Replacing Salesforce for Google Adwords

Salesforce for Google Adwords launched back in 2007, and for the first time made it easy to associate Adwords advertising data with individual leads inside Salesforce. I was one of the first enthusiastic users and a customer case study for Salesforce on their roadshow announcing the new application.

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Finally, we could permanently tie Adwords clicks to an individual lead, and track conversion all the way through from lead to account to closed opportunity. No more focus on Google Adwords CTR, CPC or other important but sometimes misleading metrics. We had arrived at the promised land: $ spent / $ revenue generated on a keyword basis. And we could now get this data even if the lead closed 6 months after the Adwords click and came in via Fax.

Some time ago Salesforce.com announced that the Salesforce for Google Adwords app could no longer be installed, and that support for existing users would be ending May 1, 2013. I don’t know all the details behind this decision, but this blog post is focused on what you can do to replace Salesforce for Google Adwords, and one alternative application that we have developed here at CloudAmp.

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CloudAmp’s Campaign Tracker, launched in October 2012, is a viable alternative to Salesforce for Google Analytics. Just install the app into Salesforce, add a tracking code to the pages of your web site and insert some additional code in your web-to-lead forms, and you can start capturing data every time a new lead comes into Salesforce.

Campaign Tracker is designed to be simple, to minimize the number of things that can go wrong in the tracking process. There is no external database to sync to Salesforce, so leads go directly into your Salesforce org via web-to-lead forms, and your data never leaves your Salesforce org. We give you the tracking cookie javascript to host on your own web site, so there no third-party cookies that are often blocked.

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In addition, Campaign Tracker does not actually pull any data from Google Adwords or Google Analytics, so we don’t rely on data from those services or the availability of APIs. We simply make use of the Google Analytics Campaign URL format, and save the UTM values from the URL into a cookie that your web site sets.

When a visitor to your web site submits a Salesforce web-to-lead form, we parse the cookie and populate some hidden fields in the form with the campaign values. As a bonus, you have more complete campaign data in Google Analytics, since you should be tagging all of the inbound URLs that you can control.

 

After you have the tracking enabled on your web site, simply update your Google Adwords URLs in a format like that below, filling in your own values for the campaign etc., and you are ready to go. To make things easier, if you have a lot of ads to update, the Google Adwords editor (a desktop program for your PC or Mac) makes it easy to update many ads quickly.

http://www.YOURSITE.com?utm_source=GoogleAdwords&utm_campaign=CampaignTracker&utm_medium=PPC&utm_term={KeyWord}

The {KeyWord} at the end of the URL uses Google Adword’s keyword insertion to automatically insert the keyword into your URL, just the same way it can insert a keyword into the text of your ad. You can also use the 5th campaign parameter, utm_content, to record the Adgroups if you would like.

That’s it! So if you are looking for an easy to implement alternative to Salesforce for Google Adwords, check out CloudAmp’s Campaign Tracker — it installs directly from the AppExchange for a free trial. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, or contact us and we’ll be glad to help.

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