Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Program

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Setting and Measuring Goals Tutorial

Welcome to the sixteenth lesson, ‘Setting and Measuring Goals’ of PPC Advertising Tutorial, which is a part of Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Course offered by Simplilearn.

In this lesson, we're going to look at the setting and measuring goals for advertising efforts.

Let us first look at the objectives of this lesson.


After completing this lesson, you will learn:

  • How to effectively set and measure goals

  • How to set up AdWords and adCenter conversion codes

  • How to use PPC data to measure your company's objectives

  • How to track all of the sites you're running ads on

In the next section, we will discuss how to set marketing goals.

Setting Marketing Goals

Now, before you start advertising, the channel really doesn't matter. This could be AdWords, adCenter, Facebook, email, even radio, and TV. You need to set goals for what you want your marketing to accomplish.

If you don't have goal sets, there's no way to tell if you're reaching your goals, if you are improving, or you are declining. So you have to set goals before you start marketing.

Before you set goals, though, it's really useful to understand your business, your buying cycle. Understand your customers and what are the stages customers go through before they buy from you.

By looking back at how money flows through your business and how you actually make money can help you set better goals and understand what it takes to continue growing and improving your business.

Marketing can help out the product teams, development teams, sales teams, a lot of teams throughout a large company if you understand their needs.

So once you look through your company and you have a basic idea of how your company makes money and how money flows through your company.

Let us move to the next section how to set goals.

Set your Goals

When it's time to set your goals, you need to decide what do you want to accomplish, if you are a newspaper site and you sell CPN ads, you make money on page views. Well, if you make $0.20 a page view, you may just want $0.10 a visitor for unlimited visitors.

You could be a lead generation site and you make $25.00 when you sell a lead. Therefore, you want unlimited leads up to $15.00 a lead because you need some money left over after you resell them.

With an e-commerce site, you just want to work on a return investment basis. Or you're just looking for more visibility for a new service. You just want 1000 visitors a day.

Maybe you're an accounting firm and you only work 40 hours a week. You're working most of the month right now, and so you need a few new leads a month so that you can come and land new companies for your accounting service.

You don't need a lot, so only 15 new leads a month keeps you in business and maybe you're looking at a sales force and you calculate your close rates and the sales force.

See how often they sell something, how much an average product is worth and so, if we get $13 phone calls, we'll make good money for the sales force or maybe your RSS subscription. You might have multiple goals as well. You might say we're an e-commerce company.

So we really need a 200% return on investments. But we also need to do at least $100,000 in revenue a month, just to pay all our bills and we have a newsletter subscription but we don't make immediate money on our newsletter. We make money three or four months later.

So we only have a budget of a thousand dollars a month for news or subscriptions but we're willing to pay ten bucks for those newsletters. You may have multiple goals at once and you may refine your goals over time.

You might be an electrician, you sit down and you look at your phone call records and you say, oh last month we got 100 phone calls and we were busy only half the month. So if we get 200 calls we can stay busy the entire month.

So work in your accounts, and the next month you get 200 calls. We only worked half as much, well what happened in the math there? So you look back and say we didn't get a hundred calls that the first month, we got 60 calls for small jobs, installing new outlets, so forth.

Then we got 40 calls for big jobs. So, we really don't need 200 calls. If you want 120 calls for small jobs and 80 calls for big jobs, you rework on things. Maybe you find them overtime, but you have to set those initial goals.

Measuring Goals

Once you're setting your goals, you have to find a way to measure them. If you can't measure your goals, you will not know if you're reaching your goals or not. So we'll talk about Google conversion tracker and AdWords conversion tracker in this section. We'll look at Google analytics tracking as well.

An example of Goal conversion is shown in the given below image.

measuring-goals-goals-conversion.JPGIf you're a phone-based business, there is call tracking. If you're doing RSS subscription, you have Feedburner. If you have a physical retail store, you have coupon redemption.

Sometimes you have to be creative about measuring goals but you need to set goals and find a way to measure them.

Then when you look at making a decision inside your account, you need to decide if you should add a keyword remove a keyword change a bid, whether you should add a new ad group, what ad copy really is best. Look back to your goals.

What you'll find is that there's no best ad copy, there's no best landing page, they don't exist. What exists is the best ad-copy for your goals, the best landing page for your goals.

If you do an ad copy test, you run two ads in an ad group. You let them run for a little bit and we'll talk about the details in future modules.

After a month you look at the metrics, and one ad copy gets $50 a month at $50 a lead. The other ad copy only got 20 leads a month but at $10 a lead. What's better?

Well if your lead gen site only making $20 a lead, you want the lower cost. If you have a sales force you want to keep them busy as much as possible, you probably want the higher lead volume.

So there are no best ads in landing pages. There's best as it relates to what you want your marketing to accomplish.

