Campaign analytics provides powerful performance data — data that helps you measure your return on investment of ads, monitor and analyze site traffic, and decide how to run third-party ad campaigns.

 

After reading this training, you will understand how to:

 

  • Access the campaign analytics tool.
  • Enable conversion tracking.
  • Create conversion goals in just a few steps.
  • Generate and insert tracking code into webpages.
  • Add custom report dimensions to track the performance of third-party ad campaigns.
  • Generate campaign analytics reports.

Importance of conversion tracking

Conversion tracking is an optional but very useful reporting metric that measures the success of your pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. By understanding how many people who click your ad also complete a desired action on your website, you can more easily optimize your campaigns. We’ll help you learn how to implement conversion tracking and then create reports about the site visits that resulted in conversions.

 

How does it work?

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.

 

Before we look at how to access and use campaign analytics, it’s important to review key definitions:

 

  • A conversion is the action you want someone to complete on your website, like purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter.
  • Conversion tracking provides data about visitors who click your ad, and then continue to complete the action (conversion).
  • Campaign analytics provides data about conversions, like visitor behavior on your website leading up to a conversion.

 

Please keep the following requirements in mind for conversion tracking:

 

  • 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.

 

Accessing the tool

On the Campaigns tab, click manage your analytics settings. On the Campaign Analytics page, click the account drop-down menu to choose an account. Next, adjust the Analytics status by clicking the edit link. In this example, we want conversion tracking and campaign analytics enabled.

To create the tracking code, click create goal. Here, you’ll create a conversion goal and define its steps.

Creating a goal

The Create Goal page is where you create your campaign analytics criteria. This is done by setting up the steps, or user clicks, that you want to track. There are three main attributes you can use to analyze campaigns:

  • Goal settings.
  • Conversion step revenue and cost tracking.
  • Conversion period.

Creating goals (screenshot)

Goal settings

A conversion goal defines what you track to measure campaign success. Each goal can have up to six steps, but only the conversion step is required. Remember, the conversion step occurs when a visitor has both clicked your ad and converted — in other words, taken an action. When naming your goal, use a descriptive name that makes sense to you.

If you want to add more steps, click add step. Above add step, a new step appears where you can choose one of three types of steps:

 

  • A land step tracks when a visitor arrives on your landing page after clicking your ad. (Only one land step per goal.)
  • A browse step tracks when a visitor browses to a specific page, like a page listing a set of products. (Up to five browse steps per goal.)
  • A prospect step tracks when a visitor is close to making a conversion, like placing a product in the shopping cart. (Up to five prospect steps per goal.)

 

Revenue and cost tracking for conversion steps

Revenue and cost tracking settings allow you to track earnings and costs for each conversion.

 

Revenue to track

Select none if you don’t want to track earnings per conversion. Select constant if you earn the same amount for each conversion. An example of earning the same amount is a website registration fee. Enter the fee amount collected per conversion in the value box. Do not use currency symbols. Conversion reports calculate revenue based on the number of conversions and the fee amount.

Select variable if you earn a variable amount for each conversion. An example of a variable amount is a sales total. Write a JavaScript function to return the transaction amount. Next, call the function from the tracking code generated for your webpage. The revenue totals based on these options will appear in your Conversion tracking reports.

 

Cost to track

To track costs associated with conversions, select the checkboxes for items you want to track. You will need to insert the specific costs into the tracking code, or call JavaScript functions to return the costs, like so:

 

taxcost:"",shippingcost:"",nonadvertisingcost:"",

 

The different costs include:

 

  • Non-advertising related costs: Expenses related to transactions, like credit card processing fees.
  • Tax: Sales taxes collected on transactions for reporting and payment.
  • Shipping: Costs related to the delivery of items.

 

Conversion period

The conversion period is the number of days you track a customer prior to a conversion. In this example, Bing Ads will track customer activity on your website seven days after clicking your ad.

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.

 

Helpful hints

 

  • You should identify a conversion page on your website. A conversion page is one that represents a business transaction — such as a purchase or sign-up confirmation page, since this page appears only after a customer has completed a transaction. You will place the tracking code on this webpage, so make sure that the webpage is associated with the transaction you want to track.

 

  • How to locate the <body> tag on related webpages. 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:

 

<body>

 

...

 

<script type="text/javascript">if (!window.mstag)
mstag = {loadTag : function(){},time ...
</body>

 

 

Custom report dimensions

Custom report dimensions track the performance of ad campaigns served through third-party services. These might include display campaigns, email campaigns offering product discounts, or campaigns running through other search engines. Append the dimension parameters to the third-party ad’s destination URL.

When a visitor views a webpage containing tracking code, the data is logged, including dimension parameters. To set up a custom dimension, click add custom dimension. This will define the type of information you want to track.

Select the dimension type from the drop-down menu. The options include:

  • Tactic to specify the type of advertising service, like affiliates, email or pay-per-click.
  • Channel to specify the advertising channel, like Microsoft Media Network.
  • Third-party campaign to specify the name of the third-party campaign.
  • Third-party ad group to specify the name of the third-party ad group.
  • Third-party term to specify the term that generated the visit.

 

Follow the on-screen instructions to set up key-value pairs. Once you have saved a dimension, you cannot delete the dimension or the saved key values. You can, however, edit the dimension. Add additional dimensions as needed. When finished, append each dimension’s key-value pair to the third-party ad’s destination URL.

 

Reports

If you’ve enabled campaign analytics, you’ll find five new campaign analytics reports on the Reports page under the Report Type drop-down. They include:

  • 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.


Revenue and cost tracking for conversion steps (screenshot)

 

Summary

Campaign analytics provides you with valuable tools and resources to help optimize your search advertising campaigns. 
 

Key takeaways:

 

  • Conversion tracking allows you to track visitor activity on your website, and know how many visitors take a desired action on your site, such as make a purchase.
  • You can access reports that help you gauge campaign performance and optimize existing and future campaigns.
  • You can optimize your ROI with reports that show costs and revenue associated with conversion tracking.
  • Using custom dimension settings allows you to track your campaigns on third-party ad services.

 

Thanks for reading this training on campaign analytics. Continue your training or take the BAAP exam to become accredited.

 

Please note all features in this training may not be available in your market.