Online Advertising Campaign Tracking and Building Profitability

March 2016

Online Advertising Campaign Tracking and Building Profitability

The entire point of online advertising (and any other type of advertising for that matter) is to build a better company. It might be more profitability. It could be brand recognition. It could be market share. It could be all of these things rolled into one. However, you must be able to track conversions and success. You could have the most compelling campaign in the world, but if you’re not tracking your results, you’ll have no real way of knowing. What do you track, though?

Campaign Spending

Obviously, you don’t have bottomless pockets. Even the largest companies in the world don’t have limitless funds for advertising. You need to ensure that you’re getting the most from your money, and that means knowing exactly what you’re spending per day and per month (this is particularly true for PPC campaigns, which can quickly get expensive if you’re targeting particularly competitive keywords). Accurately track your spending. This is not optional.

Website Conversion Rate

You might just be happy to see your sales numbers spike, but if you’re not tracking your website conversion rate, there could be a hidden problem. For instance, if you have 100 people click through an ad, but only 1 of them makes a purchase, that could be enough to give you a tiny spike in profit, but what prevented the other 99 people from buying?
Did they leave after arriving on the site? Did they get in touch with your company in another way (telephoning to make a purchase, perhaps, which wouldn’t show up as a conversion, but would still add to your sales). Track your conversion rate religiously, and use this information to make adjustments to your campaign, your landing pages, and other marketing collateral on the fly.

Clicks (Daily and Monthly)

Once, “clicks” was considered the single most important metric to track in the realm of paid online advertising. It’s still important, but other metrics have also risen in value. With that being said, tracking clicks will give you plenty of important information. Essentially, this number is how many people clicked through your ad during a specific timeframe on a particular platform (Wednesday, from Google, for instance). Track this information daily and monthly. Bump it against your conversion numbers and spending to identify problems and make corrections.

UTM Variables

If you’re using Google Analytics to track your campaign’s progress and linking to the same landing page from multiple channels, you’ll need to make sure you’re using UTM variables. Essentially, these are qualifiers in the URL that allow Google Analytics to differentiate between visitors landing on your page from Facebook, those from Google AdWords, and those from elsewhere. This allows you to hone in on what platforms (or ads) are performing best.
Tracking your campaign’s success is essential, and it involves much more than just looking for an increase in sales. Track as much information as possible, for as long as possible to give yourself the best picture of campaign performance over time.

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