Important Numbers

So there are a few numbers you really need to obsess over. They are:

  • Conversion Rate

  • Cost per conversion

  • Average Profit per Conversion

  • Lifetime visitors value

Let’s look at Conversion rate first.

Conversion Rate

A conversion rate is just a simple formula, of the number of conversions divided by clicks received.

So if you have five conversions on 200 clicks, you have a 2.5% conversion rate.

Conversions/ Clicks = Conversion Rate

200 clicks

5 conversions

5/200 = 2.5%

The reason a conversion rate is so important, if you raise a conversion rate from 1% to 2%, essentially, you can double your bids at the same return investment. You just double the conversions you received.

Conversion rates a really important number to always keep in mind for search advertising.

It is important to know how much do you pay for an actual conversion, what's your profit for those conversions, and what's your lifetime visitor value? Because you need to think about your lifetime visitor values, what's a customer truly worth.

Let us now discuss Conversion.

What is Conversion?

There's no predefined definition of a conversion. A conversion is something you as a company will define based upon your marketing objectives.

So if you rely on phone calls, a conversion a phone call. If you have a lead generation forum, a conversion is someone filling out your lead. If you have a newsletter subscription, someone signing up for your newsletter's a conversion.

So you will define a conversion for yourself based upon what you want to accomplish and what are the actions that you can track.

Next, we will discuss how you can achieve your goals.

Tracking Goals

Once you've listed out your goals, then you can figure out how to track our goals. So in AdWords, there are conversion tracking scripts. If you go to the tools menu and then conversions, you can see all the different conversion types as shown below.

conversion-tracking-scripts-in-adwordsTo create a new conversion:

  • Click on create new conversion

  • Name what it's called

  • Select a purpose for that conversion, whether it's a form fill, a visit, what not.

Then the next page, there's a wizard that you need to fill out before you can get the actual conversion tracking code. Now the first set is your page security level. HTTP, which is nonsecure, or HTTPS, which is secure.

This is an important setting, if you put a nonsecure script, an HTTP script, on a secure page, a page with an SSL, the user will receive an error saying this page contains non secure information, do you want to continue? So, make sure you choose the proper level.

If in doubt, choose HTTPS. It is okay to put a secure script on a non-secure page. Vice-versa is not a good idea.

Next, put in your revenue per conversion what do you actually make when you get a conversion. Even if it's just some high-level math put in a number. Say when we get ten newsletter subscriptions, we will eventually make $300. So that way, a newsletter subscription worth $30 to us.

Now it's not going to be an absolute number every time you get a conversion. But that way, when you put in an actual revenue for each conversion, then you can see what a keyword, an ad copy, a landing page, actually led to from a revenue standpoint.

If you have a variable sales amounts, you're an e-commerce site, your conversion amount changes every time. You can put in the variable from your shopping cart system and then what happens on that thank you page when you show the customer how much their purchase cost them.

Google will grab that purchase amount, put it back in the average account, so you can see the actual value that this keyword led to you.

If you have $112.97 in revenue, so put in some revenue number, Google calls it optional, don't consider it optional. That way you can directionally see how much revenue keywords, ad copy, landing pages, placement and so forth lead to.

Then choose the language your page is in and then finally you have two options. On a thank, you page when someone gets to the page we track with a script virus. They'll either see this little graphic that says Google sites stats learn more and it links to a privacy policy.

You can click none, so no graphic gets displayed and then you can amend your privacy policy to say we're using this AdWords conversion tracking script.

Now this will not be shown to everyone who gets to your thank you page. It'll only be displayed if someone clicks on your ad, has the cookie on their browser, then they get to the thank you page, and then it's displayed.

Let us now look at the AdCenter Conversion Tracking.

AdCenter Conversion Tracking

AdCenter also has a conversion tracking system. So you can:

  • Go into adCenter

  • List your Goal name

  • List whatever the Step name is, and the Conversion step name.

It is shown in given below image., put in the revenue and again, put in either a constant value, which is how much the conversion is worth to you.

So same as that with AdWords or you can put in a variable same as you put in for AdWords for your shopping cart. And that way you can track the actual revenue. Then finally you can choose how long you want the cookie to exist on the computer.

Generally, 30 days is a good number to choose, one month of time. So by default, it's seven, that's a week. So this essentially says if someone clicks on your ad today and if you left this at seven and they came back nine days later and converted, this script would not track a conversion.

Google always uses 30 days is how long their cookie lasts for. So, that way if you have AdCenter and AdWords. Making them both 30 days is a good idea. So that numbers are consistent between the two systems and then you'll get a code.

Next, we will look at Thank You page codes.

Thank You Page Codes

The tracking code only goes on the thank you page. For example:

  • Thank you for shopping.

  • Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

  • Thank you for contacting us.

If you put this in a global footer, you'll track page views, which some people might want to do, but it's best just to put this on the thank you page.

Now it's essential also on how browsers load scripts.

So when a browser goes to a page, it grabs the head information which includes your title tags, your meta scripts, and so forth. Then it loads everything in sequential order.

