In search engine marketing everything is measureable. It doesn’t mean that you need to measure everything though. But there are certain actions on your website that you need to track, measure, report on and optimize.
Don’t worry about measuring traffic (clicks, cost, CPC, CTR). Once you set up an account with Google Adwords or Microsoft AdCenter, it will automatically track everything for you. What you need to focus on is that you measure your website conversions, which require a bit of planning and website coding.
Before you start, you need to figure out what platform you are going to use. Take a minute here to evaluate the size of your business and how much you are going to spend on your SEM campaigns. If you are a small business or you are spending under $10K a month on Search, I recommend you use Google Analytics. It is a free analytics tool that you can link with your Google Adwords account (more on that later). It gets the job done when it comes to tracking and reporting, but you will not get much of the advanced bid management functionality that paid analytics tools provide, such as Omniture, DART, Atlas, Marin Software, and Kenshoo, among many others.
Again, do not stress too much over researching the right technology solution upfront. They are all very comparable, and you can always switch from one to another. I would say in 90% of situations, you should start your SEM program using Google Analytics. So just run with it unless you feel like your SEM budget is north of $100K a year and you need more advanced analytics and campaign automation.
In my experience, bid management tools are usually a waste of money unless you are running a multimillion dollar SEM campaign. I used to evaluate many different tools for my Fortune 500 clients and they were very similar in functionality and pricing. There is no one best tool out there that I can recommend. It all depends on what your needs are, and what level of channel integration and customer support you are looking for. The fees are negotiable, but can usually expect to pay around 1% of media spend. If you spend ten million on SEM, the technology cost can become quite significant
If you are running a multimillion dollar SEM business then you absolutely need an advanced bid management technology.  In addition to many reporting bells and whistles, you will need an automated API integration and bid management system to be able to run complex SEM campaigns. Just keep in mind that the technology you are using must pay for itself, and so you should expect that it will help lift your performance and ROI significantly to be worth the expenditure.
If you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur you would be perfectly fine using Google Analytics. So set up your account using your gmail, and then follow the steps to generate a tracking code:  http://www.google.com/analytics/
I will not use more space here to walk you through how it is done. Just Google “how to generate conversion pixels in Google analytics” and you will find tons of useful information on how to implement pixel tracking (including step-by-step screenshots) on blogs and forums. Then Google “how to place Google Analytics on my website” and you will get your instructions.If you haven’t tried already, I assure you that you can find an answer to e

very question in Google, or another search engine.
Be sure to place the tracking pixels, which are basically pieces of HTML code that you copy and paste into your website on the “thank you” page of your desired action. It can be a shopping cart “thank you” or whatever page loads after the contact form is submitted.
Hire a website developer to assist you if you are not sure how to do it yourself. It is very important that you track conversions correctly so it is an investment I would recommend.
When your website is ready to receive traffic, you are ready to roll.

 

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