Why You Should Track Your AdWords Conversions Offline

December 27, 2022

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With a Google AdWords campaign, the sale may not end once the ad is clicked. In some instances, the targeted ad was only the first step in the customer journey, ultimately leading them down a path that includes an offline conversion.

Up to 80% of online shoppers buy lower-cost, smaller items, while only 40% of online shoppers will purchase large items on the internet, like furniture or appliances. The ability to track in-store purchases is more relevant for businesses who market and sell these kinds of larger products or projects that are large-in-scope, like a home remodelling business. Furthermore, services that are in-depth, or large-in-scope may require the customer to place a phone call or schedule a consultation.

But most offline conversion metrics systems do not offer precise, targeted data for businesses and marketers to take full advantage of offline customer activities. Without accurate, comprehensive data, it is difficult and time consuming to target ads, or formulate a useful, engaging sales funnel that leads the customer to a sale in the offline world.

Scale cmapaignsHow can you accurately scale an advertising campaign? Furthermore, without accurate data about your offline conversion rates, how can you begin to determine which online ads are performing the best? It’s impossible.

Until recently, marketers had to make-due with fuzzy, imprecise methods of how to measure which leads submissions resulted in a sale. That is, until now.

Fortunately, Google analytics allows you to import your sales data with AdWords Conversion Import. From here, you’ll get an unlimited amount of current data on your customer’s offline activities. The interface is sophisticated and modern, allowing you to track numerous, offline methods and their corresponding conversion rates.

You can further tweak your ad campaigns and sales funnels based on this comprehensive data. Further qualify your leads and increase your ROI and bottom line by tracking your AdWords conversions offline.

Who does this benefit?

With measurable results, digital marketing campaigns are less overwhelming to craft and execute. Plus, being able to trust the results of your data will increase your leads and further refine your marketing and business plans. If your business includes any of the following aspects:

  • A physical store location
  • A business model that requires direct contact with a customer (phone calls or in-person meetings)

You will greatly benefit from tracking offline conversions accurately with Google analytics. In addition, for leads that are collected online, you may want to track conversion rates:

  • Every time you close a sale over the phone or in-person
  • After 30 days of an online sale so you can omit any possible returns
  • If a sale was made to a new customer
  • If they are a repeat customer who’s made their second purchase
  • When you close a sale online, but are unable to use Google analytics standard conversion tracking solution

What types of offline conversion tracking is available?

There are two options available for you to track your AdWords offline sales and leads:

  • AdWords Conversion Imports

This option will enable you to import your conversions from other systems you use into AdWords. This could be a CRM or a program that tracks phone calls. In addition, you have the ability to track conversions that start with either a click or a call.

Also, you can import AdWords conversion for Salesforce. With this option, you’ll be able to see when a sales event tracked in Salesforce started with a click on one of your AdWords ads. If your business utilises calls, this is an excellent way to figure out which ads are resulting in offline conversations, so you can scale accordingly.

How does it work?

It depends; are you tracking with a click or a call?

For a click, the process will look something like this:

A unique Google ID, called a ‘GCLID,’ is provided by AdWords for every click that goes to your website from a targeted AdWords ad. In order to accurately track your offline conversions, you’ll need to save the GCLID along with other identifiable lead information you collect from the person who clicked on your ad. This could be a username, email address, a phone number, or a first and/or last name.

Once the person converts offline, either by purchasing a product or service or attending a meeting, you import the GCLID into AdWords along with the details about the type of offline conversion it was and when it occurred. AdWords will record the conversion and the other tracking data you’ve provided.

So, what would this look like?

Let’s say you design and build custom, interior lighting fixtures. With your optimized, well-placed AdWords ad, you funnel potential leads onto a professional, relevant landing page hosted on your website. From there, the lead can enter their contact information and request and schedule a free consultation, or a sales call. Since the lead was brought to your landing page via an AdWords ad, their contact information will have a GCLID.

At the end of every week, your employee or personal assistant reviews that week’s sales and sends you the leads that converted offline, i.e., their tracking data or customer information and their corresponding GCLIDs. At this point, you place the data into a spreadsheet and upload it to your Google AdWords account. Soon, you’ll see exactly which keywords and ads are leading to new customer contact submissions, and to sales. Now you have precise and current offline conversion data for your business.

Accurate, relevant data like this will save you time and money tweaking and finessing your AdWords campaigns. Furthermore, you’ll see which campaigns are leading to the highest conversions, and you can continue to invest in what is actually working for your business, driving your sales even higher.

How does it work with phone call conversions?

Pretty much the same way, except you won’t receive a GCLID. Instead, phone calls matched with your ads are imported into your Google AdWords account depending on which CRMs you’re using, such as Salesforce.

Is there anything I should consider before I start tracking offline conversions?

Yes, there are several things you need to keep in mind for maximum, accurate results.

First, you’ll want to determine your conversion window for a specific ad campaign. Your campaign, and product or service may require a shorter or a longer conversion window. If you’re launching a new product and are offering a limited-time sale to drive traffic, this would probably require a shorter conversion window.

Keep in mind that you must have a conversion cycle that is less than ninety days. Any conversions you try to upload after ninety days has passed will not be imported and won’t be visible in your conversion stats. This could skew your data, which exactly what you don’t want.

Next, you’ll need to pick a data set as a benchmark to accurately measure your conversion lift. Make sure that no significant changes happen to the campaign while you’re trying to gather offline conversions data. This way, new variables won’t muddy the waters. And be sure to use the same offline data set.

For example, if you wish to measure the offline conversions for your custom light fixtures stores, you can’t exclude data from stores in certain regions for a week, and then include them. This will skew the conversion measurements.

Also, be sure your KPIs are coordinated with your attribution system when you start to track offline conversions. Without it, it will be impossible to accurately assess the impact of your AdWords marketing campaigns.

Finally, make sure you’ve enabled auto-tagging. Auto-tagging allows you to import the offline conversion data.

The online business world and the offline business world are finally meeting. But they are impossible to integrate into a profitable marriage without the right kind of data. While the software to track offline conversions through Google analytics has been available for a little over a year now, it wasn’t until recently that most businesses started taking advantage of this beneficial technology.

You don’t want to lose out on this opportunity. Without accurate data, you’re not going to understand which ads are working, and which ones to continue to invest in. Furthermore, keeping abreast of changes to your conversion rates, gathering the information, importing it, and accurately assessing it is time-consuming and intensive and requires specialised knowledge.

The team at Australian Internet Advertising is highly trained and understands who to quickly and accurately import your data and assess it. With our expertise, you’ll know exactly where to focus your marketing efforts, saving you time and money. Contact us today and increase your ROI with professional and knowledgeable AdWords account management.


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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