Regardless of what niche you are in, and regardless of how well your PPC campaigns are set up, your site is going to get you significantly less business if it is slow and/or unusable.
It’s worth testing your site with the following Google tool to see what improvements can be made:-
Here’s the results for ppcni.com.
I can live with this for now!
Google Analytics is a brilliant tool. It’s only as good as the data you pass back to it though.
AdWords and Bing Ads make it easy to auto tag your PPC traffic for analytics, but you need to put a lot of effort into making sure that all your traffic sources are tagged correctly. See https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en for an intro to tagging your traffic correctly.
But even if all your traffic is tagged perfectly, it is not guaranteed that your web site will not destroy these tags in some situations e.g. 301 and 302 redirects.
I had seen this happen with a Magento site which had an SEO plugin which when implemented, appeared to reduce conversions from Google Shopping traffic in Analytics to zero (though it took a while to work out what was happening as it only affected Shopping campaigns and not other AdWords campaigns, because 301 redirects were only happening on product pages and not category pages).
So, what exactly is the situation with redirects? What *will* and what *will not* mess up your tracking on your web site?
I got a very helpful reply from Google AdWords support which I have pasted almost verbatim below. Short summary is that redirects generally will mess up your tracking. :-
Whether a redirect is “destroying” the parameter used to tag a URL, depends on how you implemented the redirect. e.g. https://www.ppcni.com/blog?gclid=test123 does not provide Analytics with the parameters required to track your URLs. So – yes, your 301 redirect will destroy the tagging for Analytics.
However, there is a solution to this problem
It’s best to use the Chrome Developer Tools to help you troubleshoot.
Turn on Record in the Chrome Developer Tools (black circle on the bottom bar in the Network tab). Enter the original destination URL with the test parameter appended into the address bar. Press Enter to load the URL.
Under the Networks tab and Headers pane on the right, click some of the first requests listed–they will generally not be type-specific requests (no image or code file extensions).
Inside the request, look for an HTTP status code of 301 or 302.
Under the Response Headers section, look for the Location value, which indicates where the browser has been redirected. (Note that redirects can consist of multiple legs, so you might have to check several page HTTP requests to find out where the parameter is lost).
If the new URL doesn’t have the parameter and the value you specified earlier, then it’s likely that Google Analytics has not been able to store the parameter value.
In some cases, you might not see parameter in the final landing page URL but the Analytics code from the previous page might still have sent it in the redirect process (this usually happens too quickly to observe by eye). To check if the parameter was sent by the Analytics code on a previous page, look at the collect request made by the page. Use the filter icon to help sort or search for collect requests. (In your case: it did not send this request).
In Chrome Developer Tools, under the Networks tab, click on the collect request in the left pane (if it’s there).
In the Headers pane on the right, under the Query String Parameters section, look for the dl parameter in the collect request.
You should see your parameter. If you don’t see this value, then the parameter was not successfully parsed and stored by Google Analytics.
To resolve an issue where the Google Analytics tagging parameter is being removed by a redirect, and if the redirect is caused by a server-side rule, and you can’t stop the redirect, configure your server to allow redirects to carry query parameters from the initial URL to the final URL.
For example, the URL with your tagging is: www.example.com/redirecting-page?gclid=TeSter-123, when the redirect occurs it should forward the user to www.example.com/new-url?gclid=TeSter-123 (note here that the gclid parameter remains the same, although the page URL changes).
*NB – none of this affects AdWords conversion tracking *unless* you are importing goals/transactions from Google Analytics as conversions into AdWords.
Thanks to Google for some information that is actually useful ( https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools/customer-journey-to-online-purchase.html ).
Here’s the summary for UK traffic compared to USA traffic, which backs up what I said I thought I knew on twitter not so long ago about Display ads in the UK compared to the USA (though I am surprised that a social click in the UK is more ‘last interaction’ than it is in the USA). I must also point out that the Organic traffic probably looks better than PPC because a higher proportion of organic traffic will come from brand keywords.
Back to the UK again, it also shows what is fairly obvious to anyone who has been doing business online for any length of time. A lot of people take a lot of time to make up their minds and actually make the purchase after visiting your web site, and the higher the value of the purchase, the longer it takes…:-
See the following ink for the full article :-read more
You have to laugh at how Google treat their customers sometimes. :-
Of course they did this about 5 hours after I wrote in the PPCNI Top AdWords Tips about how it was worth signing up for!
So, if you are a merchant in the UK and want to work with the really big cash back sites (Quidco and Top Cash Back), and Google is no longer an option, which are the best affiliate networks to sign up with?
I got an email from the nice people at Quidco recently saying :-
Someone from our Client Services Team in London are currently looking to migrate all retailers on the GAN network to another network at the moment.
However, if you want to have a browse at the other networks we work with then here is the list:
Affilinet, Affiliate Future, Affiliate Window, Commission Junction, Impact Radius, Linkshare, Online Media Group, Paid on Results, The Affiliate Gateway, TradeTracker, Webgains.
And here is an email from TopCashBack :-
Thank you for getting in touch with us.
In order to be able to do this you will need to have an account with an affiliate network and the networks we use are:
SMG (TD Whitelabel)
Wasp (TD Whitelabel)
Rocketer (TD Whitelabel)
Omnicom (TD Whitelabel)
SteakDigital (TD Whitelabel)
MediaContacts (TD Whitelabel)
Once you have an account with one of these, then please write back to us and we will be able to assist you.
Please note, that unfortunately at this time, due to the technical integration requirements, we are unable to work on in-house affiliate programmes or bespoke tracking solutions.