Having repented of the 1st Deadly Sin by installing conversion code you may feel like you have a perfect knowledge. However, do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the three columns of conversion data this provides. You need to know much more about your visitors to avoid the 7th Deadly Sin of Recklessness.
The sin of Recklessness is committed when one does not use a separate web analytics system in addition to the AdWords conversion tracking. There are a lot of web analytics tools out there from the top-of-the-line Omniture suite to the free Google Analytics. For the purposes of this blog I’ll use Google Analytics as the example (it just happens to work well with AdWords and it’s free).
The main benefits you will get from Analytics are these:
- Behavior – Implementing goal tracking and looking at statistics like time on site, page views and bounce rate will show you how your visitors navigate and use the site. You’ll see pages that lose visitors at high rates and you’ll see which step in the conversion funnel is leaking the most customers. Knowing this behavior will help you plug holes and increase your ROI.
- ROI – For e-commerce sites I strongly recommend you borrow the tech guy/programmer to the AdWords team long enough to get E-commerce Tracking working properly. This allows you to capture revenue numbers and attribute them to their sources. This way you know which traffic sources are delivering sales, not just traffic.
- Knowledge – With recent statistics showing that more and more searches are “unique”, meaning that it is the first time the search engine has received the query, the importance of tail terms is increasing. Analytics allows you to look at the exact search term that brought a visitor to your site. View this report often and feed the best performers into your keyword lists. If you get 15 visits/month from a #8 listing on “the importance of publicity in marketing”, imagine what you could get with the #1 paid listing (which would probably only cost a nickel anyway) at the top of the page.
P.S. If you need help configuring Goal Tracking in Analytics leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter: @robert_brady