“And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” – Matthew 15
The first deadly sin of AdWords is blindness. Not blindness in the sense of not being able to see your computer screen, but blindness to what your AdWords dollars are doing. This blindness arises from the absence of conversion tracking and will kill your AdWords campaign without you even knowing what happened.
Why So Deadly?
For most this is obvious, but some of you may be asking why this is such a big deal. You may be thinking “My sales went up when I started using AdWords, so it’s working fine.” Perhaps you view PPC as brand advertising that is increasing your visibility or brand equity. Nice try, but if your boss asks you to justify your PPC budget with actual results, can you? In a recession, you would be wise to anticipate this question.
Conversion tracking is how you see clearly what your ad dollars are doing for you. This sin is most fatal to beginners because Google can’t turn it on by default (and really they don’t care if you do turn it on as long as you keep spending) yet the implementation of conversion tracking is painfully simple. Here is a step-by-step guide to implementing conversion tracking so you can avoid this deadly sin:
- Log into AdWords
- Click Conversion Tracking near the top of the screen
- Click Create a New Action
- Name your Action something that makes sense, like Purchase or Newsletter Signup
- Select an action type from the drop-down box
- Add a value if you have one
- Select your conversion page security level, either http: or https: (the conversion page is the page a user sees right after completing the desired action, also called a thank you page, and should be a page they only see once)
- Click the Save Action & Get Code button
- Paste this code snippet into the conversion/thank you page just before the closing body tag
That’s it! You can run a test conversion yourself by clicking one of your PPC ads and then completing a conversion or wait for a conversion to happen naturally.
Benefits of Conversion Tracking
Now that you have installed conversion tracking on your website you can optimize based on an end result. Accentuate keywords and ad copy with high conversion rates while nixing keywords and ad copy with low conversion rates. Simply having this metric will vastly improve your AdWords performance.
“Whereas I was blind, now I see.” – John 9