Welcome to Part 4 in our guide to the common ways we find money being wasted in Google AdWords. This time we look at poor conversion tracking.

Not Tracking Conversions in Adwords

Amazingly less than 50% of all Google AdWords accounts have any conversion tracking in place! Everyone will have goals for their digital marketing (hopefully) but without measuring conversions you will have absolutely no idea if you are achieving these or just wasting money.

So, think about what you want to measure – phone calls? Form submissions? Sales?
All of these are trackable in AdWords and can be set up pretty quickly.

Without conversion tracking, you are driving blind!

One client account we audited had no conversion tracking in place at all. They did however have 2 keywords that they ‘knew’ were their ‘best’ keywords, based on Click Through Rate and volume of traffic. When we added conversion tracking, we discovered these terms delivered less than 10% of their conversions. There were also other keywords delivering a much better return that were being hindered due to the favourites hogging all the spend. We switched the focus of the account and halved the Cost Per Acquisition within just one month!

In another example account, shown below, no conversion tracking had been set up at all. The client was spending a healthy amount each month and receiving a decent amount of clicks. However, without the ability to say which clicks were converting, it was impossible to see if there was any return at all.

AdWords conversions graph

We set up some agreed conversions and results quickly showed that the campaign spending £600 a month (40% of budget) delivered only 10% of the leads. We could then make the decision to spend less on these terms, and more on the others that had a higher conversion rate.

Tracking soft conversions

So, you have conversion tracking set up, so all is well and good, right? Well no, not necessarily. Are you sure you are capturing all the relevant actions that could help show the true value of your advertising spend? Conversions can include calls, enquiry forms, visits to a specific page, downloads… to name but a few.

Here’s another example: An agency we work with had a client who was adamant that PPC wasn’t working for them. They were persuaded to let us take a look. We noticed immediately that they were not tracking calls from mobiles. Once this was added their conversions more than doubled, even though no other changes were made to the account. Suddenly AdWords was miraculously working for them!

Conversions graph

Our top 3 tips for avoiding wasting money with poor conversion tracking:

  1. Review every action that is valuable to you – contact forms, calls, email sign ups? Make sure you are tracking these!
  2. Make sure you review the conversion you are tracking regularly, especially if changes are made on site, to ensure they are still accurate
  3. Once you know which clicks / ads lead to the most conversions, make sure you focus your budget on those.

How not to waste money in Adwords – previous posts

This is the last in this particular series of blogs so don’t get us started on all the other ways we find accounts are wasting money… not linking to Analytics, generic ad copy, only using the home page as the destination URL, etc. etc. but at least we have plenty of content for future blogs!

If you missed the first three parts in these series, catch up here:

Part 1 – Network Settings
Part 2 – Keyword Match Type
Part 3 – Generic Targeting Mistakes

Adwords Campaign Audits

Hopefully something from the last 4 blogs has helped you to make more of your AdWords budget, or avoid some of the common pitfalls when starting out. If you think you might have fallen foul of any of these and want a helping hand, we offer one-off and regular AdWords campaign audits to direct clients and agencies who need help with their client accounts. Give us a call to find our more about our Adwords Audits

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