How to Track 2nd and 3rd Tier Engines in Google Analytics

One of the biggest hesitations that any advertiser has about joining 2nd and 3rd tier engines is tracking quality of traffic.  This is a valid concern as any smart advertiser will focus on traffic quality and not quantity.  While implementing the search engine’s conversion tracking is best practice, it can be very frustrating and time consuming.   This is mainly due to having multiple interfaces tracking data, no insights on engagement metrics and the fact that too much conversion tracking on a page can weigh it down.  So what is the best and quickest way for you to track 2nd and 3rd tier engines and get all the data you need to make educated decisions? Google Analytics Tracking….

Google Analytics has made huge strides in becoming the best FREE platform for tracking all your on-site analytics.  If you have GA implemented on your site, you can use URL parameters to segment the data from each engine, referral and email marketing effort that you are currently using.  What is great about GA is that, once parameters are in place, you are able to track all conversion numbers in one place, get engagement / e-commerce statistics from ALL online efforts and not worry about having ten different conversion tags on your thank you page.  So how do you create the URL parameters needed for tracking all these efforts? The Google URL Builder tool:

By entering in the information that is requested on Google’s URL builder, then taking the tracking parameter it generates, you can start tracking new efforts immediately.  This will save you and your web developer tons of stress and implementation time.  The main lesson is that don’t let conversion tracking prevent you from testing new engines, if you have Google Analytics in place you can get all the relevant data you need to see if new efforts are paying off…

The Importance of Fully Integrated Analytics and Google Conversion Code


The longer I manage PPC accounts the more I fully realize the importance of Google Analytics. It is of the utmost importance in truly finding the ROI and ROAS that one is looking. This is true regardless if the site is E-Commerce or Lead-Gen. Many of my clients have the base Google Analytics Code installed for the site. While this is helpful in viewing traffic patterns and entry/exit points, having the Analytics fully integrated allows us to ACTUALLY find real ROAS for each of our clients. Let me use the following example to explain what I mean.

Client X came aboard as an e-commerce site selling Vet Supplies all over the world.  They had no Conversion Code, no Analytics, and no other real way to track conversions. When they came on we convinced our client to install Google Conversion Code, as they were not tracking individual conversion types thru the Adwords Account, simply sales overall. This is a but much more common fallacy than many people realize. Once the conversion code was place it became clear that the client was spending a quite a bit of money without seeing the result that he was looking for. In fact his ROAS was definitely in the negative.

Correct use of conversion code not only counted total conversions, but also separated conversion types and recorded transaction numbers. The “Transaction Count” in Google Analytics actually is a measure of how many specific conversion types occur over a month. The nice thing about “Transaction Count” versus “Conversion Count” is TC will actually measure multiple conversions for a single user. Case in point, Client X had a “E-commerce” variable as well as an “Email Sign Up.” The “Transaction Count” will consider each of these values separately, if both are applied. Google would normally only measure these 2 actions as 1 conversion. In fully integrating the Google Conversion Code to it’s highest potential we can also give each “Conversion Type” a numerical dollar value, which we did in this scenario. For our client we knew that every 15 “Email Conversions” tended to equal 1 sale. Thus we assigned a dollar amount value to each conversion. We also assigned a dollar amount value to a normal sale.

Google Adwords will also now allow you to assign several different conversion variables as well as several conversion variable dollar amounts. This is all essential information in determining the return on your ad dollar. That being said, Google Analytics lets us to go a step further. Getting the Analytics Code fully implemented will allow us to put a numerical dollar value for each sale online. In essence, if we are selling dental products we will know how much revenue we make if we sell a Mechanical Tooth Brush as well as a Tooth Pick. For Client X this information was of utmost importance, since he was selling items that ranged from $1.25 to well over $800.00.

Getting Google Analytics Integrated fully will also allow us to see information about bounce rates, not only of your regular pages but also on the Cart. We are able see how many people do not want to pay for the “Shipping Fee” as well as how many people are not able to pay with specific payment types. For Client X we were able to see that his “shipping fee” page was the cause of88% of his exits from his cart. Once we found this out we actually lowered the shipping cost and found an almost immediate up-swing in conversions.

There really are many other reasons to implement Google Adwords Conversion Code as well as the Analytics Code fully on your website if you are using PPC. Many of these will be highlighted in the future via very specific blogs concerning each issue in depth. That being said, the predominant reason to implement both is because it is the best way available to really track and increase the return on your investment without using 3rd party subscription-based platforms or tools. Analytics paired with Adwords Conversion Code are more robust together than a lot of software out there. The difference is that it is free! It is not possible to figure the exact increase in return that Client X found by getting all of the code in place, simply because they were not tracking sales effectively before the code was implemented. A rather conservative estimate was that he increased overall ROAS by 60%! Knowing this, do you think that you can afford not to get the code in place? We would venture to say no.

Below are some helpful links for people to teach them how to get the code in place, as well as how to define e-commerce variables. Many people think it’s a lot more complicated than it really is.
This link will help you learn how to implement code to track e-commerce transactions.
While this link will teach you how to install code on your cart so you can see traffic patterns