Is your Google Ads campaign tracking performance correctly?

Within Google ads, advertisers have the ability to track performance through a feature called conversions or “conversion tracking”.  There are many ways to setup and utilise this feature. However, just because it is setup it doesn’t mean it's necessarily correct.

As a leading PPC Agency, we are asked to audit Google Ads accounts to determine their performance and opportunities for improvement. Many times we come across conversion setups that do not accurately portray the performance of the account.

Here is a breakdown of the most common scenarios, and how you can avoid them when trying to evaluate the performance of your PPC Marketing on Google ads.

Using the wrong type of goals

Goals can be setup to track a number of different actions in Google Analytics, which is great but only if the person setting the goals up knows what to track and where. Within Goals, you can setup 1 of 4 goal types:

  • Destination goals
  • Duration goals
  • Event goals
  • Pages per session goals

Depending on the nature of your business and overall marketing objective, 1 or more of these goals may be relevant to track different stages of your customers journey. However, many times we have seen goals setup to track elements in an incorrect way.

For example, if you run a business that needs to generate enquiries from your website, such as a plumber or food delivery company, it would be great to setup an event tracking goal on the “enquiry” button. This would be in place on a form on your website. However, setting up a destination goal on the services page is of little value, as all this will tell you is how many visitors viewed this particular page.

When setting up goals in Google Analytics, you must consider your journey. More specifically, what the most valuable element of the journey to track actually is.

Not using imported goals from Google Analytics

In Google Ads, you can choose to setup conversion tracking from a number of sources, including Salesforce CRM, Google Analytics, and other CRM systems. Again, whilst these options are all good and viable, for the average small business, the easiest and simplest way to track performance and ensure synergy is to setup goals in Google analytics and import them into your Google Ads account.

The major benefit of having goals imported from Google Analytics is that your data will marry up in both tools. So, that you have a consistent set of data to measure your performance against. By having separate goals in Google Ads, and separate Goals in Google Analytics, you risk getting confused or not seeing the whole picture. With regards to the tracking of user behaviour, and this will lead to inaccurate decisions being made based on incomplete data sets.

Including the wrong goals by not setting the “included” column to "Yes" in ads

Within Google Ads, there a very important column under the “conversions” sections of tools and settings called “include in conversions”.

This column quite simply lets you know whether a conversion is being included in the calculations against your campaigns that are running. The system will give you the ability to switch conversions on or off regarding inclusion.

Now, it is imperative to be aware of the conversions that are included across the account and those that are not. As you may have historical conversions setup, or conversions from other sources in the account, you may over time want to change the conversions that are included. This would be best done in order to ensure you have an accurate view of performance. Use this column to adjust the conversions that are included and by doing so you will ensure your gauging the performance of your campaigns as accurately as possible.

Tracking tags not firing correctly

Sometimes, tracking tags misfire or do not accurately capture the desired conversions. This results in an error in reporting, giving incorrect data in analytics and in google ads. Common causes for a tracking tag to misfire include:

  • Double integration of the same tag on a page, causing a duplicate recording
  • A tag that isnt correctly closed using the correct HTML
  • Code conflicts – a code or tag conflict which causes the tag to not function correctly
  • Plugin conflicts – an update to a plugin which causes a conflict and the tag to stop functioning correctly
  • Incorrect setup through tools such as Google Tag Manager

If your campaigns are reporting conversions intermittently, then your tracking setup requires investigation to determine the root cause of the issue. Typically, a web developer or an SEO expert would be able to assist with this and help to identify the cause, with a view to implementing a solution by editing either the code of the website or the implementation of the tag.

Summary

This is just a breakdown of the most common occurrences we come across for tracking issues within a PPC account. If you are experiencing tracking issues or you are unsure as to the performance of your PPC campaigns, and want an audit, get in touch with us! The POLARIS team can carry out a tracking and performance audit of your account.

For further support and some useful resources visit the following resource from Google Ads conversion tracking for more help: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6270625?hl=en

 

Polaris is an award-winning SEO agency in London specialising B2B, e-commerce and the healthcare industry.

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