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How to Properly Track Conversions in Adwords

The most important aspect of pay-per-click management is being able to track your conversions. You've selected your audience and created content to target them, but how do you measure the results? The reason Adwords is so popular is because they offer conversion tracking for e-mails, phone calls, e-commerce sales, and pretty much everything else. Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to properly track your conversions in Adwords.

How to Track Form Conversions for Lead Generation

In order to track leads generated, the first thing you'll need is your conversion code. Log-in to Adwords and in the top menu you'll see Tools. Click on conversions. Next click the big red +Conversions button to create one. At the next page you'll select website because you're tracking conversions on a web-page.

The next screen will require you to fill out some information regarding the details of your conversion. Fill in name. You should make the name something you can easily recognize like "leads generated" or "forms filled out". Next you'll select the value. Since we aren't selling anything the conversion can have the same value every time. Just set the value to one and you'll be able to easily see how many forms have been filled out.

Conversion window describe the amount of time between a user clicking on your ad and submitting a form. The default is 30 days, but there's no wrong answer. This is mostly used for sales because people tend to shop around before they decide on purchasing something. Fill out the rest of the form and proceed to the next step.

Where to Put the Code

The next screen will give you a small amount of code that you will then insert into the page you're looking to track. In this example, we're looking to track forms filled out which can be on multiple pages throughout your site (the sidebar for instance). The solution here is to create a thank you page (usually /thank-you/). Once you've created a thank you page on your site, paste the code in between the <body> </body> tags and you're good to go. You'll also want to redirect your form to that page when a user hits submit.

Tracking Phone Calls from Adwords

There's two ways to track phone calls from Adwords and one is built right into Adwords itself.

The Call Extension Method

The first step is to enable call extensions in the ad extensions tab. Create a call extension and you'll see an option to create one using a Google forwarding number. Visit this page to learn more about setting up call forwarding with Google.

The benefits of using Google call forwarding are: It's free and easy to implement. The downsides: 1). You can't get local numbers. If you advertise to local clients they'll feel more familiar dialing your local area code. 2). You can't get detailed information about the calls.

The 3rd Party Method - Dynamic Phone Numbers

The alternative method (that we use) is to use dynamic phone numbers by soliciting the services of a third party provider (we use Marchex). Dynamic phone numbers use a small snippet of code to replace your the phone number on your website with a completely track-able phone number. This only appears to people who have clicked on your Adwords ad. The drawbacks are that you have to pay to use the service and it's a bit complicated to set-up. The benefits are that you get local numbers, a great reporting system, and an amazing

amount of information about every call from a glance.

The beginning process is a bit of work. You'll need to set-up an account with Marchex, set yourself up as a client, and chose a phone number. Once you've done that the rest is very simple. Create an ad simply by giving it a name and you're good to go.

Go to your client account and click JavaScript Rewrites --> new rewrite. Once at this screen select your ad campaign and hit next. In the top box type in any phrase you want that you can easily remember (this is very similar to naming your conversion with Google above). For instance, enter adwords, phone calls, or ppc. The next screen will give you a bit of code that you'll want to add on the homepage of your site, right before the closing </body> tag.

The Last Step

The last and most important step is to log back in to Adwords and ad a tiny snippet of code to the end of the destination URL in your ad's. The code is: /?_vsrefdom=default. Replace "default" with whatever you entered when creating your rewrite. In the picture above it happens to be default but in our example we used adwords, phone calls, or ppc. Once you've completed this, click on your ad within Adwords and verify that your number changes on your website!

If you have any questions about conversion tracking, Adwords, or PPC in general, feel free to contact us!

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