Conversion Tracking – Something Bing thought through!

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Ever wondered why the monthly conversion figures are always constant for your Bing adCenter accounts whereas the AdWords conversion figures keep changing until may be a few days/weeks into the next month?

This change in conversion numbers takes place to accommodate the conversions due to late conversion tracking in Google AdWords.  To understand late conversion tracking, let us cite an example: Suppose a user clicked on your ad after seeing it on the Google Network, but did not convert. However he/she returns to the website at a later point of time, in the next calendar month (well within the 30-day expiry period of the AdWords cookie) and converts.  This aggregates the conversion figure into the previous month’s conversion numbers.  Also, if the website is an ecommerce site, the revenue is added to the previous month’s revenue figures.  This might give you slightly skewed data as to the gross revenue and the number of conversions for the month.

adCenter however uses more robust and elaborate mechanisms for conversion tracking as compared to AdWords.  I know majority of you would find this idea chimerical!

But, you are about to realize that AdWords’ conversion mechanisms are way primitive as compared to adCenter.

google vs bing

Types of Conversion Tracking in Bing

adCenter has 3 different kinds of conversion tracking mechanisms:

  • One Conversion Per Click tracking
  • One Conversion Per Unique URL tracking
  • Count All Conversion Tracking

Let me not get into elaborating on the various conversion tracking mechanisms in Bing and get straight to where Bing triumphs Google’s conversion tracking logic.

One Conversion per Unique URL Tracking

One conversion per unique URL tracking is a little complex and must be implemented when one (or the developer) has the ability to modify and embed codes into the URLs.  These codes or values could be anything ranging from receipt numbers, session IDs, transaction values, or any arbitrary value that gives individuality to the user on the website.  adCenter counts the number of conversions based on the URL and the query string which follows on the conversion page.

The code appended by adCenter would look like the one shown below:

Let’s understand this conversion method with the help of an example: A user clicks on your ad and comes to the website; completes a conversion (well within 7 days).  During the checkout process, a unique code will be appended with the URL and this remains constant for the transaction.  Suppose the user returns again within 7 days and completes another conversion, he will be given a separate unique URL and a separate conversion will be counted by adCenter.   Since every user is given individuality, each unique transaction or action is counted as one separate conversion.  However, if someone bookmarks the thank you page and reloads it again at a later point of time (maybe to take a print of the page or something), adCenter would not count it as another conversion since it will have the same unique code with URL which is not the case with AdWords.  AdWords will count the second loading of the thank you page as another conversion and expects the website owners to have security measures to prevent these scenarios.  This type of tracking would be ideal to be implemented on ecommerce websites where the prime motive is sales.  Now the only disadvantage that one may find here is that the adCenter cookie has an expiry date of 7 days.  Maybe over time they might implement cookies which have higher expiry periods which would make this process fully concrete!

Conversion tracking provides an accurate sense of ROI of the PPC campaign and would help in tracking the performance efficiency of the Pay Per Click campaign.  With proficient tools and mechanisms for tracking conversions provided by Bing, it gives us all the more reason to try our PPC marketing campaigns on the Bing network!!

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