Posted by & filed under PPC Chat.

Hosted by @NeptuneMoon, this week’s PPCChat session was focused on most common conversion actions in accounts and campaigns, Preferred method or tool for setting up conversion tracking, The biggest roadblock to an effective conversion tracking and more.

Q1: Seems like a no brainer, but do most of all of your clients track conversions?


It’s a no-brainer, but for folks not in the space, they don’t really care about ticks in an analytics platform — they care about the business KPIs, which probably aren’t tracked in a big platform. @ferkungamaboobo

Yes! Conversion tracking is essential to proving that I’m adding value. @FindingAmanda

I have some who do not because of the way their sites are set up… But most do. @NeptuneMoon

All core conversions, yes. I only work with ecommerce clients so ehhanced ecommerce is Softer conversions like email capture, content downloads. Not always. @scright

All but one. And I keep trying to get that train moving. Whether or not it’s tracked correctly, well, that’s a whole other issue. @amaliaefowler

I won’t work with clients that don’t track conversions. If we’re not measuring what success looks like, that’s bad news for me. I don’t work with any massive clients that are purely looking for brand lift though so YMMV.  More on this: Even if they aren’t tracking conversions or have limitations, we can set up conversions that we can track. Might need to make adjustments to them and do more advanced tag manager implementations, but we can get some reasonable data coming in.@CJSlattery

I actually have one who doesn’t. If they make sales on their site, they make 0 profit, so they don’t care to know. They want to know how much reseller traffic they are driving. @JonKagan

Yes or at least have an explicit proxy goal to measure against (in the rare instance of tracking restrictions). @_GilHong

Yes…ish? some of my clients are so focused on broadcast that all they really want is impressions. It’s still new for a lot of organizations to track actions people might take. @JuliaVyse

Of course. However, we don’t do Smart Goals, which we have seen other agencies do to lower CPA. Make themselves look better. We do real Show Me The Money conversions. @duanebrown

Yes! Ensuring that they do or doing it ourselves I generally our first step. @adwordsgirl

Currently – the client I am working on don’t have conversion tracking. really makes for a boring ppc support. thankfully not going to be around long. @mindswanppc

Yes, 90% of my clients are ecommerce, so conversion is huge for them. @lchasse


Q2: What are the most common conversion actions in accounts and campaigns you’re currently managing?


Store Visits. It’s bread and butter for me! 2nd most used = app downloads. @JuliaVyse

1. Lead form 2. Phone call 3. Call from Ads 4. Purchase (less common for us as we have less e-comm clients). @amaliaefowler

Calls (from ad, extension or landing page) Form Fills Purchases. @NeptuneMoon

Transactions and Lead Capture (though this may be segmented for lead quality). @_GilHong

My most common conversions are lead forms, purchases, revenue, phone calls and site registrations. Conv type depends on client’s individual goals/needs. My portfolio has been historically ecomm but it’s becoming mostly lead gen. @FindingAmanda

Since 80% of our business is ecom. We do track sales and revenue across all ad platform. For our tech and SaaS clients, we look at account sign up from a free trail down to who became a customer. Help get that LTV if we can. @duanebrown

Added to cart, initiated checkout, completed purchase. @scright

E-commerce and leadforms. @StephanieErne

Form fills. Most of our clients are service businesses. @adwordsgirl

Currently…none! but in the past it’s usually a sale (+revenue) or form fill lead. @mindswanppc

Lead gen and email sign up. Even my retail clients. They are all about the long game with the LTV @JonKagan

The most common ones are form signups, purchases, email signups and catalog requests. @lchasse

Mostly lead capture. @bufoting


Q3: Do you have a preferred method for setting up conversion tracking? Particular tool?


