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Programmatically recording an Adword conversion

| ‎04-02-2013 11:16 PM
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We have a problem of visitor qualification in our Adword campaign. Concretely, often a visitor that has no clue about what the software we sell does, still download trial (despite our attempt to explain him what it does, on landing pages) and count as a +1 recorded conversion in our Adword stats. Since Adword seems intelligent enough to maximize the conversions#, it ends up bringing us plenty of non-qualified visitors. Thus we need to define what is a conversion differently, sometime after the download trial operation.

The option of defining conversion as a sale isn't good, because most of our users are professional employees. In such situation, most of the time the machine from where the product is purchased isn't the machine used for first download.

The best conversion definition I can think of, would be a first successful run of our product (what we callevaluation). Indeed, by tracking what happened, we already asserted that only qualified visitor/dowloader do evaluate our product properly, most of the time on the same machine used for downloading the trial bits.

Our product is a rich UI program developed with the .NET platform. To achieve conversion recorded on evaluation, we need to read programmatically all installed browsers cookies, (there is a free libraries for that) and if we find a Adword Conversion Tracking cookie corresponding to our product, we can:

  • Launch the concerned browser programmatically on a Thanks for evaluating our product page that contains the Adword conversion javascript (in-browser scenario).
  • or, better if possible, ping back programmatically the Adword server with data found in the cookie (out-of-browser scenario).

I'm not an expert on these technologies so I might be well missing something. Is Adwords API suitable for this client-side scenario? Despite a lot of searches on the web I didn't find any valuable resource on such scenario. Any help would be appreciated.

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Re: Programmatically recording an Adword conversion

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Reply to PatStatic
| ‎05-02-2013 02:30 AM
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Last edited 05-02-2013 02:31 AM by mktgboltell

just try this:

 

define a visit to the "thanks for evaluating" page as a conversion.

 

launch the page in the browser with the adwords cookie.

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Re: Programmatically recording an Adword conversion

Reply to PatStatic
| ‎05-02-2013 02:51 AM
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Hi PatStatic, and welcome to the forum.  An interesting problem; I'll have to think about this - there will almost certainly be other ideas along the way.

 

I would probably look at the browser option myself as this most closely matches the "normal" action of a conversion and should therefore be the easiest to debug if there are any problems.  However, you've already said that you feel tracking sales via online conversion code wouldn't be effective since "most of the time the machine from where the product is purchased isn't the machine used for first download" and I'd argue that most of the time the machine used for the first run in this case probably won't be the one used for the click.

 

Personally I'd probably approach this from a different perspective.

 

Although you've said you don't think tracking sales online isn't good, I'd argue it's quantifiable data and should be captured. If you are getting people who are proven to be clicking your Ads and then at some point buying your product, you must capture that data and use it.

 

I'd then look at why you get so many trials that don't convert to sales.  What data are you using to establish the reason is that the downloader doesn't understand the software?  I download a lot of trials and, if I say so myself, I'm quite aware of what they do when I download them; I convert a few to sales but the vast majority I don't for a variety of reasons - cost, usability, suitability, etc. - but rarely if ever has it been because the software wasn't what I thought it was.

 

I'd be looking at whether your Keywords and Ads should be clearer, but mostly I'd be trying to establish whether your conversion rate (from trials to sales) is actually unusual.

 

Jon

 

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Re: Programmatically recording an Adword conversion

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Reply to mktgboltell
| ‎05-02-2013 05:46 AM
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Last edited 05-02-2013 05:47 AM by PatStatic

@mktgboltell Indeed, this you are refering to the (in-browser scenario) I depict. The technical difficulty here is to read cookies of every installed browsers (IE / Firefox / Chrome should be enough) and see if there are any Adword Conversion Tracking cookie corresponding to our product. If such a cookie is found we can then our code can start the right browser on the Thanks for evaluating our product page.

 


My question is more about how to circumvent the technical difficulty of reading cookies, maybe through Adwords API (but it looks like it is not conceived for client-side usage) or any other way.

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Re: Programmatically recording an Adword conversion

Reply to Cobnut
| ‎05-02-2013 06:46 AM
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@Cobnut thanks for welcome :smileyhappy:

 

>"most of the time the machine from where the product is purchased isn't the machine used for first download" and I'd argue that most of the time the machine used for the first run in this case probably won't be the one used for the click.

