TPE #50: Measurement Maturity Model (tracking best practices)Jul 10, 2023
Read time: 5 minutes
Welcome back to The PPC Edge. We hope you’re ready for a boatload of value!
Google Ads tracking is a huge mess…
It's becoming increasingly harder to properly track conversions.
- People are using ad blockers
- Browsers block third-party cookies
- Privacy regulations + lack of user consent lead to gaps in conversion data
On top of that, there are huge data discrepancies as ad platforms process and report data differently.
The current landscape causes a huge problem, because without proper conversion tracking, you will never get your desired results.
Too often, we see suboptimal tracking setups, and we often get the question: “What are your conversion tracking best practices?”
That’s why we created the ‘PPC Mastery Measurement Maturity Model’: a framework you can use to determine the tracking maturity of your account. It will help you identify the gaps in your tracking setup, and show you best practices all the way from rookie to master.
Up until now, we’ve only shared our Measurement Maturity Model in our Conversion Tracking Mastery course.
Now, we’re proud to show it to you in The PPC Edge, to help you get clarity on the tracking best practices for Ecom, Lead Gen & SaaS accounts.
Use it to get an edge over your competitors by measuring more and unlocking better insights.
Let’s dive in!
PPC Mastery Measurement Maturity Model — overview of all tracking best practices
We created two variants of our Measurement Maturity Model: one for Ecom accounts, and one for Lead Gen + SaaS accounts.
There is overlap, but also some important differences between these account types. Here’s why we built this:
- It’s easy to get lost in all the tracking possibilities
- It’s easy to forget about certain tracking techniques
- It’s easy to (de)prioritize certain techniques incorrectly
Our framework contains all current high-impact tracking techniques, indicates the level of your current tracking setup, and shows you what you need to do to ensure you implement all best practices.
We’ll first look at the frameworks, and then we’ll dive into the best practices for each level (Rookie, Medior, Pro, Master).
p.s. we created a free online training (around 45 minutes) in which we go through the frameworks. Check it out here if you're a visual learner that loves presentation-style videos.
Measurement Maturity Model for Ecom accounts:
The ultimate north-star for Ecom accounts is to ensure you not only measure revenue, but also profit.
Measurement Maturity Model for Lead Gen + SaaS accounts:
The ultimate north-star for Lead Gen and SaaS is to ensure you measure high-quality leads, closed deals, and actual sales.
Measurement Maturity Model Level 1: Rookie
You’re considered a rookie if you’re not leveraging any of the advanced tracking solutions Google Ads has to offer. There aren’t any differences between Ecom, Lead Gen & SaaS in this phase.
Your job is to level up as quickly as possible by improving your data input.
The biggest mistake you can make in this level, is to only have a primary conversion import from Google Analytics.
Measurement Maturity Model Level 2: Medior
You’re in the medior phase if you have the basics sorted out:
- You’re using Google Ads Conversion Tracking (GACT)
- You have secondary conversion actions (as backup) from GACT & GA4
- You’re leveraging Consent Mode and Enhanced Conversions to measure lost conversions due to tracking issues
There are no major differences in this level either between Ecom, Lead Gen & SaaS accounts.
Measurement Maturity Model Level 3: Pro
This is where it becomes more fun!
Once you’re in the Pro level, you’re data input is miles ahead of your competitors. You’re doing everything from the Medior level, and have enhanced your datasets with advanced tracking techniques.
- You’re using Conversion Adjustments to optimize conversion quality like cancellations and returns (all account types)
- You’re leveraging New vs. Returning Customer Data to make informed decisions (all account types)
- You’ve set up Cart Data to unlock new cart-based insights (Ecom)
- You’re observing real business results with Offline Conversion Tracking (Lead Gen & SaaS)
Use Conversion Adjustments to optimize conversion quality (all account types)
With Conversion Adjustments, you can delete or change conversions. For example: when someone (partially) returns an Ecom order, or when a closed deal gets canceled, you can delete or update these conversions so the ‘true’ value is reflected in Google Ads.
This affects your data. As a result, Smart Bidding can optimize for better, more real results:
Leverage New vs. Returning Customer Data to make informed decisions (all account types)
With this feature, you unlock new vs. returning customers’ conversion data for all your campaigns inside Google Ads. This is epic, because Google’s algorithm has a tendency to focus more on returning customers. If relevant, you can use the insights to change your strategy and focus more on new customer acquisitions.
