Offline Conversion Tracking: Everything You Need To Know

April 16, 2024

Offline Conversion Tracking: Everything You Need To Know | AIA Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

Running Google ads won’t always bring online sales or conversions. Sometimes, the online ad is just the little push a customer needs to visit your local store and make a purchase, participate in your event, or book a face-to-face meeting with you.

All these examples are known as “offline conversions”. While tracking online conversions is made easy thanks to Google’s extensive suite of tools, tracking offline conversions may not seem as simple at first glance.

To effectively track these events, Google requires you to capture and upload personally identifiable data to record your offline conversions accurately. There are some hoops to jump through, but if your business relies on these types of conversions, it may be time to start jumping.

Keep on reading to find out how to effectively track offline conversion with Google ads management.

Should You Track Your Offline Conversions?

If your business runs 100% online, then offline conversion tracking won’t do you much good. But a lot of Australian businesses activate at least on a hybrid model, with both online and offline conversions helping the business thrive.

As Google can tell you everything about your online conversions, those that happen in real life may remain a bit in the dark. Some benefits of tracking your offline conversions can include:

  • Find out if your online ads are bringing sales to your local stores
  • Know when people are more likely to visit/call your business
  • Optimise budget spending based on full information, not just ad clicks or phone calls
  • Connect data from your CRM directly to Google Ads
  • Draw a better parallel between how your business converts online versus offline, etc.

Tracking offline conversions is essential for any business that a) runs Google ads and b) is known to convert their potential customers in the non-digital world.

Setting up Offline Conversion Tracking in Google Ads

Essentially, when you run Google ads to achieve offline conversions such as phone calls or in-store visits, Google may have a difficult time effectively tracking results on its own. This can mean advertisers are left in the dark regarding many essential elements of ad delivery, such as which locations yield the best results, or what time of day the ads perform better.

And without this data, optimising Google ads is virtually impossible. But, you can import conversions and effectively gain better insights into your campaign performance.

Google Ads Conversion Import allows you to easily upload your conversion data. Below, let’s look over 3 main methods of importing offline conversions in Google Ads, and how to set up offline conversion tracking for each:

1. Conversions from Click Using Google Click ID (GCLID)

A Google Click ID (GCLID) is a parameter used to identify the campaign and other relevant attributes of a click associated with a particular ad.

You can enable it by simply turning on the auto-tagging setting, and once it’s on, data between Google Ads and Google Analytics are linked.

Apart from the auto-tagging feature, you’ll also need to make sure:

  • You can store the GCLID with the prospect’s information
  • You can change the webpage code to capture the GCLID parameter
  • You have a click-to-conversion cycle smaller than 90 days

Once you make sure all these 4 items are in check, setting up offline conversion from clicks only involves a few steps:

  1. Go to your Google Ads account
  2. Click Measurements, then Conversions to create a new conversion action
  3. Select Track conversions from clicks
  4. Select how you want to track the value and count each conversion

Click done, and your new conversion action is complete. Be sure to give it a unique name so you can properly track it later on.

How to Import Offline Conversions from Ad Clicks

Once you’ve set up your conversion, it’s time to give Google the offline data you’ve gathered.

Start with a template like this Google Sheets and fill it in with your information:

  • Add your correct time zone
  • Create a separate row for each conversion
  • Be sure to double-check the accuracy of the data to ensure proper tracking

After your template is filled in, you can upload your file in the Conversions section of your ad account, under the Uploads tab. After uploading, select “preview” to take another look over your data and ensure Google has mapped it correctly.

If everything seems in order, hit “apply” and wait a few hours for the upload to be completed.

You can also automate the process through Google Sheets, HTTPS, or SFTP, in the “schedules” menu. You’ll need to choose the frequency of the upload, which can be daily or weekly, depending on what works best for you.

2. Enhanced Conversions for Leads

If you use lead forms, you can easily import your conversion data into Google ads thanks to enhanced conversions for leads.

Unlike regular offline conversion imports, with enhanced conversions for leads, you don’t have to make any changes to your lead forms or CRM system to get the Google Click ID (GCLID), making way for a much easier setup (although the latter is still available if you want to track offline conversions this way).

Enhanced conversions for leads can be set up in two ways:

  • Through Google Tag Manager
  • By installing the Google Tag directly on your page

With these conversions, Google can essentially collect events triggered by form submissions. But for offline conversions specifically, you will still need to upload your data using the steps from the above section.

3. Phone Call Conversions

If your business is quite active over the phone, then tracking how your ads lead to phone calls may be quite beneficial to you.

Importing phone call conversions in your Google ads accounts can help you keep track of how your ads result in essential phone calls for your business.

To use this type of conversion tracking, you will need to:

  • Receive calls in an eligible country – These conversions need a Google forwarding number, which is available in Australia. However, if your business operations in other countries as well, be sure to check if it’s eligible;
  • Have call-only ads or call assets – You should set up either call-only ads or call assets before you create your new conversion action;
  • Have the ability to track call information – Data such as the customer’s phone number, call start time, or which calls lead to a conversion such as sales are essential to be able to upload conversions from calls. Usually, a CRM system can help you track this data.

How to Import Phone Call Data

Uploading conversions from phone calls is virtually identical to that of click conversions. The biggest difference lies in the data template and the information you add to it.

Some data you’ll need to add (and track) includes:

  • Caller’s phone number
  • Call start time
  • Conversion name
  • Conversion time
  • Conversion value
  • Conversion currency

You need to create a separate row for each conversion. The data can be uploaded manually, or based on a schedule.

How Australian Internet Advertising Can Help

Google’s Advertising system, when used in full force, can be enough to help businesses of all sizes meet their bottom line and prosper.

But using Google Ads at their full potential may be too much to ask from a lot of businesses. This is where we come in.

The Australian Internet Advertising team can help optimise your ads campaigns and lead your business towards better conversion rates through Google ads, whether you need to track solely online, offline, or both types of conversions.

Ready to find out more? Then reach out to us today!

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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