PPC Buzz of the Week for Friday 3/5/10

Due to the 2 feet of snow we received up here in the Hudson Valley last week, plus about 2 and a half days without power, the Buzz took a little detour last week right up to Lowe’s to find a generator. In any case, I wanted to focus solely on conversions and the sheer importance behind identifying and tracking them when it comes to PPC.

Conversion, as defined by Google AdWords help center is “when a user completes an action on your site, such as buying something or requesting more information.” This is all fine and good from Google’s perspective, but let me take a step back for a moment and let you in on a little secret as to what a conversion is from the perspective of both an advertiser and PPC manager.

A conversion is a trackable action taken by a user who visits your site which you deem is a successful interaction, whether online or offline.

Conversions don’t necessarily have to take place on an advertiser’s website, even though most do. What about phone call conversions or walk-ins? Users that result in these types of actions typically are the most qualified and relevant to your business, initiative, and website. In essence, these users have just performed your holy grail of conversions. Anyway, we as PPC specialists truly appreciate the beauty of conversions and conversion tracking (plus the help it gives in performing necessary optimization).

But do you know what really grinds my gears? Clients, advertisers, websites that truly don’t appreciate or realize the importance of having a metric of success beyond click through rate.

I’ve made plenty of recommendations to clients and potential clients about doing some basic modifications to their website or engaging in other tracking initiatives, some as simple as tagging links with Google Analytics coding. Some people listen right away and make those adjustments, while others either don’t understand or don’t care. I think I speak for all PPC managers/specialists out there when I say “What don’t you people get?” There’s traffic being driven to your website, most of the time with great click through rates, and we have no idea how they are performing in terms of successful interactions. Of course this can all be alleviated if the PPC specialist has access to your site and can make the necessary (and approved) changes to remedy these issues, but most of the time this isn’t the case. That’s my rant for this week.

Now what about those people that truly don’t understand how to identify a conversion or the importance behind having one? Besides those recommendations, I’ve also heard people say “Well, I don’t really know what a conversion would be on my site.” There’s always a conversion for a website, it’s just a matter of taking the time to really think about what is most important to you. That’s right, you. So for those people that are having a hard time coming up with types of conversions to track, take note because I am about to provide (or at least attempt) an entire alphabet’s worth of conversions you can track.

–          Application Downloads/Submissions

–          Blog Comments/Subscriptions

–          Contact Form Submissions

–          Donations

–          Emails

–          File Downloads

–          Game Demos

–          Help Survey Submissions

–          Information Requests

–          Join a Mailing List

–          Konversions (for those German PPC managers)

–          Link Clicks (for those sites with PDFs, etc)

–          Membership Signups

–          Newsletter Signups

–          Op-Ed Submissions

–          Phone Calls

–          Questionnaire Submissions

–          Registrations

–          Social Media Conversions (Facebook, Twitter, etc)

–          Transactions

–          User Forum Posts/Comments/Reviews

–          Views of a Key Page

–          Walk-Ins

–          X (no clue)

–          YouTube Video Subscriptions

–          Zip File Downloads (you try coming up for one with Z)

Until next week…Keep on Searching!

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