Tracking on a Keyword Level for B2B Performance-Based Marketing
October 18, 2008
With the advent of keyword tracking tools from Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, MSN Adcenter, and even Ask.com, b2b marketers are now able to track conversions not just back to ad sources, but to the very keyword.
Why is this so important? The keyword represents much more than many b2b marketers realize – it is the very intent behind why the visitor is on our site in the first place.
After discussing with a few b2b marketers, I realized there are a growing number of sites which also refer visitors to products they use, typically referred to as partners. Some of these are less sophisticated transactions where it may not be worth collecting the lead and guiding them through the sale manually. (e.g. for a $30 commission off referring a new WebEx customer). In these cases, the relationship is often brokered by affiliate networks such as Commission Junction or others who manage the transaction and payments via special tracking links which credit us with referred traffic.
If we are collecting our own leads, it’s easy to place the conversion codes on our page, and a partner is often willing to place our codes on their thank you page if we’re referring significant business. What if the partner does massive volume and requires some business history before they’ll place the tracking pixel? What to do then?
If you are familiar with affiliate networks, you know they have subid tracking, which means you may append a code to the end of the tracking link and it will show up next to your transaction next time you refer a lead or sale. This can be matched back to keywords to determine profitability. However, this takes massive amounts of time and work to manually cobble this information together or create a custom system for tracking. Companies like Google have serious predjudices against affiliate relationships for some oddly hypocritical reason (since they own an affiliate network themselves) so don’t be looking for this feature anytime in the near future.
So what is a company to do, that is growing into the expanding but still relatively untapped pay-for-performance realm?
The solution we found is optimizemysite. Released by Jeremy Palmer, it tracks any number of projects and does so with significant time and cost savings. I’ll give you an example of how it helped us.
Our company needed a solution to track a growing number of projects based on affiliate relationships. Some merchants didn’t allow us to place ppc engine’s tracking pixels. Even if they did, the data was sometimes unreliable. We had a tracking solution in mind, but no way could we put our one coder on that job. Then we learned about optimizemysite.
The benefit to our company came from all the small projects we overlooked because we were too busy with larger ones. One example is a small campaign that was roughly breaking even on a $2k monthly paid search spend after 8 months. Tracking pixels consistently overstated results because of a quirk with our merchant’s cart and we didn’t see enough potential to have an employee do granular tracking by hand. We set Optimizemysite to work and within 2 months, we turned a breakeven campaign into one producing a 50% ROI every month. Cherry on top was his optimization cost us almost nothing in terms of labor.
Hopefully this mini-case study is of encouragement to you. If your b2b information site has been looking for ways to increase revenue and directly-brokered on-site ads are not selling as well as you hoped, consider the realm of b2b affiliate peformance marketing, and try optimizemysite. From what I hear they will be adding nearly full automation in the gathering of reports, so get in on what is still the relative “ground floor” of this software before the price blows up.