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Search Engine Tools and Software

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In order to track statistical information for your PPC campaign, you may need to use third-party software.

These kinds of tools will provide you with an incredible amount f information and analysis of a visitor’s actions from the point they click on your ad until the point they leave your website and will even tell you where they go after they leave your site.

These tools can also track actions that visitors take while they are on your website, such as subscribing to your online newsletter, joining your mailing list for website updates, asking for information on your affiliate program, or many other actions, including making a purchase.

All of this is very useful information that can help you decide what changes you should make to your website in order to lead visitors along the path you wish them to take.

Tracking tools like these operate by placing code on the confirmation page that comes up when a visitor purchases something or commits an action. They also place a cookie on the visitor’s computer, in order to track further and future behavior and visits to your website by that unique visitor. This allows you to track repeat buyers as well.

You need to review the reports generated in order to see what is working and what is not, as well as constantly challenging yourself and to improve conversions.

Don’t be surprised if there are differences between the PPC search engine reports and those of a third party tool. Nor should you be surprised if your own take on things seems a little different as well.

If you are an advanced user, you may take the raw data from your logs and do your own analysis, and the results will almost certainly differ from the other two.

This does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong, or that any service is not performing correctly or adequately. If the differences are relatively small (between 5% to 10%), you shouldn’t be too concerned.

However, if you see large differences in the data provided to you, it is time to investigate further by questioning the results with your customer service representative on the PPC search engine or with the supplier of the ad-tracking tool you are using.

Let’s take a quick look at the basic differences between the tracking options offered by search engines and third party solutions.

Most search engines will provide you with only basic statistics, such as the number of clicks, the number of page views, the rate of click throughs, the average cost per click, and the total cost of your campaign. A complete set of tracking-related statistics is not yet a routine offering.

Using Google as an example of a PPC search engine, basic ad tracking is limited to the statistics that deal with the performance of keywords in different ad campaigns.

The Google report will only show data on such things as clickthrough rate and position on the page for individual keywords.

For conversion data, which is what tracking is related to, you need to access the Google Conversion Tracking tool.

If you decide to use this tool on your Google ad campaigns, it will track the conversion data you need by having you place a small amount of code on the page on your website where you thank a visitor for purchasing your product.

Using this tracking code, Google can then provide you with many of the relevant tracking statistics needed to make informed decisions about your ads success.

One disadvantage to the Conversion Tracking tool is that by placing the tracking code on your web page, you also will see a small text box appear on that page that reads “Google Site Stats: Send Feedback,” so the visitor will be aware that their activity is being tracked and analyzed.

Tracking tools and services are numerous and tend to be more robust than the Google model, although Google and other search engines are increasingly adding features to their tracking tools to make them competitive.

In fact, Google has recently expanded their tracking system so that it now can be customized to track other ad campaigns.

One important advantage to third-party tracking tools is their capability to show all of your various ad campaigns in a comparative fashion, so that you can instantly see which search engine campaigns are more effective than others.

In addition, many now come bundled with click fraud monitoring as well, which is a type of computer-based fraud that is becoming an increasing concern in the pay-per-click marketplace overall.

A good example of a third-party tool that is especially useful for novices is www.AdWatcher.com, primarily because of the availability of excellent visual representations/demos to teach users how to use the tool most effectively.

It leads you step-by-step through the process via an online setup process and, like other third-party tools, has many more parameters than PPC search engine tools generally have, including the ability to customize almost every aspect of the tracking process and the reports that are generated.

Another advantage that some third party tools have is the ability to import your account data from Google and/or Yahoo

There is little doubt that third-party tracking tools offer more value, but they do tend to be relatively costly.

The PPC search engine conversion tracking that is being offered as part of your ad campaign is usually provided at no additional charge.

However, when one is dealing with something as important as advertising your products via pay per click, we cannot stress enough the importance of not relying on a single method of tracking.

Just as you should investigate other methods of keyword bidding, you need to ensure that your search engine is in synch with what other companies’ products are reporting. This will require personally reviewing the reports.

Although you may not wish (or be able) to purchase the highest-priced version of a third-party tracking tool, it is certainly worth investing in one of the more basic versions.

These stripped-down versions may not have all the bells and whistles, but they still do an adequate job of analyzing the visitors, actions, and sales on your website.

Some third-party tracking tools can be used for any kind of online and sometimes offline advertising.

Although we are concentrating here on their usefulness for pay-per-click advertising, they can be used for banner ads, newsletter ads, email marketing campaigns-in effect, just about any kind of advertising or marketing method used.

Therefore, if you advertise in forms other than pay per click, the cost of a third-party tracking tool may be mitigated by the fact that you can use it for tracking your other ad campaigns as well.

Keywords: Tracking tools, ad-tracking tool,


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