Tracking your conversions for paid ads is essential to ultimately analyse the success of your advertising efforts. Google actually offers a great free tool for advertisers to track different kinds of conversions, but you should know this tool isn’t added by default in your Google Ads account.
Google Ads Conversion Tracking is designed to show you what happens after a potential customer interacts with your ads, based on the type of conversion you are interested in. Below, you’ll discover the full benefits of setting up conversion tracking, as well as how to easily do it to access this data.
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Why You Need Conversion Tracking and How It Works
When a user clicks on your ad and goes to a landing page, Google Ads actually has no idea what’s going on there. Similarly, Google Analytics doesn’t really know what happens before a user lands on your site. If you only go with the metrics in your Google Analytics and data from your Google Ads Account, you are unfortunately not getting the full story of a potential customer’s journey from the ad to the point of conversion.
With the conversion tracking too installed, you can:
● See which of your keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns deliver the best results;
● Assess your ROI and optimise ad spend;
● Use a Smart Bid Strategy to optimise your campaigns;
● View ad performance across multiple devices and browsers, and see which are leading to more conversions.
To get all this information, you can create a conversion action in your Google Account.
These are actions on your website that a user makes, such as:
● Website actions: these can be anything from purchases, sign-ups, or other types of actions made on your site;
● Phone calls: tracking calls made directly from your ads, calls to a phone number on your site, or clicks on your phone number from a mobile device;
● App installs and in-app actions: tracking the installs of your mobile apps, purchases, or other activities inside the apps;
● Import: tracking consumer activity that begins online, but is completed offline. For instance, a person signs up for your event online, but they technically convert by participating in the real-life event;
● Local actions: tracking actions counted when people interact with an ad specific to a physical store or location.
For the conversion tracker to work, you need to add the tag or snippet to your website or mobile app. When a potential customer clicks on the ad to go to your landing page, a temporary cookie will be placed on their computer or mobile device. When they complete the action you are tracking, Google then sees the cookie and records the conversion.
How to Set up the Conversion Tracker
Setting up the conversion tracker isn’t that difficult, but you do need to be able to edit your website. You may need to discuss it with your webmaster if you do not have access to your website’s source code.
Either way, setting up a conversion tracker involves these simple steps:
Create a Conversion Action
In your Google Ads Account, you need to go to the Conversions section of your Measurement tab. Once you get there, you will:
● Click on the + button, then choose “website;”
● Select the type of action you want to track. There are different categories available for any activity you need;
● Go to “Conversion Name” and enter a name for the conversion to help you recognise the action;
● Select a description for your conversion action in the “Category” box. This will help you segment your conversion in reports;
● Next to “Value,” select a value for each conversion. You can have the same value (if each conversion is worth the same), different values (if you’re tracking conversions with different values), or no value;
● Next to “Count,” choose how to count your conversions. “One” is best for leads, and “Every” is better for sales;
● Select a conversion window from the drop-down to tell Google how long to track conversions after an ad interaction
Then, simply click “Create” and you’re done with the conversion settings.
Set up the Conversion Tracking Tag
You will need to add 2 code snippets to your website:
● The global site tag
● The event snippet.
The global site tag needs to be installed on every page of your website, and add the event snipped on the pages where you’ll be tracking conversions. Each conversion has its own event snippet, and if you have multiple conversions to track, you will need to generate a new event snippet by following step 1 again.
To install the tags, there are two main options:
● Doing it yourself – Google will walk you through the steps of copying and pasting the tags on your website;
● Using the Google Tag Manager – this is a tag management system that allows you to quickly add, update, or remove tags and snippets for your site.
Note that some kinds of conversion tracking do not require a tag. For instance, if you’re tracking phone calls from a call extension or call-only ad and use a Google forwarding number, this will already track all the data you need, such as call duration, or where the caller is from.
Similarly, app downloads and in-app purchases from Google Play are automatically counted as conversions, so you do not need to set up a tracking code for these specific actions. The conversion tracking tools are designed to help Google count activities that take place on your website, which AdWords cannot access by default.
Special Consideration: Security and Privacy
Google has very strict standards when it comes to security, and will only collect data on pages where you have placed the tags. However, you are responsible for getting consent from users in regards to data collection, and provide people with information about all data you are collecting on your site, and what you are doing with it.
Over to You: Get Help Tracking Your Conversions
If you are running a Google Ad campaign in hopes of increasing your conversion rates but are having difficulty tracking these conversions, we can help. At Australian Internet Advertising, we can install the tracking code and help improve your Google Ads strategy to get you better results, and more information about ad performance. But it’s up to you to make the first step.
Feel free to call our office at 1300 304 640 for a chat to find out more about how we can help, or book a free 30-minute strategy session with our Google Ads team to kickstart your journey towards Adwords campaign improvement.