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May 30th, 2007, 11:07 PM #1Google AdWords - way to find out full terms searched on?
Is there some way to figure out what full search phrases people are searching on that click on my PPC ads for Google AdWords, MSN and Yahoo, when it comes to my phrase ("red widgets") and broad (red widgets) match terms? Obviously for exact match ([red widgets]), we know exactly what the visitor typed into the search engine, but for the other two match cases we just have to guess since Google doesn't list the actual full clicked-on searches in a report somewhere. Or do they?
The reason this is important is that every once in a while I'll have a two- or three-term broad or phrase match term that suddenly gets a ton of clicks, and I have no clue if they are completely irrelevant to my ads or not. For example, the broad match:
...could show my ad to these searches: "building red widgets from clay", "eating red widgets", "where to buy red widgets", "painting red dots onto fussy widgets", etc. Obviously if I'm trying to just sell plain old red widgets, I don't want to get the clicks from "building red widgets from clay" because they probably won't buy my pre-made widgets. Of course I realize using negatives is important, and I do, but I have to just guess what these negatives are. Keyword research helps too, I know.
Still, if Google would let us actually see what visitor searches are matching with our PPC phrases clicked on, it would be a huge help in determining what to use for negatives and how to better price our broads and phrases.
Short of something extremely complex like building out a SQL database and adding a string to every single AdWords search phrase's destination URL to pass on to my site for analysis, is there an easier way?
May 31st, 2007, 01:47 AM #2
May 31st, 2007, 04:47 AM #3Short of something extremely complex like building out a SQL database and adding a string to every single AdWords search phrase's destination URL to pass on to my site for analysis, is there an easier way?
Soon after starting a new campaign, there are usually a bunch of irrelevant terms that begin to show up in the referrer lines. Then I get out my negative-match machete...
And before someone asks: Yeah, that's the raw log files that I'm talking about. I've yet to see an affordable log analyzer that can come close to what I can see just by looking directly at them.
If I want to see just the hits to a particular page, it's easy to use WordPad's "find" tool to skip through that page's entries. I would suggest using the "daily" log files for this kind of thing, though...monthly logs are usually too huge for effective manual perusal.
Last edited by Leader; May 31st, 2007 at 05:07 AM.There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway
May 31st, 2007, 10:16 AM #4
Each of the PPC Engines allows auto tagging of urls to include parameters such as the search phrase. They will then be appended to your referral url from each source - so they show up in your site's logs and can be mined from their. ShareASale has a feature to trap all of your referral urls for a 24 hour period, another way to mine them.
In Google AdWords:
tab: My Account | Account Preferences | Tracking | Auto-Tagging
tab: Administration | Tracking URLs
In MSN AdCenter:
tab: (build them into your ad's destination url)
[typical microsoft, help files suck and are impossible to link to, so help i linked to is external, but more than good enough.]
May 31st, 2007, 10:34 AM #5
Google Analytics also works very well in conjunction with Adwords, and will show the kinds of things you are looking for.Jason Rosenbaum
May 31st, 2007, 12:40 PM #6
May 31st, 2007, 04:20 PM #7This leads to another question
Ok. Looks like auto-tagging my URLs, actively looking through the server logs, and using Google Analytics (though I hesitate because now Google will have pretty much all info they need about how well my keywords are doing, as has been pointed out by ABWers), will give me a better picture of what my visitors are doing and where they came from.
However, something that I've never understood is how I, as an affiliate, can really know which keywords actually convert into sales when the traffic comes from my own sites. With those ShareASale merchants I use DTM (direct-to-merchant) PPC traffic with, it's very nice because SAS shows the "Page Banner was Clicked From" for each sale, so I can see the search engine query terms embedded in that address. But a problem even with this DTM traffic is that CJ doesn't have this same tracking that SAS has. So that's issue #1.
Issue #2 is that, as an affiliate, for my non-DTM traffic (which goes to my partner merchant sites from my own affiliate sites), I don't see how Google Analytics or another such package could possibly track conversions for me. I don't have any control over my merchant partners' sites, so how can I insert a cookie or a URL string into the "success" page where the visitor buys a product, when it isn't even my success page/website to begin with?
May 31st, 2007, 04:54 PM #8Originally Posted by spacedog
May 31st, 2007, 05:23 PM #9
Yep that'd be cool, but AFAIK it doesn't happen. For issue #2, even with SAS all I see is my site's own URL address come through in the "Page Banner was Clicked From" field. I think after implementing Donuts' suggestions with the auto-tags, I'll be able to see which search engine the sale resulted from, which is an improvement. But so far, now that I started using Google's auto-tagging all that I see in the SAS field is an encoded set of characters after my URL something like this:
http: // www .mysite .com/?gclid=CJ27yc2buYwCFRByYAodx1m
That lets me see that it was a Google referral so it's an improvement over not using tagging, and hopefully MSN and Yahoo will append more info than that (including search query) and that these pieces of info will pass through all the way to the actual transaction referral info. But again, this is SAS only, and many of my merchants are with CJ. I'm playing with MSN and Yahoo right now to see how their tagging passes through to SAS. I know that CJ has a field for SID, but again I don't know that I'd be able to get my merchants to pass my SID into their "success" (CPA event such as lead or sale) pages.
June 5th, 2007, 10:04 PM #10
FYI, in one of the presentations at the SMX conference an AdWords rep said that they will soon introduce query reporting, which will show what queries triggered your ads plus the type of match (broad/phrase/exact) that occurred.
June 5th, 2007, 10:37 PM #11
Good deal. I look forward to that.
Meanwhile, I turned on the auto-tagging function in Google a few days ago and my AdWords-based conversions seem to have gotten significantly worse. Might be coincidence, though. Google says in the help page for auto-tagging that some web hosts might not be able to support that appended gclid string on landing pages, but I can't imagine that that would be a problem with my web host which is a well-known one that's been around for many years, uses Apache on some version of unix. I hope this isn't a problem, as it'd be really nice to be able to distinguish conversions from the three PPC SEs for all my SAS merchants. And CJ really needs to make referral URLs available in transaction stats as SAS does!
June 5th, 2007, 10:41 PM #12
What about the keyword discovery tool to see what users are searching for?
June 5th, 2007, 10:53 PM #13
Yep, I use that along with the ol' Overture suggestion tool and some other tools while I'm doing my keyword research. But that's not really the problem I'm referring to here. I probably should have phrased it as "is there a way to find out exact queries searched on that resulted in my own ads being clicked?" rather than how I asked it in the subject line. If all search engines let us peruse the exact queries people have used to get to our ads and click them, it'd help a huge amount in refining/pricing broad and phrase matches and setting up better negatives. Not to mention it'd shed some light on exact phrases we should be using that we didn't know about. Plain old public-arena keyword research doesn't tell me what people were thinking when they clicked *my* ad specifically.
June 5th, 2007, 10:59 PM #14Originally Posted by spacedog
June 5th, 2007, 11:20 PM #15
June 8th, 2007, 09:46 AM #16
June 25th, 2007, 11:42 AM #17
Sorry to re-open this ol' thing, but I've followed Donuts' instructions (in post #4 of this thread) and I'm curious if anyone has had problems with conversions/commission tracking on any of their affiliate links and websites, as a result of any of the "Big Three" (G, MSN, Y) search engines' tracking codes that are automatically appended to the end of the destination URLs (if you turn that function on). I've turned them on and seen recent sales slumps, but it could be due to any number of a multitude of factors. Just want to possibly rule this one out and get other people's experiences.
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