I recently worked with a client who was convinced about obtaining leads through Google Adwords. When I joined the project, his company was receiving over 240 leads per month and spending over $8,000 on Google AdWords. The client was happy. He thought Google was the greatest. That was until I started piecing together the data coming in.
One big beef I have with AdWords is that it tells you the clicks, impressions, and costs–but you actually need to add the conversions column to be able to see the number of conversions. Who would’ve thought we wanted to see the results of what we were paying for (actual conversions) rather than large, fancy numbers showing impressions and clicks? And when you finally figure out how to add the column to your dashboard, how do you verify if the number of conversions is even correct?
It was this question that spearheaded my investigation. In one month, AdWords said we received 65 conversions. But it gave no reference or proof of who they were or where they came from.
So we dug deeper and realized that less than 2% of that week’s leads were actually from ads, and not remotely close to the 65 reported by AdWords. In the end, I helped the client save $8000 per month on Google AdWords, and he still gets 300 leads now per month without AdWords.
This is how we did it:
Make sure you are tracking the IP address of the leads you receive in your inbox. Here’s my post on how to track the IP address of your email leads. By tracking your IP, you’ll be able to use Clicky Analytics to search the visitor history of your inquirer.
Open Clicky Analytics, go to Visitor and add the IP filter, then enter the IP address that you tracked.
Here is where you can validate whether or not the lead actually came from Google AdWords. You need to look at Referrer and Referrer Type.
As you can see in this example, the lead clearly did not come from AdWords. Instead, it is from organic search.
If it was from some sort of advertising, Clicky would show one of these examples below:
That’s it. It is easy to track and verify whether the lead you received is a result of your hard-earned money spent on AdWords… or not! Start doing this now. Don’t just blindly trust what the Google AdWords dashboard tells you. Maybe you will find that your money is better spent on something else that is more transparent with a better ROI.