Google Adds Keyword-Tracking Option

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Google added a feature last week to its conversion-tracking tool, allowing its 150,000 advertisers to gauge the number of each event, from sales to leads to page views. Previously, the tool returned only the total value for each conversion event.


The free conversion-tracking tool, introduced in October 2003, is part of an effort by Google to give advertisers ways to judge the success of their campaigns beyond simply the clicks generated by their keyword ads. By gauging events such as page views and sign-ups, Google emphasizes search's role in all phases of the sales cycle, from consideration to conversion to retention.


Advertisers can use the conversion-tracking tool by inserting a line of JavaScript into their conversion Web pages. It measures impressions, clicks, conversion rate, transactions, leads, sign-ups and page views for each keyword ad. After a user clicks on an ad, Google leaves a cookie on his computer, which then transmits sales and other conversion information when the user arrives at the advertiser's Web site. The cookie expires after 30 days. Google said it does not keep information about searchers' individual purchase habits. Conversion information is available only for AdWords, not those from its AdSense contextual listings program.


A number of search analytics tools, such as GoToast, are available for advertisers, in addition to free analytics offered by Google competitors like Yahoo's Overture Services and FindWhat.com. Overture also has rolled out a more robust analytics tool to track conversions across banner, e-mail and search campaigns.


Brian Morrissey covers search marketing for DM News.com. To keep up with the latest search marketing news subscribe to our free e-mail weekly newsletter Search Engine Marketing by visiting www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/newslettersub.cgi .
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