such as someone subscribing to your newsletter, sending you an email, requesting a proposal, asking for a quote, calling your business, downloading a white paper, downloading your app, etc.
Regardless of which business goals are important to you, any time a customer completes such an action it’s called a conversion, and it’s to your benefit to have this information tracked and tabulated in your Google Ads dashboard to provide important insights into your advertising performance.
For example, you could find that certain keywords are costing a lot of money, but are not resulting in conversions. Hence, you could reduce your ad costs and improve your ad performance by eliminating the poor performing keywords or reducing your bids for them, while also raising your bids on the keywords that are resulting in conversions, so that you can get more of them. In other words, the more money you bid on a keyword the more that Google may present your ads to searchers using those keywords. However, that last statement is an over-simplification. For more info on bidding, visit How the Google Search Ad Auction Works.
The bottom line is that whether you are managing your own PPC campaigns or having someone else do so, you should ensure conversion tracking is set up and operating correctly.
Avid hiker, bicyclist, motorcyclist and long-time advertising pro. Founder of Skyworks Marketing, Nonprofit Fire and Our Ventura TV (cable TV). One career highlight was working on a small team that built a business from nothing to over $100 Million in 3 years. Skyworks Marketing provides lead generation and video advertising services. We create custom marketing funnels that provide the highest-quality leads and sales.