ROI / Conversion

The system is designed in order to allow you to measure the success of your efforts to bring and convert traffic to your website.

The specific variables are;

  1. The number of visitors who convert and
  2. The monetary values that you edit into the system.

Once you have set up your interface by creating goals and adjusting your existing advertisements you will be able to create reports which filter all incoming traffic by goal and source.

In these pages you will find the resources necessary to orient yourself to use the Conversion Reporting system.

The first steps are explained here;

  1. The creation of goals in the Opentracker Conversion Reporting system
  2. Deployment of destination urls in PPC campaign management systems (ie Yahoo!, Google, Bing).

There is a feature which allows you to comment on the documentation here. Please feel free to flag / comment anything that is unclear here, and/or request clarification.

Implementing Conversion & ROI

REQUIREMENT: In order to use Conversion Reporting an active Opentracker (trial) account is required. In other words you need to have installed an Opentracker javascript in your web site(s).

To enable conversion & roi, you need to follow these 2 steps:

Step 1. Defining Goals (required)

Define your goals and values: there are 2 ways to let Opentracker know if a visitor has reached a goal, and how much it's worth (value):
1. Add the otgoal variable as a javascript into the html of the page (similar to adding the source to the page) OR
2. Use the otgoal variable in the url of the page

Step 2. Destination URLs (optional)

Setting destination urls in your PPC campaigns.      
This will tell Opentracker;

(a) how much you paid for your traffic, and
(b) the original source and campaign (if applicable)
 
Traffic reports show all incoming traffic from all sources. Destination URLs will improve this data by dividing the traffic into Organic vs. Paid / Sponsored results.

IMPORTANT: please note that destination urls are set outside of Opentracker in the actual program where you manage your PPC campaigns, i.e. in AdWords Admin. You will need to login to each advertising system that you use and implement destination urls in order to generate detailed ROI data.

Finished. When you have finished these 2 steps, Opentracker will do the the math, making tough advertising decisions a lot easier.

What is a Source?

The source of traffic is the place where the traffic originates from.

The "source" answers the question: how did a visitor find my site?

In the Opentracker reporting system, sources are also called "referrers", because incoming traffic is referred from a 3rd party source. Technically a referred visitor clicks from a 3rd-party domain / URL into your domain.

Sources are other websites sending you traffic through PPC campaigns, banners, ads, affiliates, blogs, etc.

Most likely, search engines will form the majority of your traffic sources.

Be aware that some of the traffic coming from search engine sources is "organic" (non-sponsored) as a result of your search engine optimization efforts (SEO) and some is "paid" as a result of your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts.

In general, a good strategy consists of;

  • Try and increase the amount of free traffic that you get through SEO
  • Identify which of your advertising campaigns are the best performing and focus your attention there.
  • Eliminate campaigns that are not cost-effective.

Here is an article about how to improve your PPC campaigns based on tracking statistics.

Referring URLs: other Web sites sending traffic to you. These could be as a result of your banner ads or campaigns. These could be all those blogs or affiliates who link to you.
Search Engines: Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, others. This bucket will include both your organic as well as your paid (PPC/SEM) traffic, so be aware of that.

Implementing Destination URLs

What is a destination url?

Definition of "destination url": the url (webpage) where your adverts point to. Visitors who click on your business ads will land on the page indicated in the destination url. The url shown in ad itself (display url) may be shorter.

How to set your destination url for conversion / roi

There are two variables you can add to your destination urls that will be picked up in Opentracker to make your reports more informative. By defining the two variables you will allow Opentracker to;

  • know how much you paid for the click
  • distinguish between organic and paid sources,
  • filter traffic down to ad / campaign level

These are the two variables:

  1. otsrc= the search engine and campaign identifier
  2. otclc= is the unique cost-per-click

Example Destination URLs for Yahoo! and Google

Sample destination url added in Yahoo! campaign administration:

http://www.mysite.com?otsrc=yahoo&otclc=0.50

Which signals that this will be a paid click from Yahoo at a cost of .50 cents

The same for Google:

http://www.mysite.com?otsrc=google&otclc=0.50

NOTE
The "otclc" or cost-per-click is NOT automatically / dynamically generated. This means that you are responsible to keep this value as close as possible to what you are paying. If you update your bids remember to update the destination url also. You may bid higher than you are actually paying, if so be sure to check that the discrepancy between what you are actually paying and the amount in the destination url is not too large.

