When you launch a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign, success can be difficult to measure. Every business is different, and therefore campaign goals will be different. First, define conversion goals you can measure. Then you can look at the conversion tracking data in front of you and make informed decisions about your current campaign and about future campaigns.
Getting Started: Understanding Conversions
A conversion is, put very simply, any meaningful interaction with a product gained from marketing efforts. In the world of SEM, that can mean a visit to a business' home page, a like on Facebook, or even a viewing of a single product page. Though you might be tempted to narrow their definition of conversion to something like verified sales or app downloads, by broadening the definition, you can look at big picture trends and make significant marketing moves with legitimate data to back up your efforts.
Understanding How Conversion Tracking Can Help Drive Sales
The fact is that online engagement is something of a new frontier in SEM. Though measuring something as simple as click-through rates from a Google ad to an organization's landing page might not seem all that useful when it comes to increasing sales in the short term, with the power of conversion tracking, you can figure out where traffic is heading and where to focus hard and soft sales pitches.
Tracking conversions and analyzing data itself won't increase sales overnight, but it can lead to smarter marketing decisions. You will be able to identify which keywords and search queries generated the conversions and know where to focus your future campaigns, which will increase sales over time. In addition, you can use that data to measure the effectiveness of your offline sales efforts.
Conversion Tracking With Google AdWords
One of the simplest tools that you can use to get started with conversion tracking is Google's AdWords. This tool allows you to measure custom-defined conversions with individually generated code that can be tacked onto virtually any page. Once set up, you can begin analyzing trends immediately and find ways to optimize the areas where conversion is highest. You can also find new directions for areas in which conversions are sluggish. The Online Marketing Institute notes that the AdWords tool tracks conversions that happen within 30 days of the initial ad click, so customers that take longer than 30 days to convert will not be tracked. You'll need to examine other data to make sure nothing is getting lost.
Conversion tracking is a vital part of any SEM campaign. Information gleaned from tracking click-through rates and online interactions can help boost ROI and increase sales because you're able to make more informed choices with plenty of information to back up your decisions.