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Now most of my site's revenue comes from AdSense clicks. Anyone know if it is possible to somehow have urchin/analytics track my AdSense conversions? I want to set up a "goal" where an AdSense click counts as a "conversion" on my site. I'd put my average EPC in as the value of the conversion... even better, if somehow Google could look up and use the real value, which somewhere in Google they obviously do know... but that is probably just wishful thinking.
Right now if a user "bounces" off my site they are treated the same way in the stats no matter whether they left via AdSense or whether they just hit the back button. I need to know...
It's important for me to know which of my marketing efforts produce users who click on AdSense ads, and which produce users who just read the content but don't click the ads... it's only worth my *paying* for the users who click ads. I don't mind having the others on my site, but I sure don't want to spend money getting them!
Right now I have my own tracking via some JS that detects *some* AdSense clicks, but not all. I have some scripts that eat my log files and report things like which referrers/search-terms resulted in what % of the ad clicks and such. It seems to me that Google, being Big Brother here, ought to be able to do a much better job of this than my crappy scripts do.
I mean, it simply means that AdSense is the only way you are making money with the site. It doesn't mean the site is not legitimate.
[edited by: tedster at 7:33 pm (utc) on Dec. 11, 2005]
[edit reason] remove extended signature [/edit]
My site fits into that category. I have tons of articles on a particular topic, relating to a large dollar purchasing decision that people typically spend significant time to research. My articles are fairly long, typically 800-1000 words. The site is the furthest thing from "made for adsense".
But the business model is entirely advertising. I don't sell anything. I simply run articles that help people reach a decision, and AdSense provides links to places they can go and buy, or continue researching. I generate good qualified clicks for my advertisers, and the ads are a useful service to my readers.
I *do* advertise my site, and spend money doing that, but clearly it is not financially sane for me to advertise to people who don't click ads. If someone who doesn't click ads finds my site--fine--but I don't want to spend PPC money to get those readers.
I am just saying that if Google sees that the only goal you have targeted is clicking on the ads they may initially assume otherwise.
Some suggestions for other goals:
User bookmarks the site.
User uses "email this to a friend".
User registers at the site.
User submits contact form.
User visits more than "X" pages.
In particular, some sources seem to refer users that are very PPC oriented, and they click ads. Those are valuable places to advertise. Other places refer users who are not PPC oriented and those users tend NOT to click ads, even if they do visit pages, bookmark the site, etc.
Most importantly, there are some keywords that if I buy PPC ads for them, lots of users come and sign up, bookmark the site, etc., but do not click on any ads. I like having those users. I don't like incurring PPC charges to get them.
Yes, when I get a moment I should do some of that (Java) coding...
At the moment I do have a half-decent measure of stickiness, which I track as a conversion, and thus tune out the bungee visitors who are straight out again after the first page view with the cry: "WHO DID *YOUR* WEB DESIGN MISTER!" (Answer: me, and it shows!).