Example Destination URL for Google including Ad Group and Ad Variation:

To group goals you can use a dot (.) as separator, this will enable you to filter the roi reports by campaign hierarchy

Example destination url expanded with separator to include Ad Group and Ad Variation:

Google AdWords example:

http://www.mysite.com?otsrc=google.Widget.A1&otclc=0.20

in which
"otsrc=google" means this visitor is from Google
".Widget" refers to the Widget Ad Group
".A1" refers to the first ad in the group and
"otclc=0.20" signals a cost of .20 cents depending on your currency

Yahoo! example with full campaign details:

http://www.mysite.com?otsrc=yahoo.PremiumWidgets.A3&otclc=0.45

in which
"otsrc=yahoo" means that this is a visitor that came in from Yahoo!
".PremiumWidgets" indicates the Premium Widgets ad group
".A3" means the third ad variation in the group and
"otclc=0.45" signals that the bid/cost of the click was .45 cents

NOTE
In the Opentracker reporting system (and in industry terminology) these same pages/urls where incoming visitors arrive are also called "landing pages".

Please note that Google is automatically detected as a source? and that Opentracker will automatically see the difference between Paid and Organic traffic and clicks from Google. This means that in your Source report your Google traffic will be filtered into Paid and Organic reporting. 

This is not the case for Bing and Yahoo. For Bing and Yahoo (and potentially other search engines) we will automatically detect Organic traffic only.

In order to (automatically) detect PAID traffic you need to tell Opentracker where the traffic was purchased / where the traffic comes from. You do this using a Destination URL. A Destination URL is something that you insert in the advertisement itself when you create or manage the ads in the console. 

It is also a good idea to use Destination URLs wherever possible because Google, Bing and many other search engines make use of networks. If a destination url is entered we will see all PAID traffic no matter which network partner it comes from. 

What is a Goal?

A goal is a page on your website that you want your visitors to reach.

Examples are:  sign-up, purchase, pricing, contact pages, etc.

You must define goals in the Opentracker ROI / Conversion Reporting system in order to generate reports. Reports are filtered by goal / source.

In a broad sense, the point of defining goals is in order to measure traffic conversion: what percentage of traffic from any given source converts?

The point of this measurement is to identify how traffic sources perform. You should be looking for traffic sources with high(er) conversion rates.

Setting goals will allow you to;

  1. See how many visitors complete each goal
  2. See which advertising efforts were the most effective in sending you quality traffic
  3. Calculate bottom-line roi in order to determine what your acquisition cost-per-lead is

There are two ways to define goals:

  1. By adding a goalscript to the source code of the designated goal page (recommended)
  2. By customizing the url of the page

Implementing Goals and Values

There are two ways to set your Goals. Both methods are explained below.

Definition of a "Goal" in Conversion Reporting:
A goal is a url where your visitors view a page on your website. This page can be a landing page where your visitors first arrive or the last page they see before they leave, for example a purchase confirmation. The point is to measure the amount of visitors who arrive at your goals (convert) from specific sources.

By defining your goals you pass Opentracker 2 pieces of information;

The first method has the advantage of generating dynamically. Therefore we recommend you start with the first method unless you are an advanced webmaster.

Two ways to define goals:

Insert a script (in addition to the original Opentracker JS) in the source code of each goal page. We call this "goalscript".Update goal page urls to include a parameter that indicates the goal & value. We call this "inurl".

