Coding Series: Part 2 – AdWords Conversion Tracking

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This is the second post in Leverage Marketing’s five-part instructional series on coding. AdWords Conversion Tracking is a tool that helps advertisers measure how effective their ads and keywords are by accruing data on monthly conversions, cost per conversion, and conversion rate. It also provides a snapshot of what visitors do after clicking on an ad.

By implementing the conversion tracking code on your website, you will be able to better evaluate the account’s performance. Conversion Tracking will also help the Leverage Marketing team spot further ad opportunities within AdWords. This combined with Google Analytics’ extensive reporting will allow Leverage Marketing to calculate return on investment and understand what weaknesses there are in the conversion process.

Benefits: Conversion Tracking

Conversion Tracking provides advertisers with information on which keywords are helping to meet their campaign goals by connecting keywords with conversions. This performance data assists advertisers in determining what keywords are serving them best, which allows them to invest in those keywords that are bringing in business and avoid those that aren’t.

Much like goals in Google Analytics, Conversion Tracking allows advertisers to define up to 100 actions per account. An action is one that advertisers hope visitors will complete upon visiting the website, such as a purchase, email newsletter signup, or contact form submission. By setting up actions, advertisers can track many separate goals by placing the associated conversion tracking code snippet on their website for each of these actions.

How it Works: Conversion Tracking

Once goals have been defined, Google provides a JavaScript snippet to install on pages where tracking is warranted. The code passes the specified parameters back to Google. These parameters include the following data, which is implemented into the JavaScript code snippet:

google_conversion_id: a unique value associated with the advertiser

google_conversion_value: a numeric value associated with the value of the conversion

google_conversion_label: the type of conversion

google_conversion_language: the language of the text that appears on the website

Technical Details: Conversion Tracking

The conversion Tracking tool works by placing a code on users’ computers or mobile devices once the code has been installed on the website. Then, when the user reaches a conversion page, the cookie connects to the web page and Google records a conversion. With this, a small conversion tracking image is displayed on the advertiser’s site. After 30 days, the cookie expires. Statistics will be collected and can be viewed in reports.

Google Site Stats text is a text block that appears after the transaction is completed if the code snippet is properly placed on the confirmation page. Such text may read, “Thank you for your purchase / subscription / visit page, etc.” Advertisers have the option to opt out of Site Stats but it could undermine users’ trust and privacy.

Leverage Marketing will pull the Conversion Tracking code from the AdWords account and provide our clients with the code and instructions on how to correctly implement it on all conversion pages.

Conversion code sample:

<!– Google Code for Purchase Conversion Page –>
<script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”>
<!–
var google_conversion_id = 1234567890;
var google_conversion_language = “en_US”;
var google_conversion_format = “1”;
var google_conversion_color = “666666”;
var google_conversion_label = “Purchase”;
//–>
</script>
<script language=”JavaScript” src=”http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js”>
</script>
<noscript>
<img height=1 width=1 border=0
src=”http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/1234567890/?value=1&label=Purchas
e&script=0″>
</noscript>

Code Implementation: Conversion Tracking

Code installation will not effect the website unless a conversion is completed. The code snippet should be placed between the <body> tags, closer to the </body> tag, so that the image appears further down the page. Do not place the code in the page header or footer because it can overstate the conversion statistics.

Example of correctly implemented code on HTML document:

<html>

<head>
<title>Sample HTML File</title>
</head>
<body> This is the body of your web page.
<!– Google Code for Purchase Conversion Page –>
<script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”>
<!–
var google_conversion_id = 1234567890;
var google_conversion_language = “en_US”;
var google_conversion_format = “1”;
var google_conversion_color = “666666”;
var google_conversion_label = “Purchase”;
//–>
if (1) {
var google_conversion_value = 1
}
</script>
<script language=”JavaScript” src=”http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js”>
</script>
<noscript>
<img height=1 width=1 border=0
src=”http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/1234567890/?value=1.0&label=Pur
chase&script=0″>
</noscript>
</body>
</html>

AdWords Conversion Tracking with Google Analytics

By linking AdWords to Google Analytics, advertisers will be able to obtain detailed tracking information and create customized statistics to help in calculating return on investment. It will also enable advertisers to spot further ad opportunities by viewing AdWords conversions alongside Analytics goals/transactions.

Once linked, the Analytics data will automatically be imported into AdWords’ Conversion Optimizer, which streamlines bidding for conversions at a lower cost. This tool optimizes advertiser’s placement in the ad auction to ensure they get cheap, low-converting clicks while still getting as many high-converting clicks as is profitable.

Technical Details: Google AdWords with Google Analytics

In order for Conversion Tracking to work with Google Analytics, advertisers must link their AdWords account and opt into Data Sharing to import Analytics data into AdWords Conversion Tracking. Please refer to Part I of the coding series for instructions on how to link Google Analytics to your AdWords account.

To import AdWords cost data:

  1. Select the Reporting tab in the AdWords account and click ‘Google Analytics.’
  2. Click ‘Edit’ next to the profile you wish to edit.
  3. Click the ‘Edit’ link in the upper-right hand corner of the ‘Main Website Profile Information’ box.
  4. Check the ‘Apply Cost Data’ checkbox.
  5. Click ‘Save Change.’

To import Analytics goals and transactions into AdWords Conversion Tracking:

  1. Click ‘Edit Account and Data Sharing Settings’ in Google Analytics account.
  2. Select the ‘With other Google products only’ option under ‘Share my Google Analytics data…’
  3. Click ‘Save Changes.’
  4. Navigate to the Conversion Tracking page from within AdWords. The Conversion Tracking page will show a message alerting you that goals and transactions are ready to be linked. *Please note that it may take up to two weeks for your Analytics data to be imported into AdWords.
  5. Click ‘Import from Google Analytics’ from the Conversion Tracking table.
  6. Select the goals or transactions you want from the list. Edit the action name and tracking purpose here so that you can identify the goals once they show up in your AdWords conversion reports.
  7. Select ‘Import’ from the bottom of the table.

With a linked AdWords and Analytics account, you can set up new reports that track the progression from an ad click / impression to a final conversion and all of the behaviors in between that a visitor takes before making their conversion decision. This “upper-funnel” keyword data that assists the final conversion before the last ad click will help determine which keywords are most valuable.

AdWords Conversion Tracking is another one of Google’s free tools that allows you to easily determine which keywords are meeting your goals and which keywords perform best so that you can better allocate your budget to high-performing keywords. To find out more visit: http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=16344. If you have any other questions about AdWords Conversion Tracking or how to install the code, please feel free to follow up with your Leverage Marketing account manager.