My tag manager savvy team member. Do they count? 😉 Typically its the GTM & Analytics combo deal. @amaliaefowler

Google Analytics! and the Facebook pixel depending on the client. @JuliaVyse

Send client pixels and instructions. Hope for the best. Giving them tips for specific to their site platform sometimes helps.@FindingAmanda

I deal mostly with Shopify clients in which I’m happy to set both GA + FB goals up myself as it’s super simple. I always disliked going through developers for tracking unless it was a custom built platform. @scright

Whichever it is, try to keep in consistent! For most, I’d default to Google Analytics with the same attribution. I’d still use secondary engine-pixels to supplement with info on impression-based/engagement metrics if applicable. @_GilHong

Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel. Sometimes via call tracking integration too. @NeptuneMoon

Google analytics & Google tag Manager are my go-to tools. @StephanieErne

I generally have conversion tracking setup with analytics and then import it into Ads. Usually with conversions tracked with custom triggers in tag manager mapping to events. @CJSlattery

Google Analytics works for most… as it offers more detail than simple pixel. Although it doesn’t track the non direct referral conversions.. which might be suspect in GDPR terms anyway. @smarketreports

The big problem with most of the tools is the lack of an audit trail. You’re never quite sure why things got changed. Sometimes you know who – but if emails & credentials are shared this doesn’t work either. @smarketreports

Google Tag Manager has become my life and the only way I’d like to track conversions. @adwordsgirl

Definitely Google Tag Manager @mindswanppc

Call me lazy or a simpleton if you must, but I love my GA event tracking. Easy to setup and integrate. @JonKagan

My preferred method is with #GoogleTagManager, even for Facebook conversions. A new one, though, is store visits that’s only available to me now through Analytics, so we’ll upload that conversion to Google Ads. Facebook has it in beta, but they’re being difficult. @ScottOmiller


Q4: What is the biggest road block to effective conversion tracking for you?


In no particular order: – client lack of desire/care – iframes – also iframes – 3rd party sites where the conversion happens (a la jane app/open table) where they won’t let us track bookings. @amaliaefowler

I’m starting to hear more buzz around the drop in tracking due to Apple ITP… @BryantGarvin posted some interesting data about FB Pixel vs. conversion import: @_GilHong

Single Page Applications unless you can get developers to buy into custom events – iframes onto other domains. – cross domain tracking where you can’t get a decent conversation with the people controlling the other domain. @smarketreports

The client mostly – not prioritizing it. Just going – “let’s just get something live – then we can sort tracking later” urrrgghhh @mindswanppc

Crappy web site set up Third party site actually does the conversion action Client apathy. @NeptuneMoon

Custom platforms and unresponsive developers. I tend not to start any advertising until tracking is 100% which I’ve found helps speed up any external roadblocks. @scright

Secondary websites where we can’t track conversions directly for sure. @CJSlattery

2 big ones: 1) Analytics-based conversion data is an imperfect proxy, and folks are uncomfortable with that. 2) Phone call quality reporting. @ferkungamaboobo

3rd party registration platforms or lead capture tools (that can be stuff like GoToWebinar or any other “off-site” lead capture tool.) They may be easy to set up, but tracking is usually a nightmare. @robert_brady

If clients want to do it themselves, having them make the time to do it. Sometimes it takes a few follows up but it gets done. Other times it’s people using some CMS I have never used and taking the time to understand it and put together a plan. @duanebrown

Clients with Pentagon-level security who refuse to apply standard pixels. It’s a public lead form Gerry (and Gerry’s boss Alan, and the global tech lead, Emerile), not the goddam nuclear codes! @JuliaVyse

Inconsistently with the CRM on the true back end conversions. @JonKagan

The biggest road block is developers who really are not sure what they are doing…. wish that was not the case. The tag is implemented should be tracking. Me, um nope it is not.. @lchasse

Clients wanting to do it themselves but then never get around to it * Shitty websites with iframes @adwordsgirl

Almost always technical issues with the website. Sometimes conversions done by a third party that offers nothing to possibly track anything. @StephanieErne

Multi touch Cross device Post lead/initial purchase Anyone volunteer to be my data scientist… for free 🙂 @markpgus

Website limitations. Embedded site windows through iFrames (you can’t access their data layer through the parent frame unless you have access to their GTM). @ScottOmiller


Q5: When a client wants to improve their conversion rate, where do you typically start/look first for opportunity?