Example implementation type 1 (goalscript):

Add this script to the <HEAD> section of your designated goal page;

<script type="text/javascript">
otgoal="signup.page1";
otclv="1";
</script>

where otgoal="signup.page1" means that "signup.page1" is the name assigned to the designated goal page
and otclv="1" means that the click has been assigned a value of $1

Note
The extra goal-javascript must be placed before the default opentracker javascript

Example implementation type 2 (inurl):

Inurl: change the (internal) url from

http://www.mysite.com/sample-page.html

to

http://www.mysite.com/sample-page.html?otgoal=sample.goalname&otclv=10

where "?otgoal=sample.goalname&otclv=10" had been added to the original url and

"otgoal=signup" means the goal is called "sample.goalname" and
"otclv=10" means the value is $10

If you want to group goals you can use a dot "." as separator, this will enable you to filter the ROI reports by hierarchy, for example;

Opentracker will try to group these values

    1. The page (url) that you are defining as a goal and
    2. The value (monetary amount that a click is worth to you)
      • signup
      • signup.step1
      • signup.step2
      • etc.

Help with Source Overview Report

This is a list of what is displayed in each column from left-to-right. By drilling down you can identify conversion rate / performance of individual PPC ads & campaigns.

Use the calendar on the left to select your date range.

What am I looking at?

A list of all the sources that have referred traffic to the goals you created in your ROI reporting system.

  • The sources are listed in the Source column to the left and organized by referrer. Each search engine result is divided into organic sources and paid sources.
    • Organic sources are listings on search engines which appear "organically" on the internet that you do not pay for.
    • Paid sources are ads and banners which you created and manage yourself.
  • Click on either "organic sources" or "paid sources" in order to see individual visitors per source.
  • Visits tells you how many visits from each source included a click on one of your goals.
  • Search terms are displayed if you drill-down to organic traffic sources.
  • Goal Reached is displayed if you drill-down to sources.
  • The names of the goals reached are not automatically generated. The name of the goal comes directly from the goal definition that you create when defining your goal.
    Click here for documentation on creating goals.
  • The Conversions column tells you how many visits included a click on your defined goal.
  • Cost-per-conversion uses the cost-per-click (otclc) which you define in the destination url (click for documentation / how-to) to show you the cost of individual conversions by subtracting the cost from the value of each visit.
  • Total Costs presents the total costs of all incoming clicks derived from destination urls. For example: cost-per-click times total number of visits.
  • Total Value presents the total value of all incoming clicks derived from your pre-defined goalscripts or inurls. Please click here for documentation.
  • ROI subtracts all costs from all values and presents a total per goal.

Help with Goal Overview Report

This is a list of what is displayed in each column from left-to-right. Use the calendar on the left to select your date range.

What am I looking at?

A list of all the goals that have been reached in your ROI reporting system.

A Note on goals: goals are NOT automatically created. You must create goals yourself.

Please click here in order to view documentation and how-to for goal creation.

  • The goals are listed in the Goals column to the left and organized by traffic sources.
    Each goal is divided into organic sources and paid sources.
    • Organic sources are listings on search engines which appear "organically" on the internet that you do not pay for.
    • Paid sources are ads and banners which you created and manage yourself.
  • Click on either "organic sources" or "paid sources" in order to see individual visitors per source.
  • Description: where available, the search term used will be displayed in the Description column. Descriptions are not automatically generated. The description itself comes directly from the goal definition that you create when defining your goal. Click here for documentation on creating goals.
  • The Goals Reached column tells you how many visits included a click on your defined goal.
  • Cost-per-conversion uses the cost-per-click (otclc) which you define in the destination url (click for documentation / how-to) to show you the cost of individual conversions by subtracting the cost from the value of each visit.
  • Total Costs presents the total costs of all incoming clicks derived from destination urls.
  • Total Value presents the total value of all incoming clicks derived from your pre-defined goalscripts or inurls. Please click here for documentation.
  • ROI subtracts all costs from all values and presents a total per goal.

What is Conversion?

Conversion Reporting or Return-on-Investment (ROI) has been the most requested feature here at Opentracker for a couple of years.
Like the philosophy that governs Opentracker itself, we are sticking to basics and keeping things as simple as possible.