Tracking sales after the click - Understanding Conversions

The campaign analytics tool helps you track what happens after your ad is clicked. You can track sales (conversions), visits to specific pages, conversion costs, and revenues generated for each conversion.

Congratulations! Your Bing Ads campaign is up and running and your ads are getting some clicks. Now it's time to see if those clicks are turning into sales.

A click that ultimately results in a sale is called a conversion. Bing Ads provides conversion tracking that picks up the user trail after your impressions and clicks.

Before explaining this further, let's take a step back. What is the goal of your campaign?

Is it simply to bring customers to your web site? If that's the case, measuring clicks on your ads is probably enough.

But on the other hand, if you're goal focuses on sales that results from those clicks, you need a way to measure those sales. Bing Ads can track sales (conversions) and the path the customer took through your website in order to get to that final sale.

A quick note about conversions: In the example below, we've designated a sale as a conversion. But a conversion can be any end-result you want. For example, signing up for a mailing list could be a conversion. Submitting an entry for a contest could be a conversion. It all depends on what is important for your business.

An Example

Let's assume the goal of your campaign is to drive a sale. Therefore a click on your ad that ultimately results in a click on your website's "Complete purchase" button would be a conversion. Let's see how a user gets there:

  • A search user clicks your ad and arrives at the landing page. On your landing page, she sees a link to "This weekend's specials" page.
  • The user clicks the link and arrives on a page listing several products on sale. She's particularly interested in the brown dress shoes, so clicks on the appropriate link.
  • The user arrives at the detailed page about the dress shoes. Finding a pair she likes, she clicks the "Add to shopping cart" button.
  • The shopping cart summary page appears. The user is very close to buying, but not quite there yet - she's now what we'll call a "prospect."
  • She clicks the "Complete purchase" button. You gather the credit card information and a purchase confirmation page is displayed.

The user took five steps along the way of reaching your goal of a purchase. We can summarize those five steps as:

  1. Land (Arrives at your landing page)
  2. Browse (Arrives at the Weekend Specials page)
  3. Browse (Arrives at the Dress Shoes page)
  4. Prospect (Almost there! Arrives at the Cart Summary page)
  5. Conversion (Clicks "Complete Purchase" and arrives at the Purchase Confirmation page)

To track the path the user took, Bing Ads provides you with a small piece of code that you add to each of these pages: the landing page, Weekend Specials page, Dress Shoes page, Cart Summary and Purchase Confirmation page. Each time a user arrives at a page with this added code, that information is tracked by Bing Ads.

Using the data

You can run the Campaign Analytics reports to monitor the pages that were visited and the conversions that resulted. You might find, for example, that you have a high number people visiting your landing page and the Weekend Specials page, but then the numbers drop off and conversions are very low. That might suggest to a change to your Weekend Specials page.

On the other hand, you might see a large number of users getting to the landing page and then a large number of conversions as well. But visits to the Weekend Specials page is low. This might indicate that your ads are resulting in a good conversion rate, but those conversions are not being driven by your weekend specials.

How to set up conversion tracking in Bing Ads

There are three tasks in configuring conversion tracking in Bing Ads:

  1. Identify your goal and steps you want to track. Each goal always ends with a conversion step, but can contain additional steps as well. Our goal above had a total of five steps.
  2. Add that information to Bing Ads.
  3. Add the provided code to the appropriate pages on your website.

Our earlier example shows the thought process in completing the first task. The next task is to enter this exact same information into Bing Ads. On the Campaigns Analytics page, create your goal (in this case "Purchase Shoes") and enter the conversion step and any other steps you want to track. Here's what our example looks like in Bing Ads:

Analytics Settings

You can see that these are the same steps we just discussed above.

For the final task, save these steps and Bing Ads will generate the code for you to add to each page. Add the code to the appropriate pages and you're all set to track!

Ready to give it a try? Here are the detailed instructions for adding your steps to Bing Ads and creating the tracking code.

For more information about campaign analytics, take a look at our video Tracking clicks to conversions (English only).

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