Ease of finding the conversion path on the website, Calls to Action on their website, simplifying the conversion (yes, that means reducing their 52 question intake form to 8 questions or less) @ynotweb

Paid ads and what is not working. There is also “fat” in an account to cut from ads to target and account/campaign settings. Next where is the traffic going. That LP experience is important. Even the small thing of having ads match the LP message is not always done. @duanebrown

I generally look at two places 1. The ads account. Re-evaluate everything to see if there is something that isn’t working that I just didn’t see before. 2. The LP. Where are people landing and is it working for the user? @adwordsgirl

If I have a funnel set up, where people are dropping off that funnel. I also look at where the gap is – if my impressions and clicks have remained constant the issue is on the site. If I can improve CTR on ads, then that is a first step. Heatmaps on LPs as well. @amaliaefowler

Often times the website or conversion funnel has areas for improvement which would improve CVR across other channels of traffic as well.@_GilHong

Their search terms. Quite often there’s weird unrelated garbage in there that needs to be pared down. If those look good, on to the landing pages! @JuliaVyse

1. Why do you want to improve conversion rate? A. Is it because of my results? (Check targeting/message alignment) B. Is it just to be better? (Site speed, short value prop above fold/clear CTA) @markpgus

I look for friction points in the conversion process first and try to get them eliminated. Landing page speed. Poor targeting -or lately poor matching to targeting… @NeptuneMoon

The competitive landscape usually. How does the offer / brand hold up against the competition. I first check if they need to hange something in their business or that we can make changes in the LP and ad-platforms. @StephanieErne

Another thing I explain to clients is it’s not just the conversion rate from click to lead but THEIR conversion rate of lead to customer. They need to be part of the team to increase their ROI. Don’t want 6 days to call that lead back. @CJSlattery

At the goal funnel for that conversion. Is the drop off reasonable ? @smarketreports

Their landing page! sure they will first complain to us and say “why isn’t our paid search working” but our primary task is to drive traffic. i create keywords/ad copy that are targeted to the lp. IF CR drops – 90% something has gone wrong/changed on the page. @mindswanppc

UI/UX – the idea is to have the user take minimum steps to register a conversion @bufoting

1: Helping clients find their blindspots too. Sometimes you can be the only person asking things like – is the price too high? Is your offer a lot less attractive than digital competitors? @NeptuneMoon

Should look at all elements of campaigns, but agree that landing page is often the biggest crux of the issue here. @timothyjjensen

Want to improve CVR for lead gen? Less required fields in the form #ppcchat (But if the extra fields improve your lead quality then keep them. You do you boo.). @FindingAmanda

I’d map out their funnel to see where they’re losing visitors. Assuming nothing stands out, I’d then look at the quality of their sales copy. That’s usually the easiest quick win. @stevegibsonppc

Type of conversions they’re currently tracking. Monitor site behavior and determine where the dropoff is. If our ads aren’t converting, I’d also want to look at the current targeting. Are we putting them in front of the right people? @ScottOmiller


Q6: How often do you find that their web site/landing pages are a problem? What are the most common issues you’ve encountered?


A lot. like…a LOT. It usually comes down to budget. not everyone can invest in both a website and strong media and strong creative. So it’s about doing a few things really well. @JuliaVyse

The website causes problems fairly often. Most common problem is people don’t test measurement and tracking – they just test UX and usability. @smarketreports

If there is an issue on the website/LP that they’re unwilling/unable to fix, I’d make sure that tracking loss is built into goals and expectations for conversion volume and efficiency. @_GilHong

Site speed is a big one, especially for mobile traffic & for FB ads. FB adds their own little delay in going to outside sites – yay! Unclear messaging/positioning of their product/service. Not presenting from CLIENT perspective. I could go on…@NeptuneMoon

I think the website causes the most problems when it is designed to look pretty & the way the people at the brand want it, with absolutely no thought towards the target market. #ppcchat And also iframes. I hate iframes. @amaliaefowler

If it is a form, then usually too many questions, same for surveys. Site speed is a big issue. Shipping costs for retailers can sometimes stop the sale. In the world of cheap/free shipping, it is tough to charge a lot to ship. @lchasse

Boring landing pages. Lead forms that are too long. Not enough content / only 1 landing page. @Mel66

The ad to LP isn’t a continuous experience. You can’t dump someone on a product page without giving them a taste of the product. You can’t dump someone on a LP when you sold them the product in the ad already. SEAMLESS EXPERIENCES! @markpgus

Sometimes. But it is often a combination of poor landing pages, bad sales, non-competitive pricing and / or product with no distinctive value. @StephanieErne

It’s usually the little things on ecom sites. On tech and SaaS brands, the copy can be the worst. We also do a UX and design audit when we on-board new ecom brands to get those small bits sorted. @duanebrown

Page load speed. Placement of the CTA. @ScottOmiller


Q7: How do you address conversion rate optimization (CRO) road blocks?