 

Our business is a software tool for professional programmers and our marketing model is to propose a free trial time-limited edition, to programmers. Programmers are curious mind, and clearly the Adword click/download/install/eval process occurs most of the time on the same machine.

 

 

>Although you've said you don't think tracking sales online isn't good, I'd argue it's quantifiable data and should be captured. If you aregetting people who are proven to be clicking your Ads and then at some point buying your product, you must capture that data and use it.

 

You are right, it is quantifiable data that we should collect through another kind of Adword conversion (I've seen that Adword conversion can have kind, even custom kind, isnd't it?). But in the vast majority of professional environment, the programmer won't be the one that effectively does the sale, programmers don't get access to credit card information.

 

 

>I'd then look at why you get so many trials that don't convert to sales.  What data are you using to establish the reason is that the downloader doesn't understand the software?

 

Actually we regularly have people that come back to us by apologizing to have downloaded the trial thinking the tool was something else (like a photoshop clone or other). By talking with some of these persons, we realized that often it is because Google put our ads near something that has nothing do with programming (like photo/video/music...). And because such unqualified user lead to a conversion, my understanding is that such wrong placement gets promoted by the Adwords system, attracting more unqualified users.

 

>I download a lot of trials and, if I say so myself, I'm quite aware of what they do when I download them; I convert a few to sales but the vast majority I don't for a variety of reasons - cost, usability, suitability, etc. - but rarely if ever has it been because the software wasn't what I thought it was.

 

Clearly I do work the same way :smileyhappy: but having talk with these unqualified persons, I discovered that many people don't! Once, one of the guy we talked with was 84!

 

>I'd be looking at whether your Keywords and Ads should be clearer, but mostly I'd be trying to establish whether your conversion rate (from trials to sales) is actually unusual.

 

Since last week we are trying a new policy by targeting special programmers site (at a higher cpc cost) to have better qualification.

 

But I do believe, that the Adword system is very powerful, as long as we can provide it with qualified conversions. I really would like to take a chance on this assumption, because if it is right, this could mean a lot of sales (and also a lot more money spent on Adwords). If you have a technical solution to my specific request it'd be very welcome :smileywink:

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Re: Programmatically recording an Adword conversion

Reply to PatStatic
| ‎05-02-2013 08:12 AM
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Hi PatStatic, in respect of the first part of your reply, I was referring to your idea of spawning a browser window to complete the conversion upon first run of the purchased product.  If, as you say, the machine used to evaluate is not normally the machine used to run the full product, this won't work as the cookie won't be there.  It's worth a try though and it's another subset of data you can add to the whole.


From the rest of your post it sounds like you're using the Display network and Automatic Placements at that.  I'd have thought your market would be better served either by the Search network alone or by Managed placements where you have more control over who sees your Ads and, in the case of the Display network, sometimes even where on the page they're shown.

 

Jon

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Re: Programmatically recording an Adword conversion

Reply to Cobnut
| ‎08-02-2013 07:31 AM
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So I've been able to isolate a Adwords conversion cookie, the content of such cookie looks like:

 

Nom :Conversion
Contenu :CpMBQ1IxdXNwc0lVVWFP... [much more data here, certainly 64bits encoded]
Chemin :/pagead/conversion/1079273267/
Envoyer pour :Toutes sortes de connexions
Accessible aux scripts :smileysurprised:ui
Créé :vendredi 8 février 2013 10:17:29
Date d'expiration :dimanche 10 mars 2013 10:17:29
 
My last interrogation is what the number in red refers to? I though it would be my Adwords account ID but it is not. Is this number Campaign related? Does this number changes with time?
I need to know about this number because, typically, with this number I hope I can filter googleadservices.com to keep only my own one. 
Thanks
Pat
 
 
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Re: Programmatically recording an Adword conversion

Reply to PatStatic
| ‎08-02-2013 07:55 AM
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Just to answer my own last question, this number is the Conversion Tracking Code, that we use on our end in our javascript code.

 

So it is unique to our Adwords account, and this is great since this is the characteristic I needed to based my algorithm on, to know programatically 1) if the user came from our Adwords campaign 2) which browser he used to come with Adwords.

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