PPC Tracking Basics

If you are starting to get into PPC, you will most likely have your Google AdWords ad group setup to trigger on a broad match term.

Broad Match is the default option. If you include a general keyword like “mIf you are starting to get into PPC, you will most likely have your Google AdWords ad group setup to trigger on a broad match term.

Broad Match is the default option. If you include a general keyword like “marketing” in your keyword list, your ads will appear for a variety of terms – ranging from “search engine marketing” to “direct mail marketing”. You ads will show for expanded matches, plurals, and other relevant variations.

Obviously, broad matching can lead to untargeted clicks – so I’d recommend using the exact match or phrase match option when possible. After coming up with some targeted keywords, how do you determine which keyword is performing the best?

You need to do some tracking. You want to find out what terms people are searching for and what ad corresponds to their search. Then you can take that information and determine the value/cost of each click.

You’ll need two parts of information – the search request and the keyword you bid on.

The easiest way to do this is add “?kw={keyword}” to the end of your destination url in AdWords. When you use “{keyword}” in your url, this will be replaced by the keyword that matches a user’s search.

For instance if I see a url in my logs like this:

http://www.socialpatterns.com/?kw=marketing

I’ll know that someone arrived at my page through a search in which I bid for the term “marketing”. Now depending on how my matching is setup and what the search query was, this may be enough information. Most times this is not enough though.

I have to take one more step – I need to check my referrer logs.

So checking my referrer logs, I can see that the person arrived from this url:

http://www.google.com/search?q=search+engine+marketing

Now I know that they searched for “search engine marketing” and arrived on my page because I broad matched “marketing”. I can now go back and revise my AdWords account to better target “search engine marketing” and improve my click through rates.

You may want to test a couple broad matched terms with your ads and track which searches are converting the best. Later on you can drop the broad matched terms and you can start using exact or phrase matched terms that you discover through tracking.

Since your ad’s position is determined by various performance factors, including maximum cost-per-click, your ad’s actual click through rate, and ad text – you always want to keep tracking how well your ads are performing. This simple tip can help you continue to refine your keyword list and save money by giving you a better overview of your search engine marketing campaign’s performance.

Check out Got Ads? for more tips – it’s an excellent blog.
arketing” in your keyword list, your ads will appear for a variety of terms – ranging from “search engine marketing” to “direct mail marketing”. You ads will show for expanded matches, plurals, and other relevant variations.

Obviously, broad matching can lead to untargeted clicks – so I’d recommend using the exact match or phrase match option when possible. After coming up with some targeted keywords, how do you determine which keyword is performing the best?

You need to do some tracking. You want to find out what terms people are searching for and what ad corresponds to their search. Then you can take that information and determine the value/cost of each click.

You’ll need two parts of information – the search request and the keyword you bid on.

The easiest way to do this is add “?kw={keyword}” to the end of your destination url in AdWords. When you use “{keyword}” in your url, this will be replaced by the keyword that matches a user’s search.

For instance if I see a url in my logs like this:

http://www.socialpatterns.com/?kw=marketing

I’ll know that someone arrived at my page through a search in which I bid for the term “marketing”. Now depending on how my matching is setup and what the search query was, this may be enough information. Most times this is not enough though.

I have to take one more step – I need to check my referrer logs.

So checking my referrer logs, I can see that the person arrived from this url:

http://www.google.com/search?q=search+engine+marketing

Now I know that they searched for “search engine marketing” and arrived on my page because I broad matched “marketing”. I can now go back and revise my AdWords account to better target “search engine marketing” and improve my click through rates.

You may want to test a couple broad matched terms with your ads and track which searches are converting the best. Later on you can drop the broad matched terms and you can start using exact or phrase matched terms that you discover through tracking.

Since your ad’s position is determined by various performance factors, including maximum cost-per-click, your ad’s actual click through rate, and ad text – you always want to keep tracking how well your ads are performing. This simple tip can help you continue to refine your keyword list and save money by giving you a better overview of your search engine marketing campaign’s performance.

Check out Got Ads? for more tips – it’s an excellent blog.