Practical Ecommerce

Integrating Yahoo! Search and Microsoft Bing with Google Analytics

Many ecommerce merchants use Google Analytics to track their pay-per-click advertising campaigns. Key pay-per-click statistics that can be tracked include revenue per keyword, number of conversions per keyword, average order size per keyword, bounce rates per keyword, and much more. But, those statistics are only for pay-per-click ads in Google.

In fact, for those merchants who also use Yahoo! and Bing pay-per-click ads, Google Analytics, Yahoo! and Bing offer no seamless integration between the three. However, the work-around below should provide Google Analytics, and the merchants that use Google Analytics, with basic performance data from all three search engines.

Integrating Yahoo! PPC Ads into Google Analytics

  1. Make sure you have “Tracking URLs” feature turned on in Yahoo!. Go to “Administration” tab “Tracking URLs” to enable it
  2. Make mass URL updates in your Yahoo! account to:
    a. Remove all keyword level URLs; leave only ad-level URLs;
    b. Append the appropriate keyword parameters. Examples of appending the appropriate keyword parameters are:

    Old Yahoo! URL:

    http://www.example.com/product-category/best-selling-product.html

    New Yahoo! URL:

    http://www.example.com/product-category/best-selling-product.html?utm_source=Yahoo&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term={OVKEY}&utm_content={OVADID}&utm_campaign={OVCAMPGID}

  3. Done. Yahoo! will dynamically populate corresponding {OVKEY} parameters with the right values and Google Analytics should recognize and read them.

Note that it’s easy to make all these changes using the account bulk sheet. Click on “Download campaigns” button on the “Campaigns” tab to get it.

Integrating Bing PPC Ads into Google Analytics

  1. Update all ads to have {param1} in place of the destination URL.
  2. Make a mass update in order to get the right parameters in place. Examples are:

    Old Bing URL:

    http://www.example.com/product-category/best-selling-product.html

    New Bing URL:

    http://www.example.com/product-category/best-selling-product.html?utm_source=MSN&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term={keyword}&utm_content={AdID}&utm_campaign={OrderItemID}

  3. Done. Bing will now dynamically populate {keyword} parameters with the right values and Google Analytics should recognize and read them.

Note, also, that it’s easy to make all these changes using Bing’s adCenter Desktop tool.

Summary

Google Analytics is a robust and free analytics package. But, its built-in functions to track pay-per-click advertising activity are limited to tracking only pay-per-click ads in Google. With the work-arounds above, merchants who also use Yahoo! and Bing pay-per-click ads can track them in Google Analytics, too, and they can also track the relative pay-per-click performance of all three search engines.



Greg Laptevsky
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Comments ( 4 )

  1. LexiConn September 21, 2009 Reply

    Very nice tips Greg! A simple workaround to use the best ROI measurement system to combine all ad avenues in one interface. Being able to compare different ad markets side by side makes it easier to optimize ads and focus on the ones that bring in the bucks. :)

    Rob – LexiConn

  2. Rainebrooke September 24, 2009 Reply

    Thanks for the info Greg. One question… Google shows that an underscore is used for utm_source, utm_medium, etc. Your examples do not have an underscore. Does it matter if the underscore is used or not?

    Steve

    _Editor’s Note: Steve’s observation is accurate, and this has been corrected. Greg Laptevsky’s original piece was correct, but Practical eCommerce’s coding of it was wrong. Thank you._

  3. Jeffrey Nichols November 20, 2009 Reply

    Microsoft adCenter has updated their URL tagging. The proper tag is now {ItemOrderId}, not {keyword}.
    Also, for Yahoo you should turn OFF Tracking URLs if you’re going to append the tags yourself. Otherwise you risk the chance that your URLs become too long to function properly.
    Furthermore, those ID tags will only show you numbers in your report – you’d still have to cross-reference those with the actual ad, adgroup or campaign name to figure out where they came from. You’re better off inserting the names yourself.

  4. Slicey February 12, 2010 Reply

    When I try this, the keyword that shows up in my Google Analytics report is "{ovkey}" instead of the actual keyword. Any idea what I’m doing wrong – or what I’m not doing that I should be?

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