As you get your campaign up and running, you’ll want to consider several different tools that can help you measure and optimize your ad performance. Below we’ll go over a few tools — conversion tracking, Google Analytics, and campaign experiments — that you can use to start measuring your results.
Basic statistics like clicks, impressions, and clickthrough rate can tell you how well your ads attract visitors to your site. But by measuring conversions, you can see how many of these visitors become your customers.
Conversion tracking is the simplest way to measure your conversions. It’s a free tool that can measure what happens after a customer clicks on your ads — for example, whether they purchased your product, signed up for your newsletter, or filled out a contact form.
By tracking these actions, known as “conversions,” you can identify which ads, keywords and campaigns bring you business or see how customers interact with your ads across devices. Conversion tracking helps you invest more wisely in the best ones and, ultimately, boosts your return on investment.
How it works
With conversion tracking, you have the flexibility to count all conversions that happen after a click (a good choice if you’d like to track and improve your sales), or only unique conversions that happen after a click (a good choice if you’re interested in whether a certain kind of lead was generated).
You can also assign values to your conversions — the same value to all conversion actions of a certain type or different values. Conversion values help you track and optimize your campaign’s return on investment, which we’ll go over in more detail later.
Once you set up conversion tracking, you’ll have access to a set of reports, called Search Funnels, that show you the funnels through which your customers complete a conversion. For example, you’ll be able to see all the clicks leading up to a conversion —except for the last click—for each keyword or the ads that showed but weren’t clicked by a customer as they searched.
Google Analytics is a free Google product that provides in-depth reporting on how people use your website. It shows you how people found your site and how they explored it, giving you ideas for how to optimize your website.
You can also link Google Analytics and your AdWords account to get an entire view of your customers’ behavior, from when they click your ad or see it to what they do on your site. This information can shed light on how much of your website traffic or sales comes from AdWords, in turn helping you improve your ads and website.
Here are some of the benefits of linking Google Analytics and AdWords:
- Import Analytics goals and Ecommerce transactions directly into your AdWords account.
- Import valuable Analytics metrics — such as bounce rate, percentage of new sessions, and pages/session — into your AdWords account.
- Take advantage of enhanced remarketing capabilities.
- Get richer data in the Analytics multi-channel funnels reports.
- Use your Analytics data to enhance your AdWords experience.
AdWords Campaign Experiments allow you to test changes to your account — such as your keywords, bids, ad groups, or placements — on a portion of the auctions that your ads participate in.
How it works
When you create an experiment, you decide what sort of change you want to test. For example, you could test adding new keywords, raising a bid, trying new ads, or using different placements. Then, you decide what percentage of your auctions should have this experimental change.
Keep in mind that AdWords Campaign Experiments are random-auction, meaning that every time a user conducts a search on Google.com or on a search partner website, or a new user loads a webpage on our Content partners, we’ll randomly decide to make either your control or experimental split active for the auction (based on the percentage you set within experiment settings).
After the experiment has been running for a short while, you can view the results in the same table you use to view performance for your campaigns and ads. These tables will also tell you if your experimental changes are performing significantly better or worse than the ads without changes.
While your experiment goal will depend on your business, some common goals for advertisers include:
- Increasing conversions
- Increasing clicks or impressions
- Improving return on investment
- Improving ad text
Basic data, like clicks and impressions, start to give Antoine an idea of how Fiona’s Search campaign is performing. But to identify more valuable insights and optimization opportunities, Antoine sets up conversion tracking. Since sales of Fiona’s furniture are most meaningful to her business, Antoine sets up conversion tracking on the “Thank you” page that customers see after making a purchase.
Now that conversion tracking is set up, Antoine is hoping to get a better idea of how the ads and keywords are performing and which are costing Fiona too much.