Backing Up Your Conversion Tracking

As helpful as PPC conversion tracking scripts are, they are far from infallible. While Google, Yahoo, and MSN have all been gracious enough to offer up free conversion tracking solutions for their respective pay per click advertising platforms, we all have our horror stories about how they’ve failed us. Maybe you’ve missed several days of tracking due to a glitch, or you are the owner of one of those cantankerous types of websites that just doesn’t want to play well with conversion tracking javascript. In any case, you should probably think about having a back-up method of tracking conversions in case your standard conversion tracking doesn’t work or experiences an error.

Fortunately, Google Analytics has a function that works pretty well. Just set up some conversion goals in your Google Analytics profile (you can find the how-to guide here) that are identical to your PPC conversion tracking goals. It’s easy to set up a simple conversion tracking goal. Just pick a catchy name for the goal, then copy the link to your “thank you” or confirmation page (or wherever you have your conversion tracking code) as the Goal URL. You’re done! Of course, you can always create fancy funnels and reports, but if you just want a simple backup for your existing conversion tracking that’s all it takes.

Not only will this help you keep track of conversions even if your account conversion tracking gets all wonky, but it will also help you get a second opinion of sorts to see if your conversion tracking is inaccurate. If you are running multiple PPC search engine accounts and directing them all to the same conversion page, the Google Analytics conversion goal reports will help you get an aggregate view of your total conversions without having to flip back and forth between accounts. You can use Google Analytics’ segmentation options in reports if you want to split your conversions up by search engine again.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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