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Installing conversion tracking in your AdWords and Bing accounts is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It does require access to your site's code, specifically the thank you or registration complete page in most cases. Some of you may or may not have access or the ability to do this, but it's definitely worth the investigation if possible. And if so, paying a contractor or hosting provider to do it for you. This is a very common request and type of work. So it should be fairly easily priced out in standard. Additionally if you're unable to install code on a thank you page or don't have a thank you page, you can select a different type of page or action to classify as a conversion.
This could be any page on your site, technically, but what I caution against is setting up a page that will be reached many times but is not truly indicative of an action being completed. For example, a page view of a category page or a click through to a product page will add up fast and distort your metrics as to what a conversion is. If you want to be able to use features like CPA or cause for action bidding or enhanced CPC bidding you'll want the conversion value to be pretty subsitive so that the tools have the best information to work with when making decisions on behalf of your account. Here are some good places to place conversion tracking code: a thank-you page, a receipt page, a submission-confirm page, or a registration-complete page.
One other word of caution is not to select multiple conversion pages within the AdWords or Bing accounts especially if the conversions have multiple values. For example, placing conversion tracking on a product page and a thank you page, would mean that the interface would think that both count as a 1. And therefore, the view of the product page, and the completion of transaction will carry the same conversion value, which doesn't make any sense. Clearly a purchase would be worth more in revenue than that of a page view. If you want to set up tracking multiple touch points like this, I suggest setting up goals in a Google Analytics account.
In GA, you can designate specific pages, time on site, number of page views, almost anything as a goal, and track your progress specifically and accurately over time. If you're unable to install code on pages, for example, the goal you wish to track is the number of people. That click through on a button to an Amazon store. And you cannot place code on an Amazon page. Use event tracking in GA to track the number of button clicks. It won't be as accurately detailed as if you had been able to place the code on an Amazon page, but it is better than nothing. There are tons of ways to track site behavior, sales and site interaction through analytics platforms.
So if you do not have one, please look into it. Some notes before we get started. Conversion tracking code must be placed between the body tag on the page. It may take up to 24 hours to start working. You can delete and start over if you screw it up. And make sure to perform a test transaction when done, before you declare success. Now let's walk through how to set up conversion tracking for an account. In this example, we're going to assume that you have an e-commerce site, and you or someone else is able to place the conversion code on the thank-you page. So if we were to open up our Google AdWords account, we'd navigate to the tools section, and from the drop down, select conversions.
Here we're going to go ahead and hit the new conversion button. To get started let's name our conversion and we're going to go with sales, because that's what we're doing, is making a sale. The source pertains to a web page, common site, mobile or tablet app, or import. These are other kinds of conversions that you could track. Import pertains to importing from Google Analytics. I recommend if you can do the web page version, do it. This serves as a backup in case something isn't installed right with Google Analytics. And if you don't have Google Analytics, it requires no other maintenance once you are done.
So let's hit Save and Continue. Now let's walk through the settings screen. Conversion category. Choose 1 from the drop down. It's either purchase or sale, sign-up, lead, or view of a key page. In this case, we've chosen purchase and sale. Conversion window, this is the amount of time that a conversion has to register with your ad words account. For example, someone comes to your site via PPC ad but leaves. They are cookied upon arrival, and if they return, and purchase from your site via another channel, like direct, then ad words gets credit for the conversion, instead of just direct getting it.
I recommend leaving it at the 30 day default to start with. But if you know that you have a longer or shorter sales cycle and would like to increase or decrease that amount, this is the drop down in which you would do it. Markup language, you might need to ask your web developer if you don't already know. Chances are, it's HTML. Conversion value, this field is optional. If you only have one product, or know what the conversion value is. Feel free to plug it into here. I typically recommend leaving it blank. Tracking indicator, this is unfortunately not optional. You have to notify users of your site.
That you are using Google site stats due to privacy rules. It doesn't necessarily do anything. It's just how you want the notification displayed and it is to scale on the screen so as you can see it's quite small. If your site's background is not white you might want to change the default page background color to match. From here we're not going to use any advanced options so lets go ahead and save and continue. Now Google is asking us who makes changes to the code on our website. If it's someone else, like a developer, you can click this radio button here and determine their email address, add a message, and it will send the code to them. If you're the one making the code changes or need to be able to send to someone else outside of this program, click I make changes to the code.
Now you will see the code that needs to be copied and pasted and placed between the body tags on the page you'd like to track. Once you've added the conversion code to your site, remember, it can take up to 24 hours before conversions start to appear in your AdWords account. You must use this code exactly as it displays. No futzing with it. If you mess up, or think something is wrong, you can delete the conversion from the main conversion page where we clicked the first button and start over. In this case, I think we're okay. Let's hit done. Here, we can see our new conversion, it's waiting for us, the sources web page, the categories purchaser sale.
It's unverified since we haven't placed the code on our site yet, and the conversion window is 30 days. What about Bing ads, for Bing ads, Bing has a couple of different options. The first is very similar to Google AdWords where you simply place a conversion code on the thank you page. They also offer the ability to set up goals on the path to that conversion to form a sales funnel. For example, you can set goals that track the number of visits to a landing page, a browsing or product page and then the cart summary. Some notes for setting up Bing ads. Very similar instructions for Bing ads here as well.
The code must go between the body tags. Make sure that if you copy and paste the code, not to use a program like Word which will screw up the formatting. The code must go on the conversion or thank you page only, and may take a few hours to start working. If you find that something is not right and you need to start over, no problem. Just go to the campaign analytic section from the tools link again, delete the old conversion and start again. And if all else fails, ask for help and call the customer support line. Now let's walk through how to set up a conversion in Bing ads. I go to Bing ads and open my account and in the upper right hand corner I'm going to click on the tools link.
From here I'm going to go down to Campaign Analytics. Now that we're in the Campaign Analytics section, I'm going to click the Create a goal button. Here we're going to name our goal. In this case it's going to be a sale. And we're going to leave the Conversion step as a Conversion step. This is where you could add additional steps to create a sales funnel, say with Prospect, Land, or Browse. In this case we're just going to stick with sale. Under revenue and cost tracking for conversion steps, you can keep it as none. Or if you know the amount, say for example you only sell one product and the price is the same, you can fill it in.
I recommend none for most new advertisers. Cost to track, this is if you want to include expenses like credit card fees, taxes or shipping. and then conversion period. Conversion period by default, this is set to 7 days which is much less time than our 30 days. I do recommend that you are consistent to the same amount on both platforms. So if you chose 30 on ours. Choose 30 on Bing. Now let's click the save and generate code button. Here you can see our tracking code is complete. Copy and paste the code that has been produced into this box into a notepad or wordpad program. Do not using MS Word.
For both AdWords and Bing, there are extensive developer guides available for free on the web and in their help centers. Please do not hesitate to refer to those or refer those helping you to those areas as well, should they encounter any technical difficulties. And if you really find yourself in a pickle, both AdWords and Bing offer live customer support via 1-866 or 1-800 numbers. This is a free service to their advertisers. So if you can't get something to work, or are unsure about a setting, be sure to give them a call.
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