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Search Engine Advertising: ROI Tracking Tips

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Catherine Seda shows you how to choose a return on investment (ROI) tracking solution for your search engine ads.
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It doesn't matter whether you develop an inhouse return on investment (ROI) tracking solution or utilize one from a third party. As long as you can track your paid listing sales, then "it's all good." Which should you choose? Well, entrepreneurs and companies without a programming team can save considerable time, money, and frustration by leasing or purchasing one of the types of ROI solutions discussed in this section. Numerous companies choose to run both. It's a good option. The premade ROI tracking solutions (from the search engines or tracking specialists) collect a substantial amount of marketing data that can be compared to the sales data from e-commerce solutions in-house programmers have designed.

Regardless of the ROI tracking solution you choose, you can get the most out of your data by following a few steps. Keep these tips, and the conversion issues discussed here, in the back of your mind as you select, and then implement a solution.

Get Deep with Your Data

You spend a notable amount of time researching keywords, writing titles and descriptions, plus designing landing pages. Each component independently impacts your bottom line. As such, it's important to evaluate the performance of each piece of your paid listing campaign.

A top-level tracking view would be similar to an example I give in my book: $15,000 in sales from $5,000 in ad costs. A deep or granular level of tracking reveals profitt and loss by specific components. Perhaps the $15,000 in sales resulted from five keywords that equaled $3,000 of the total ad cost. The remaining 10 keywords used $2,000 of the budget and delivered zero sales. What would you do? Cut those 10 keywords and save $2,000 of waste. This example barely breaks the surface of the detailed level of data at your fingertips. Dig deep to find gold.

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