For any person using Facebook for contextual advertising, it has been a major source of frustration that it did not have conversion tracking or a means to determine if visitors were completing any actions on their site. Not having the option to track conversions limits the amount of analysis and optimization an advertiser can do to improve the performance of their ads. Using an analytics platform was one way to track certain goals that were completed; however, not every advertiser uses analytics.
Conversion coding enables advertisers to track certain goals as well as make strategic decisions on performance of ads. Testing different ad copy or targeting is beneficial for marketers so they can actually measure what is performing the best. On the flip side, they can also see what isn’t performing and make decisions to optimize the campaign. Larger search engines including Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and Business.com all offer conversion coding.
Facebook recently released a very limited beta program for conversion tracking. Not much is known about this beta, but it clearly shows that Facebook is looking to be a contender as a major advertising platform. By giving advertisers this tool, Facebook is making it easier to show how well ads can perform.
No longer is Facebook a valuable market for just for building brand awareness, it is moving toward becoming a portal in which advertisers can expect to see conversion driven success.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and the holiday season is officially here. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who reads our Analytics and Site Intelligence blog and subscribes to our RSS Feed. You fine folks rock!
There have also been lots and lots of new features in Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Google Website Optimizer in the past year that I am extremely thankful for. These features have made my job easier, more enjoyable, and have helped a lot of our clients improve their conversion rates, sales revenue, and their bottom lines. Therefore, I’d like to dedicate this post to all of the following features:
For years, Google has offered a free conversion tracking script that can be placed on a receipt page, a “thank you” page, or any important page where you ultimately want your AdWords traffic to go to. Recently, the AdWords team has upgraded the Conversion Tracking section within AdWords to include the ability to create multiple conversion actions, new “one-per-click” vs. “many-per-click” metrics, and a verification feature that can detect if the tracking code is properly installed. Way to go AdWords Conversion Tracking team!
The Opportunities tab within the AdWords GUI provides awesome intelligence on how to improve your campaigns. Whether you should be spending more money, using different keywords, or other suggestions, the Opportunities tab can make very good estimates on areas where you could be missing out. Log-in to your AdWords account and try this amazing feature today!
Do you need to see detailed demographic data, domains and sub-domains, keywords, and other traffic statistics for the site or audience that you’re planning to advertise to? Google’s Ad Planner is nothing short of amazing in this department! If display advertising (images, video, rich media) is important for you, you seriously need to sign up for Ad Planner before you do anything else. Any site that you want to run your ads on with Google AdWords should be listed in AdPlanner, as well as the estimated volume of traffic each site receives as well as what types of ads each site supports.
Did you know that you can now easily segment your Campaigns, Ad Groups and Keywords in AdWords, much like you can segment any dimension in Google Analytics? This helps you to slice and dice your AdWords campaign data to make better decisions about how you’re spending your hard-earned marketing dollars.
The combination of Secondary Dimensions and Pivoting in any Google Analytics report table makes my job so much easier, faster, and more fun! You can now see up to five separate dimensions all in one report table view, which makes data-mining a far less arduous task.
No longer are we bound by one label or one bucket for any website visitor. We can now assign visitors multiple labels, thanks to the new Multiple Custom Variables feature in Google Analytics. It takes just a bit of coding to pull it off, but the little bit of technical implementation is by far outweighed by the sheer flexibility and depth that you obtain!
Mobile analytics with Google Analytics has improved dramatically with this new report section. Found under the Visitors section, site owners can now view the many different mobile devices and mobile carriers that bring visitors to their websites. With a little bit of additional coding, any one using a .mobi site can track their mobile website’s activity in a much smoother and easier way. Oh, by the way, iPods and Nintendo DS Lite’s are counted as mobile devices 🙂
Want to know about significant events that happen on your site, and some guidance as to what to do next? The new Intelligence section is your new best-friend. Google Analytics can now alert you to highly significant events that are happening on your website, who or what are the causes, and what Google Analytics expected to happen (vs. what actually happened). It can also iron your pants and make toast! Well, maybe not yet – perhaps it will be able to soon 🙂
You can also create your own custom alerts and have them emailed to you on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Define your own important criteria and observe significant increases or decreases of stuff that’s important to you.
I’m also very thankful for the wonderful people at Google for their Website Optimizer product. Specifically, I really like Experiment Notes, a brand new feature within the Google Website Optimizer interface. With each new A/B or multivariate experiment, I can write notes about that experiment, such as the start date or important specifics that I need to keep track of, which I can go back to at any time.
Finally, over-time charting in Google Website Optimizer lets me view conversion data plotted daily across a Google Analytics style trending graph, at the top of my experiment report. This lets me observe experiment success / failures over the course of time, and allows me to watch the observed improvements in a cleaner, more graphically-pleasing way.
Those are just some of the many features that I am thankful for. I hope that you have a happy Thanksgiving, a happy “black Friday” and a very happy “cyber Monday”!
People in the search engine marketing industry, are always looking for more conversions at a lower cost. Who isn’t? Constantly monitoring your keyword bids and trying to find that “sweet spot” for a cost per conversion can be time consuming and often, overwhelming. With the Conversion Optimizer, there are no more CPC adjustments needed to reach your goal. You set your max CPA (cost per acquisition) and the tool will automatically change your bids based on those goals.
By analyzing historical information for search terms in your campaign, Conversion Optimizer determines how likely your keyword is to trigger a conversion. It will adjust your CPC bid according. Geographic locations are also taken into consideration since the likelihood of a conversion can vary per location.
Automated bid management tools can be very expensive but Google’s Conversion Optimizer is free. However, there are some requirements that must be met however. First, Adwords Conversion Tracking code must be enabled and placed on conversion points within your website. Second, the campaign must have had at least 30 conversions in the last 30 days. The tool relies on conversion history in order to make accurate predictions about your future conversion rate.
Keep in mind that you will still be paying per click even though you are designating a CPA. You can change your CPA bid as many times as you like and can disable this feature at any time.
By using the available tools and trusted methodologies, it is possible to increase your conversions while decreasing your overall costs. Conversion Optimizer is a tool that could not only save you time, but also save you money.