If dev bandwidth is an issue, suggest a LP platform like @unbounce Or even a free tool like Google Optimize for testing basic tweaks. @timothyjjensen

Try to find a solution that works for where ever the client is that can help get them to where they want to be. For example, if they can’t do much with a bad site, use an alternative for the landing pages at least, like @unbounce @NeptuneMoon

Definitely an education/upsell moment. A lot of people have already mentioned taking a business consultant approach to their management which I feel is very effective in conveying the importance and benefit of CRO for their whole biz. @_GilHong

Communication. I work with very formal, public orgs that can’t always do everything we’d like them to. that’s okay. we adjust expectations and keep working, sometimes there’s a way around. It’s all about clarity. @JuliaVyse

Head on and directly. I’ll always push back at least once on things. It’s a script I’ve perfected. “Doing X, in my experience will likely lead to Y. I’d recommend Z. If you still want to do X, we can do it, but I caution against it.” @amaliaefowler

This is my approach as well. Clients can choose to not listen (they’re the boss) but I make sure they know the likely consequences of not following the advice.  @CJSlattery

Monetizing the improvements seems to put more urgency into CRO projects. Increase by this % and get x more dollars a month! 1 month overdue? You’ve potentially lost thousands in revenue. CRO done well pays for itself. @scright

1: Be completely honest about how their limitations impact what is possible. Don’t let expectations get out of the land of reality! @NeptuneMoon

Your job is not to be a yes-person. Your job is to give them the best possible advice for their business. @amaliaefowler

This is simple and it goes for all roadblocks. “Great so this is what we need to improve performance and if we don’t do that it’s fine. It is your business, but we can’t guarantee the best possible results until this happens.” YOU MIST SET EXPECTATIONS @markpgus

I always tell them that I work for them at the end of the day, however if I do not tell you we should be testing, then I am not doing you any favors. If we can test, the data will speak for itself and it won’t be opinions. @lchasse

That really depends on the type of client and the roadblock. Key is to always be open and honest in what you think and advice. We alway say to our colleagues: treat it like it is your own business. What would you do in this case? @StephanieErne

Look for “easy” win and start there. Show the data to back what we want to do. It’s a marathon but the smart clients give us the rope if they hire us to do this other service. @duanebrown

Just yesterday, I pointed out to a client that a 20% improvement to their homepage would generate $180,000 extra profit over the next 12 months. If that doesn’t motivate them, check for a pulse. @stevegibsonppc

I have an amazing CRO specialist at my disposal, but she does a lot of heat mapping and conversion path analysis to show our clients where people are dropping off and how we can avoid potential pitfalls in the future. @ScottOmiller


Q8: If you could have a wish granted for conversion tracking functionality, what would it be?


That iframe died and @OpenTable & Jane App let me install conversion tracking. @amaliaefowler

A/B testing that properly weights conversions based on various stages (i.e., weighting a whitepaper download vs. a direct sales inquiry) or somehow factors in lead quality data you send back in. @timothyjjensen

As long as it is a wish, I’ll make it a big one – cross platform data sharing. Also, agree on third party sites making it possible to track activity on their sites. @NeptuneMoon

That we could have a seamless/automatic Conversion import from CRMs to all paid platforms. @_GilHong

For legal teams to let me pixel sites. that’s all. I want so little this xmas. please, just a conversion pixel. that’s all..@JuliaVyse

Everyone cared about tracking as much as they did money… even when times look good. Don’t put your head in the sand @duanebrown

As long as it is a wish, I’ll make it a big one – cross platform data sharing. Also, agree on third party sites making it possible to track activity on their sites. @NeptuneMoon

Seamless integration / connection with the CRM System and Google Analytics @StephanieErne

I think @_GilHong nailed it. Seamless integration into a CRM or other system so we can see the actual value of leads. Ecommerce tracking is easy (relatively). @ScottOmiller


PPCChat Participants:


Related Links:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website Protected by Spam Master