Don’t Fly Blind

Katherine Bennett - December 13, 2010

There’s a familiar saying that goes, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road can get you there.” This is especially true in the world of paid search campaigns. When running a paid search campaign, it is important to have conversion coding active on your website, without it your campaign will be flying blind.

Conversion coding is a small snippet of code that is placed on the final page of a conversion process. Most of the time, the final page is the “thank you” or “confirmation page”. For example, if your site sells products, then once a customer makes a purchase, they receive a confirmation page. The conversion coding should go on this page. If you ask people to sign-up for a newsletter, then the conversion coding should go on the thank you page that they receive once they sign-up for the newsletter.

Search engines such as Google and the Search Alliance offer conversion coding for free. Once a campaign is created in these engines, the conversion coding can be retrieved and placed on the thank you or confirmation page. Conversion coding and analytics work hand in hand. Some may say I have Google Analytics or Omniture, why do I need conversion coding? Although analytics programs will show conversions, it’s good to have checks and balances for paid search campaigns.

A key benefit of implementing conversion coding is to be able to see what’s happening, just by logging into the engine. If there is a glitch with the analytics program that is being used, the conversion data within the engine will act as a backup. Also, within the engine there are reports that can be run that can include specific data about conversions. Not only that, it’s great for on the spot optimization of paid search campaigns.

The value of conversion coding is that it’s a benefit which can help your company analyze data to make sure the overall goal is being attained. If your company isn’t utilizing conversion coding to track conversions, then now would be a great time to start.

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