Tracking Success, Part 2: AdWords and Social Media

OK, I promised some insights in to advanced tracking elements in AdWords in "Become A Success Tracker: Advanced Conversion Analytics." So let's see what can be done in AdWords, plus we'll look at a few other tracking tricks for social media.

AdWords Tracking

It may seem like the biggest part of tracking success in AdWords is adding the conversion tracking on your confirmation or thank you pages. While this is a must do for all marketers, segments and advanced reporting provide much deeper insight into your marketing.

AdWords Campaign Page

Inside your Campaigns page, you have the option to choose filters to get deeper in to the data and choose specific areas to get more granular results. You can choose network, click type, device, experiment (another great resource I'll report on in detail on another occasion), and calendar specific views.

This will generate reports with the selected info added to your other columns -- note that you can also delete some of those columns so your view looks at what you specifically want to compare.

Some of these can also be done in the report tab when you click the download button -- the downward arrow you can see under the keyword tab at the top of the image below.

AdWords Generate Reports

These are great for really tracking where your conversions are coming from in the content network and quickly allows you to stop sites that aren't converting -- or even terms for them. The best approach with this is to include performance monitoring and conversion tracking. These labels will help clarify the types of conversions each effort gets for you.

Using the advanced report elements in AdWords really gets deep in to your data. Check out the options you can use inside Reports. I captured a few below but get inside and play and see what really can be done.

AdWords Advanced Settings

Social Media Tracking

Social media -- Twitter and Facebook, in particular -- are new, important ways of getting more conversions. How do you measure them? URL shorteners can help somewhat, but a few handy tools can help you be more aware of where your traffic is coming from.

Topsy is a great tool for tracking who is retweeting your tweets. Here's a look at how they break them out:

AdWords Advanced Settings

Knowing where you get support is important to help build good relations with those people. Engage them, retweet some of their stuff, and you will find they will keep sending you traffic.

Trackur is a great tool for aggregating a bunch of social media and helping you improve communications and hopefully if you take advantage you'll improve conversions. Hootsuite is another good tool, as is Sysomos.

Facebook itself does a good job helping advertisers improve their conversion information. Apart from the standard code for the conversion page, Facebook also has "view-through" tracking. You can now know what ads loaded but a person didn't click on that a converted visitor saw on Facbook. Facebook has a good guide to conversion tracking too.

Hopefully that has given you a few more tricks to use and if you have some to add to the conversation post comments below -- I will check out any tools others recommend as well.

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About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.