Simone Schuurer - MSFT
Posted on 04/21/14

What is conversion tracking?

Anyone investing in advertising usually wants to know the effectiveness of their advertising efforts. When you advertise using pay per click, you can obviously measure the clicks, however, clicks are not the last action performed by your visitors. Visitors might purchase some items from your website after they have viewed or clicked on the ad. Conversion tracking answers the question of how many views or clicks result in an actual purchase, sign-up/registration, lead, viewing of a key page, or some other valuable actions.

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Conversion tracking – what did people do after they clicked on your ad?

How does conversion tracking work in Bing Ads?

When a potential customer clicks your ad and navigates to your website, a cookie is placed on that person's computer and records that click. If the same person then completes a transaction (e.g., makes a purchase, signs up for an account), conversion tracking retrieves the stored information from the cookie and records the conversion – this is called conversion tracking. Conversion analytics provides data about conversions, like visitor behavior on your website leading up to a conversion.  

Can I set up conversion tracking for my campaign?

Sure, however:

  • Cookies must be enabled on your site visitors' computers. Many computer users disable cookies, and conversion tracking does not work for these visitors.
  • The campaign or account (if using campaign analytics) must be active.

How do I set conversion tracking up?

  • Go to the ‘campaigns’ tab >
  • Click on ‘manage your analytics settings’ (in the left bottom corner of your screen) >
  • Click on your account drop down menu >
  • Choose an account >
  • You’ll then see a section under your account drop down which looks as follows:

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For you to be able to track the customer behavior you obviously must define what that behavior is. For example, you can track how many people click on your ad for example actually:

  • Make a purchase
  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Create an account
  • Access a list of products on your webpage

This is called goal setting.

Here it gets potentially a little confusing if you’re just starting out in PPC so before you start, so let us explain:

The information you get around the goal you set can be tailored – this is done by creating steps within the goal. You have to have at least one step in your goal (the conversion step which is the moment your visitor takes action) but you can add more:

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The steps your (conversion) goal can consist of

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The way goal setting looks in the Bing Ads UI

The next piece of information you’ll see to set up is revenue and cost tracking– this allows you to track how much money you make for each conversion. If you are not interested in this, just tick ‘none’.

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Revenue and cost tracking for conversion steps as it looks in the Bing Ads UI

You can track two things in this section – revenue you are making or costs related to conversions.

This is how you set this section up:

Revenue to track:

  1. If you earn the same amount for each conversion, such as a website registration fee, select Constant. In the Valuebox, enter the amount you collect per conversion (do not use currency symbols).
  2. If you earn a variable amount for each conversion, such as a sales total, select Variable.

The revenue totals based on these options will appear in your conversion tracking performance reports.

Cost to track:

You can also track the following costs per conversion:

  • Non-advertising related costs:Expenses that are related to transactions, such as credit card processing fees.
  • Tax:Sales taxes that you collect on transactions, for reporting and payment to taxing authorities.
  • Shipping: Costs that are related to delivery of items to customers.

Finally you can determine for how long you would like to track a user is the number of days you track a customer prior to a conversion (the conversion period):

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After making your selections, click “save and generate code” to create the tracking code.

  • Tracking code: Under “tracking code”, pick one of your steps from the drop-down menu >
  • The unique tracking code for this step appears in the window >
  • Click the “copy code” button >
  • Next, open the page you want to track, and paste the tracking code >
  • After copying and pasting the code for each step, click “close”. Your goals appear in the Goals table.  You can create up to six conversion goals per account >
  • After you enable conversion tracking, you'll paste the tracking code that was generated into the related webpage on your site. “Paste” the tracking code between the <body> and </body> tags on each webpage that you want to track, immediately above the </body> tag. For example:

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Once all is set up and running you can start looking at the data as a reward for your efforts ;)

You can find the following Campaign Analytics reports on the reports page under the report drop down:

  • Conversion reports that provide data on impressions, clicks, conversions, and revenue. Conversion reports reveal whether ad campaigns are meeting sales and revenue goals.
  • Goals reports that help track visitor behavior on your website between clicking your ad and reaching your conversion goal. 
  • Traffic sources reports that provide conversion and goal data by sources of traffic to your website.
  • Segments reports that provide data by geographic and demographic attributes.
  • Tactics and channels reports that provide data by custom report dimension.

Three Things you could now do:

  1. Interested to track visitor activity on your website and find out if they continue to do what you hope, such as buy something? - Try set up your first conversion tracking.
  2. Have a look at the reports you can then pull that help you gauge campaign performance and optimize existing and future campaigns.
  3. Optimize your ROI with the reports that show costs and revenue associated with conversion tracking.

 Other posts in the PPC Back to Basic series:

Tags: ROI, Optimization, Conversion Tracking, PPC, Bing Ads Accredited Professional Program, reporting
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