How to track conversions in Analytics to optimize AdWords campaigns

How to track conversions in Analytics to optimize AdWords campaigns

I have seen things in AdWords you human wouldn’t believe… (even in agencies or companies which should be above all suspicion).

  • Spasmodic attention to CTR. I have a 10%, so the campaign is perfect!
  • Billions of useless campaigns or groups. As if there was someone else to control and optimize them (and quality scores could skyrocket above 10).
  • Generic keywords formed by 1 or 2 words, in broad match and without negative keywords, with thousands of impressions/clics for weird searches consuming all the budget.
  • CPCs set at random, with “limited budget” warning & keywords chosen with the above criteria.

But, by far, the most devastating thing I’ve seen are accounts with no conversion tracked, or tracking the wrong ones. As if there was no tomorrow… 😉
Let me be clear on this point: if you do not track conversions, via AdWords or Analytics, you will never truly optimize an account. Every time this happens a PPC professional dies in bad sufferings somewhere in the world, even if the budget is 3€ a day or you are promoting a branding website, where, apparently, you cannot track anything.
This is one of the few things on which I do not accept discussions. If you do not want or can track conversions, you must ask for someone else (better if with strong parapsychological & future prediction  skills ;-). This is because conversions, even “behavioral” ones, are the only thing letting you understand if you selected the right keywords and the ideal budget for each campaign.
Unfortunately, however, to set conversion tracking is not always easy. You must often change site coding and the CMS itself, in the worst cases.
Probably for this reason Google launched some months ago “smart goals” in Analytics.  They can be configured by a stupid monkey hit by meningitis and do not require any changes to the site. You won’t never exactly know what they really are, but letting Analytics to define your goals is by far better than not tracking anything at all.
For viewing them in AdWords you still need to connect the two accounts and import them from Analytics, but that’s better than having the site modified (and you will only need an average intelligence chimpanzee to accomplish that ;-).
Just to explain in a simple and complete way all the possibilities offered by Analytics in optimizing an AdWords account I created this infographic.
If you have a friend who does PPC without tracking conversions, let him see it… You never know… may be he will be converted… 😉
Track them all infographic
Anyway, We are still searching for interesting PPC case stories for the next ADworld Experience (which will be in Bologna – Italy – on April 13-14 2017). Good to know, isn’t it?

Gianpaolo Lorusso
1 Comment
  • Soumya Roy
    Posted at 15:30h, 23 November Reply

    Very informative post and really well written & guided. Obviously Analytics is such a helpful tool, it not only helps tracking clicks, visits or conversions for paid traffics but the same can be done for organic traffics too. Additionally we can use couple of other traffic analysis tools in combination with Google Analytics to get the best results out of those.

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