Unlock new-cart based insights (Ecom)
With Cart Data, you unlock new columns in Google Ads that show you which items are purchased after your ads are clicked, which items are most likely to convert, and which items are top-sellers.
These are absolutely essential insights that set you apart from competitors, and make for great talking points with your clients.
Observe real business results with Offline Conversion Tracking (Lead Gen & SaaS)
With Offline Conversion Tracking, you can upload real, meaningful business results. Think about qualified leads, closed deals (and their revenue/profit values which you can use for Value-Based Bidding), or the projected Customer Lifetime Value.
In this level, you are simply measuring offline conversions as secondary goals, but you’re not actively steering on them yet.
Measurement Maturity Model Level 4: Master
As a Master of measurement, your data input is unmatched and you’re utilizing all of Google Ads’ advanced tracking techniques to measure real business results.
Most advertisers and PPC Experts never reach the Master level of our Measurement Maturity Model.
In this level, you’re taking it far beyond everyone else by doing everything from the Pro level, and you’re improving your dataset further by unlock more insights and steering on real business results.
- You’re using third-party cross-channel attribution tools to measure the holistic impact of your campaigns (all account types)
- You’re leveraging Server-Side Tracking to improve the quality of your data (all account types)
- You’re using Offline Conversion Tracking as primary conversion goals (Lead Gen & SaaS)
- You’re tracking (and steering on) profit data (Ecom)
Use third-party attribution tools to measure the holistic impact of your campaigns (all account types)
True PPC Masters look at data holistically. Here’s why you MUST use third-party attribution tools like Northbeam, TripleWhale, Rockerbox and Hyros:
- In-platform attribution models are heavily biased and want to take credit for everything
- You need attribution data you can trust to maximize your ROI
- The advertising landscape is becoming increasingly complex (with more touchpoints and channels every year)
The best of the best understand they can’t fully trust in-platform data and need an un-biased third-party attribution tool to make better decisions.
Leverage Server-Side Tracking to improve the quality of your data (all account types)
SST helps you to:
- Prevent data loss due to client-side issues (ad blockers, cookie restrictions, browser limitations etc.)
- Improve page load times (because the processing load is shifted from the user’s device to your server)
Setting up Server-Side Tracking is complex and technical, which is why most PPCers never do it. We can help you with step-by-step videos in our Conversion Tracking Mastery course.
Use Offline Conversion Tracking as primary conversion goals (Lead Gen & SaaS)
In the previous level, you only used OCT for observation purposes (secondary conversion goals). In the Master level, you’re using OCT to actively steer on offline conversions as primary conversion goals.
That way, you can use real business results (e.g. closed deals) as signals to optimize towards. This also unlocks the possibility to switch to Value-Based Bidding, where you optimize towards your highest-value clients. For SaaS, this could mean you optimize towards high-value subscribers in terms of projected Customer Lifetime Value.
Track (and steer on) profit data (Ecom)
This is what sets the Masters apart from the Pros for Ecom accounts: the ability to measure (and steer on) real profit data, instead of just revenue.
A tool like ProfitMetrics.io can help you track profit data within minutes. With the integration of profit margins, recurring + variable costs data, you can see (and steer on) gross and nett profit, and POAS:
The best of the best track and steer on POAS (Profit On Ad Spend), not just revenue.
Your action today: diagnose where you are and start optimizing
We’d like to end this newsletter with a call to action: grab the Measurement Maturity Model and put it next to your account(s):
- Diagnose in which level you are
- Optimize by implementing the right tracking techniques from the framework
Most of these tracking techniques are technical and difficult to set up and we’d love to help you out.
At this stage, you have 2 options:
- Go online and try to find all the details to implement these tracking techniques (doable but costs a lot of time and energy)
- Get a huge shortcut and enroll in our Conversion Tracking Mastery course
If you go for option 2, we’ll show you the easiest and fastest way to implement every advanced tracking technique in our Measurement Maturity Model, with no fluff.
You’ll also get email templates with instructions for technical implementations (which you can copy-paste and share with your developer).
There’s a lot that goes into proper conversion tracking, and these advanced implementations are an absolute must to measure and steer on real business results.
With Conversion Tracking Mastery, we can help you:
- Measure more high-quality conversions, get better results
- Learn from theory + over-the-shoulder implementation videos (step-by-step)
- Master basic and advanced Google Ads Conversion Tracking with best practices for Ecom, Lead Gen & SaaS accounts
And as a result, your value as a Google Ads Specialist will increase!
We hope it was valuable — see you again next week!
Bob & Miles