How Five Minutes Tracking my PPC Results Saved Me $750 A MONTH!

Like most people, I can be pretty lazy when it comes to
the more mundane aspects of running an online business. It
is usually these ‘boring’ tasks that end up saving or
making me large sums of money (when I eventually get around
to dealing with them!). One day I will learn….. 🙂

One the incredibly boring job that I want to talk
about is ad-tracking. Now please bear with me on this – I
know it isn’t the most exciting topic in the world BUT
spending (literally) five minutes on this task a month ago
is already saving me over $750 a month (that’s $9,000 a
year!) and there is every possibility that I could end up
saving more than double that amount!

Like many website owners, I use pay-per-click search
engines to promote some of my businesses. I am sure you
are all familiar with this type of advertising: and every time a
browser clicks on your advert, you pay the search engine a
set fee (anything from 5 cents upwards). The amount you
pay depends on how popular your search keyword is. For
example, search terms such as ‘hosting’ or ‘casinos’ etc are very competitive and could
cost you several dollars a click (that is just for someone
to visit your site – they don’t have to buy anything!). As
you can see, it can get very expensive.

Anyway, back to my story….

Google Adwords are the paid adverts that show up on the right-hand
side of the Google search engine listings. I have been
using Google Adwords for years on and off. Recently,
I have only been using this service to advertise a couple
of my main website – because these sites
have high sales conversion ratios (the number of people
that visit the sites and actually buy something) – and
therefore I can justify the relatively high advertising

Both of these sites were receiving good levels of traffic
from Google Adwords and both were making proportionate
levels of sales. Of course, the sites also receive traffic
from many other sources but I assumed that as Google had
always provided me with visitors that bought, that this was
still the case. The bottom line was that if my PPC costs
were way lower than my sales costs on each day, then I was
basically happy.

A few months ago, Google introduced a new tool that allows
you to track the visitors from your ads. The ad tracking tool
is very easy to install and requires you to place a small
piece of HTML code on your ‘thank-you’/order confirmation pages. Once installed,
Google can track their referrals and see how many of them
actually make it to the ‘thank-you’ page (i.e., make a
purchase). The results are then displayed within your
normal Google Adwords stats.

Last month I had a spare five minutes so I installed the ad
tracking tool on one of my sites, expecting to find that I
was correct in my assumption that a good percentage of
these referrals from Google were buying from me. I was
initially very surprised to see that over the first few
days, hardly any of the referrals were making purchases but
I put this down to an ‘off-week’ and let the adverts
continue to run.

In the end, I tracked this specific ad for a month and the
conversion rate from the Adwords referrals was appalling –
seriously, I really couldn’t believe it. The site WAS
making sales but hardly any of the buyers were coming from
the Google paid adverts. The sales were
covering the cost of the Adwords advertising but I was
basically wasting money because this advertising was in no
way whatsoever as effective as it had been in the past.


I stopped that advertising campaign after tracking it for a
month The level of sales on the site in question has remained constant but I am now saving over
$750 a month by not paying for the Adwords advertising.

I am now tracking a second site in the same way and whilst
the results so far show a higher conversion rate
than the first site, it is still not as high as I would
have expected. So I may well end up ditching this campaign
also and that will save me considerably more money each

The moral of this story? Well, it’s obvious, really: it
is absolutely vital that you track your paid advertising to
see how effective it really is. You may well be surprised
(as I was) and if it saves you a few hundred dollars a
month, I can assure you it is a very nice surprise 🙂

Richard Grady has been helping people earn online since 1998. Find out more about Richard at: Free wholesale search
engines: UK- and US