Adwords Hints & Tips #9 – Track Your Conversions!

How do you know which keywords are the ones that are generating your sales? Does it matter as long as the campaign is paying its way?
2 Jul, 2006

Well, you have been using Google Adwords for some time, and you’re getting plenty of clicks from a large selection of keywords, but how do you know which keywords are the ones that are generating your sales? Does it matter as long as the campaign is paying its way?

What’s a Conversion?
A conversion is generally used to describe the moment when a visitor to your website becomes a customer (i.e. when they move from just browsing your site to purchasing something from you), although it can represent the moment when they take any action that you want them to take (e.g. completing a survey; asking you for more information, etc.).

Why do I need to track them?
If you owned a shop in the high street and got plenty of customers you’d be happy, wouldn’t you? If you knew what brought most of those customers to your shop in the first place wouldn’t that be better still? Then you could shift your marketing budget so that more of it was spent targeting that sort of visitor, which should greatly improve your return on Marketing spend.
The same logic is true for websites. The website is your shop window. You will (hopefully) get lots of people to come in and look around, but what you really need to know is what type of person is buying from you, where they come from, how did they find out about you, etc.

How can I track conversions through my website?
There are actually lots of ways. Google can give you some code that you plug into your website which will capture information about the visitors who arrive via your Adwords Campaign. You can then go to your campaign page in Google and see which keyword clicks actually resulted in a sale/conversion for you. You can also modify your website yourself to track all incoming visitors and the keywords they have used to search for you.
Whatever method you use, the most important thing is to know which keywords/websites, etc. delivered the most customers to you. If you use Google Adwords, you can remove the keywords that are not generating sales, thereby increasing the amount of your budget that goes to the keywords that do generate sales. Simple really, but it’s surprising that many website owners do not do this!

The Author of this series of articles is Martin Jarvis, who creates and manages Pay-per-Click campaigns for a number of clients. To find out more, please visit our Pay per Click page


  1. invesp

    Hi Martin,

    The series provides a great insight into running a ppc campaign. We are noticing that more of our clients are focused on increasing conversion rates from the current traffic they are receiving.

  2. The Boss

    Hi invesp. Yes, I think it is gradually dawning on people that volume of traffic is not everything, and that it is just as important to find out how visitors are using their website. It’s only then that they know what sort of traffic is good for them, which keywords are the ones generating conversions, and which pages on their site are real turn-offs to visitors (and so should be improved). I use Google Analytics quite heavily for the sites I manage. It gives a great insight into the way that traffic arrives and progresses through a website. You can use it to describe ‘goal funnels’ so that you can see at what stage you are losing most of your traffic etc.

  3. Guest

    Is there any way to pause your google adwords campaign?

  4. admin

    Just go to your campaign list and click the pause button alongside the campaign you want to pause. Then just click again when you want to resume the campaign.


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