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Tracking AdWords Campaigns

What should I be doing?

3:29 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Your going to laugh, but I have never tracked anything in AdWords, other than the stats they give me. In my defence, I deal only in Affiliate Products straight to merchant. I am going to branch out now, and ad a landing site into the mix, so naturally I want to start tracking properly.

So I am going to start this off by asking what will I need to do proper tracking? What are the tools? Is it just a service? A program? Or Multiple things. I am testing a tracking service right now, where I log into their website, and the stats are held there. I am a little confused at what I should be doing.

I don't want to use the AdWords tracking feature, as I have one that seems to be ok right now. Here are some other things I would like to know:

- Right now I am testing this tracking service. I only have 1 AdGroup running in my whole account. The AdGroup has 2 Ads, both of which the clicks are tracked. So I am only getting traffic from AdWords, from these 2 ads. Something is strange is happening though... Google AdWords will say that I have 16 clicks for the day, while the program says I only have 14 uniques. I then go into the KeyWord Report which is supposed to tell you what KeyWords were typed in to find you, and there are only 9. I don't know why Google is saying 1 figure, while my tracking service is saying another, and giving me an even lower count on KeyWords.

- What are the main things to track? Should I be tracking which Ad actually produces a better ROI? What is the most effecient way to organize this tracking system?

I know this is a lot to answer, but it will definitely help me, and I am sure a lot of other people as well.



3:54 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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On the topic of the uniques vs. clicks reported by google, you just have to see how your tracking is defining 'uniques'.

They are likely counting each unique (or seemingly unique) visitor rather than the click through. So, if someone clicks an ad, the cookie is set and they are tagged as a unique visit. A couple hours later, they want to find you again, try the same search, click the same ad. Google counts another click, but because the cookie is set, it's still the same visitor. One unique, two clicks. Hope that helps.

(I only say 'seemingly unique' in the case of perhaps a shared computer. Could be different people, but it's the same machine)

I'll turn to others for some advice on tracking specific ads, etc.