So sometimes scripts are a little bit slow. If you've ever sat on a page for a moment and nothing happens. You saw a blank page for 20 seconds and then suddenly the entire page loaded.

Most likely what happened is a script was slow to load. It took its time and when it either timed out or finally loaded, then the rest of the page content loaded. Standard scripts freeze browser while they're being executed.

So if you put this at the top of your page, right below the open body tag, and the script is slow to load, you'll have a poor consumer experience because they'll start a blank page. So it's recommended putting this at the bottom of the page right before the close body tag.

Now when you do that, you'll lose some tracking information. Someone was not on a page long enough for all the scripts to fire, you may lose some, but you have a better user experience.

Because when people have a better experience the more likely to buy from you again. They're more likely to trust your site.

Speed is a big thing on the web. Speed effects quality scores, we'll get into it, affects organic rankings, it affects consumer experience. So you always put the script right above the closed body tag on your site.

Advanced Implementations

If you want the advanced implementation where you're tracking an actual variable the part of the code you change is the total value. In this case, just contact your shopping cart provider.

A sample google code for Purchase Conversion page is shown below.

advanced-implementations-code-sampleShopping cart providers get this question quite a bit now and ask them what the variable we need to input here to get our information into our average account is? What's our shopping variable?

Many shopping cart systems really have three variables on thank you pages. They have:

  • The total cost of goods

  • Cost of shipping

  • Total cost to the consumer

  • Some may also have tax information.

Now you don't make money in tax. Most people don't make money on shipping.

So take in a total cost of goods variable is the best one to input. That way you're not skilling your results based upon shipping or tax information.

Let’s now discuss how to track other Paid Search Sites.

Tracking Other Paid Search Sites

Let's say you're not just doing AdWords and ad center, you're doing LinkedIn, or Facebook, or other paid search systems. The best way to track those is with your analytics system.

A Google Analytics screenshot is shown below.


So in Google Analytics, go in, list your goal name. Choose your goal position. Then, choose your goal type.

In most cases, it'll be URL destination. For the URL of your thank you page, choose your match type, the URL itself, and then again put in the goal values, same you would with AdWords.

Now if you use Google Analytics, and you use this goal then you can see conversion information for other paid systems and analytics. However, this just tells analytics the actual goal. It doesn't tell it what the source of the traffic was.

Google Analytics URL Builder

So in the second step is to use the Google Analytics URL Builder tool where:

  1. You put in your site's URL, which is your landing page URL

  2. Fill in the details - your campaign source, your medium, your campaign name, optionally term which would be your keyword, content could be your different ad types

  3. You'll get a URL

That is your destination URL for your LinkedIn or Facebook or whatnot campaigns, so that way you can track goals in Google Analytics, even for paid search accounts that don't have their scripts.

A Google Analytics URL builder tool screenshot is shown below.

google-analytics-url-builderOnce you institute this tracking for AdCenter or AdWords, when you run reports you can see conversion information. So in AdWords, you'll see this columns button on most of the screens. When you click on it there are options to see the conversion based information.

Now Google has two overall conversion types:

  • One per click

  • Many per click.

A one per click is a unique conversion. A many per clicks is total conversions. Tabbed browsing is destroying many per click tracking. So, what happens if someone comes to your site, they convert.

Now this one time they're one per click conversion and they're one many per click conversion. Then they close their browser, and they reopen their browser.

The same tabs load again, which includes your Thank You Page. So that your thank you page loaded, that cookies still on the browser, and cookie triggers another conversion action.

So now that same person is one, one per click conversion. But two many per click conversions. They never bought from you again, they just reloaded your thank you page.

So generally just using one per click conversion information which is unique conversions is the best number to work from.

Now when you run reports with other ad copy landing page keyword so forth, you can see how many conversions that ad landing page so forth brought, how much that conversion cost you, and your conversion rate, the percentage of people who clicked on an ad versus converted.

So now once you have this data, you can set bids based upon your conversion rates. You can set bids based upon revenue. You can decide if a key order ad copy is bashing you from action metrics and not just from guessing.

So we'll look at setting bids in future modules and we'll look at tasking in future modules. We're going to assume you're using the conversion tracking scripts. If you're using another system, you'll have to marry the data together. But it's so important to use conversion tracking.


Let us now summarize what we covered in this lesson:

  • For setting and measuring goals list out what you want to accomplish, what do you want your marketing to accomplish, what are you trying to do like phone calls, newsletters, email, e-commerce, so forth.

  • Create your budget and list out how much you want to pay for each of those items given the budgets.

  • Find ways of tracking conversions whether it's AdWords conversion tracking script, Adcenter conversion tracking script, Google Analytics, FeedBurner, phone call tracking.


This concludes the lesson on Setting and Measuring Goals. In the next lesson we will look into ROAS, Conversion, and Setting Initial Bids.

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