I find metrics and business intelligence to be extremely telling and cannot live without them. The ability to test, optimize, re-test and ultimately obtain the desired action of a user or customer at the best possible price is something only afforded to online advertising and marketing as long as you use the right tools.
I am sure you have heard of conversion tracking, and Google’s tools within AdWords and Analytics make it very easy. Here is my guide to setting up, finding the data, and understanding the differences between Google AdWords Conversions and Google Analytics Goals and Filters.
First Setup Google AdWords to talk to Google Analytics
Be sure to tie your Google AdWords account to your Google Analytics account. To do so you need to have the email that you use as your AdWords login the same as an email of a user of your Google Analytics. Once you have an email that is the same for both AdWords and Analytics you login to your Google Adwords account. On the top menu click the Analytics tab (see graphic below).
The Analytics account will be listed as long as your Analytics has a user with the same email as your AdWords account. Follow the steps and you will then see your Analytics reports available via the “Analytics” tab within Google AdWords.
How to Setup Conversion Tracking within Google AdWords
To set up the conversion tracking within Google AdWords click on the “Conversion Tracking” submenu underneath the “Campaign Management” tab.
You then “Create a New Action” and you need to name it, such as “Registrations”, other data can be associated to it also. Once you save the action you will be given code to put on the page.
You copy the code and paste it into the page that the user will see after they take your desired action. For example if you have a registration page named “register.php” and it collects their name and email with a button to “register” and the next page once registered is “welcome.php” then you put the code on the “welcome.php” page.
Example of how the flow of data works with AdWords: an individual searches on your keyword within Google, the Google network, or Content Network (depending on how you set up your AdWords campaign) then they see one of your advertisements (you can create many different variations) and go to your landing page, submit the information to register with you, then the next page which has the Conversion Tracking code is presented to the user “Thanks for Registering” and the code pings Google AdWords to register a conversion.
You will now see which Campaign, AdGroup, Keyword and Advertisement within Google AdWords generated that conversion. Cost per conversion and other useful information is provided as well.
How to Setup Conversion Tracking within Google Analytics
To set up the conversion tracking with Google Analytics you create what they call “Goals”. To set up a goal you first look under the “Website Profiles” and next to your Domain you will see the “View Reports” and “Edit” under “Settings”.
You will see under the “Conversion Goals and Funnel” heading a list of Goal Names, starting with sequential numbering of G1 G2 G3 etc. Click the “Edit” link under settings to set up a Goal.
Note: What is different about the Google Analytic Goal tracking code as opposed to Google AdWords Conversion Tracking is that you do not need to set up code on your pages for the Goal Tracking. However, you must have the generic Google Analytics code on all your pages for it to work.
There are a list of fields to fill out, the question marks provide information on what is needed. Two main items to understand, Goals and Funnels. Goals are set up by simply putting the URL of the page that as the Goal page. Every visit to that page will be counted so you need to be careful and assure that is a unique page that can only be accessed the way you want. For example if the Goal page is your home page because a new registrant is taken to the home page after registering you will not only have the total of new registrants but it will also show the total number of visits to the home page for that day. The total will be inflated. This is the major difference between the accuracy of the AdWords Conversion tracking and the Google Analytics Goal tracking. However, the Funnels, which are optional, assist in removing the inflated Goal counts.
To utilize Filters, which are incredibly helpful and powerful, you define the path you would like to see a person take. In other words your Goal may show 10 registrants, however you may want to know if they went to the Goal page by first going to the registration page as this would remove all the inflated visitors. For example, if the Goal shows 20 visits to the Goal page and only 10 came from the registration page then you know there were 10 registrants. Utilizing filters can be used for many purposes.
Here are two powerful uses of the Goals and Filters, for internal site development and optimization as well as external advertising campaign testing.
First, internally you can use the filters to show the paths that are taken to registration. Is it home page –> registration or content page –> registration, any path you may suspect or see within Analytics you can filter here.
Also, internally if you have a multi-page sign up process you can determine exactly which pages potential registrants drop off. You may have individuals drop off when you ask certain questions or on certain pages, great to be able to test.
Second, to monitor external advertising campaigns that use unique landing pages you create, you can show filtering from page1 –> registration or page2 –> registration etc. This is a great way to determine, in a process of pages, which campaigns work best.
Where to Find the AdWords Conversions within Google AdWords
You can also find the AdWords conversion data within AdWords. Total number of Conversions are listed by Campaign Name, by Ad Group Name within the Campaign, by Advertisement Variation and by Keywords. The data will always be listed under the “Conversions” column.
Where to Find the AdWords Conversions and Goals within Google Analytics
|Before we discuss how to use the Goal and Conversions, here is where you find the data with Google Analytics. The image on the left shows the data for AdWords is found under the “Traffic Sources” menu item. While the image on the right shows the Goals information is shown under the “Goals” tab, a lot of great information.|
Now You’re Ready!
That’s it, now you are up and running and know the differences between the Google Conversion tracking with AdWords and the Google Analytics Goals and Funnels. The above is meant to get you started, however does not even begin to touch on the various ways in which you can use the data. Begin to use the tools, use your imagination and you will be wondering why you never used them before.