Wednesday: Testing Conversion Tracking

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Testing your conversion tracking is not simply a matter of going to your website and completing a test conversion. You need to click on a PPC ad in order for the PPC tracking cookie to be installed on your computer, and when you convert, a conversion will be registered in AdWords.

Here is the step-by-step process to make sure that your conversion tracking code has been installed correctly:

  1. Within any active campaign, create an ad group called Conversion Test.
  2. Within this ad group, insert one keyword that is nonsensical (for example, xxxyyyzzz or abcd1234). Use exact match for this keyword.
  3. Run a query on Google for this nonsense keyword, and your ad should appear.
  4. Click on your ad and complete a test conversion.

There is a reporting lag within the AdWords interface, so you can’t convert and check your account a few minutes later. You should allow at least three hours for processing. If you don’t see your conversion then, you may want to give it 5 hours. If after this you don’t see your conversion, your conversion tracking code may not be properly installed. However, if a conversion registers, you’re finished!

There are a couple of reasons we want you to make your dummy purchase from a dummy keyword in an irrelevant ad group. One of them is that you will spend less money for the click. One click probably doesn’t mean very much in the grand scheme of things, but you’re almost certain to spend less money than clicking a “live” keyword. Additionally, you don’t want to pollute your conversion-tracking data.