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You’ve just started a new AdWords campaign on your ecommerce site. It seems like a great way to try and drive some sales on your site. However, once you’ve invested the money you suddenly realise that you have no real way of telling if it is working as hard for you as it could be. In fact, you have no idea whether you are wasting your budget on ads that no one is seeing.

It’s a common feeling for small business who are not familiar with how AdWords works. In fact, around three quarters of all marketers say they have trouble tracking their ROI. And even some of those that think they are tracking it might be using the wrong metrics. Again, this can lead to an ample budget slowly draining away without ever having the desired effect. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

There are ways of tracking your online conversion rates and establishing whether or not your ad investment is paying off. However, it is not as easy as some people think.

Outline your goals

Before you try to track your ROI on any ad investment, first you need to try and understand what your goals are. After all, unless you know what you are measuring, then you can’t really get accurate results. For example, if you are trying to build brand awareness, then your ROI might be very different to if you are trying to drive sales or push free trials. The way you set up tracking this investment will be different depending on your goals.

When AdWords show up a conversion this does not mean that you have a sale. Conversions do not translate to profit, so you need to dig a little deeper to understand how your money is working for you.

Of course, your ROI is not always linked to the amount of money in your bank account. So, in this case, you will need to create conversion rates and use basic equations to give them value.

Setting up AdWords tracking

The way you set up the tracking on your AdWords is critical for getting the correct measurements for your investment. Set it up correctly and you can create valuable data for whether or not you are having success.

Open up AdWords and click on the conversions tab. Then you can set up tracking elements for your multiple campaigns. This can be for anything from basic call data right through to website conversions. You may need more than one element in order to get the full picture.

The most commonly used tracking element is the website conversion tool. This tracks the people that buy a product or convert on your site. You will need to select which type of tracking you want to use and then give it a category name. You can then use the ‘Value’ tab to input some basic numbers, which will help to give you some ROI information without having to dig too deep into each conversion. There are various other options here where you can adjust your settings and use code to track specific pages of your site.

For example, if your product is not a direct sale then you might want to set other factors as your conversion value. Again, it’s all about creating a tracking system that works for you and your business.

Once you’re done, save the conversion tracking element and then install your tag. Then you need to scroll down to the box that says ‘Event Snippet’. This lets you select between two options. The most common of these options is ‘Page Load’. What this means is that every time someone lands on a page, AdWords marks it as a conversion. So, it is very important that you place this tag in the right place if you want to get accurate data.

For the most accurate conversion data, you should place this tag on a page that a customer will see after they have converted, such as a thank you page. This way you will know that the transaction has been complete. Place it elsewhere and you might end up with information that is not 100% accurate.

If you want to double check that you have done this correctly, you can use the Google Tag Assistant option to help you.

Once all of this is in place, you are now ready to track the key aspects of your ROI.

Making advertising pay: Getting help from the professionals

Starting a new ad campaign is a big step. There are never any guarantees when it comes to being sure your investment is going to pay off. But whether or not your campaign works as well as you would like, you need to be able to access correct and accurate information about how it is going. That way you can use this data to help you refine any future campaigns and make sure that ROI is always growing.

So, if you’ve set up an AdWords campaign but haven’t yet created the correct conversion tracking, you need to do it now. We understand that all of the above sounds complicated. And without the necessary experience of using the tool at this level it can be a little complicated. That’s why we are here to help.

If you would like to know more about how to create advertising campaigns that work for you, or simply need help to tweak or track your existing campaigns, then get in touch with our team here at Juiced Marketing.

We are digital marketing specialists and can help you to make sure that your precious advertising budget is working as hard as it can possibly be. We know that as a small business your margins are fine and the money you spend on marketing needs to maximise its potential. We’ll work closely with you to understand your goals and create campaigns that will give you maximum bang for your buck.

We look forward to hearing from you.