Google Ads Conversion Tracking

How to Use Google Ads Conversion Tracking to Scale Your Business

There are plenty of options when creating pay-per-click (PPC) ad copy and selecting the keywords. But because each click costs you money, you need to focus your investment on the highest performers. Whether you are a beginner or professional, you wouldn’t know your best performers without conversion tracking.

So, if you want to see your PPC campaign’s financial impact and identify the best-performing keywords, the solution is simple:

Track the conversions!

Conversion tracking is the first step for success in pay-per-click ads. All ad manager platforms allow you to track what a user does after clicking your ads. It guides you to spend your ad budget wisely and scale your business.

In this guide, we will show you how to use conversion tracking to scale your business.


1. What Is Conversion Tracking?

2. How Conversion Tracking Works

3. Reasons to Track Conversions

4. How To Set Up Conversion Tracking

5. Conversion Tracking Best Practices

6. Next Steps After Setting Up


What Is Conversion Tracking?

In digital marketing, conversion tracking is a tool for collecting user behavior in relation to a conversion event. For example, if you manage an e-commerce store, one clear-cut conversion event is a purchase. You want to know how and why the purchase happened. Then, use this information to finetune your marketing campaign.

What Qualifies As A Conversion?

Any user action that you consider valuable to your ad campaign purpose is a conversion. Consider a conversion as when a user completes a call-to-action. Besides a purchase, other common conversion actions are, sign up for a newsletter, E-book download, and filling a contact form. But typical of pay-per-click ads, you have to segment and narrow down to the most valuable actions.

How Conversion Tracking Works.

In conversion tracking, you create conversion goals (based on conversion actions) to gauge your PPC ads’ effectiveness.

  • For each conversion goal, the ad manager automatically generates a conversion tracking tag (a piece of code) that you install on your conversion page (like a thank you page).

  • The tracking tag places cookies on the customer’s device.

  • The cookies record the customer’s actions (clicks) on your page.

  • The conversion code delivers the cookie information to your ads manager account once a conversion happens.

The cookie information shows what the customer did after clicking your ad. You access the conversion tracking information in your PPC platform’s ad manager.

Reasons to Track Conversions & How To Scale Your Business With Conversion Tracking

You track conversions to optimize your PPC budget and the advertising campaign for the best results. So, you create conversion goals (based on your call-to-action) that best measure your PPC campaign success.

Conversion goals are essentially a data collection mission. Marketing thrives on information.

Conversion tracking helps your business to:

  • Identify which keywords bring the most revenue and those that bring little or no revenue.

  • See what your customers do after clicking your ad.

  • Better understand your ideal buyer.

  • Identify growth opportunities. E.g., you may spot a market that you had never considered.

  • Measure your ad spend return on investment (ROI).

Then, adjust accordingly.

You use conversion tracking information to optimize your ad campaigns which will lead to:

  • More conversions (or higher conversion rate).

  • Reduced ad spend.

  • Better return on investment.

What’s more, if you use automated bidding strategies, the ad platform relies on the conversion data to deliver your ads to the most appropriate audience. The more historical data they have, the easier it is to determine your ideal buyer. If your ads keep performing well (indicated by a high conversion rate), it increases the ad’s quality score. The higher quality score makes your ads rank higher and at a lower cost-per-click.

When you combine your ad manager tool with an analytic tool (like Google Analytics), you get the complete picture of the user behavior from when they click the ad to their final action. Conversion tracking shows user actions with your ads, and the analytics tool shows the user actions on your website. You can read into the user behavior to optimize the user experience in your ad campaigns and your website.

The best thing about conversion tracking is measuring your PPC’s returns on investment (ROI). Don’t wonder whether or not your ads are responsible for your increased sales. In Google Ads conversion tracking, you can even assign a dollar amount to your conversion goal. If the conversion is successful, you can clearly see your return on investment.

Even if a user clicks on an ad but completes the conversion in your office, you import this conversion into conversion tracking to complete the picture. If a customer clicks the ad on their phone and converts on their laptop, you still track the cross-device conversion properly.

If you don’t track conversions yet, here’s how to get started right now.

How To Set Up Conversion Tracking With Google AdWords

Create Your Conversion Action

The first step is determining your most valuable conversions. These will be your conversion actions (or goals). Do you want to track newsletter sign-ups, purchases, or page views? Track each action separately.

For Google ads conversion tracking, your conversion actions either fit into:

  • Website conversions (purchases, sign-ups, leads, page views).

  • App conversions (downloads, in-app actions).

  • Call conversions (calls from ads)

  • Or imported conversions (from analytic tools and offline conversions that began with an ad click).

Get The Conversion Tracking Code

Generally, you select the action’s category, name it, give it a dollar value, count cycles, window period, and attribution model. Then save the information and proceed. Here’s an in-depth article explaining the conversion action creation process for your website.

After setting up your conversion action, you will get an automatically generated conversion tracking tag (or code). In Facebook Pixel, you get a conversion pixel.

Install The Conversion Tracking Code

You can install the generated conversion tracking code into your conversion page’s HTML. The most common conversion page is the thank you page.

The conversion tracking code will track the user action on the ‘thank you’ page and report back to your AdWords account. You will see this information in the ‘Conversions’ column.

It is crucial to set up the conversion tracking correctly; else, you will collect the wrong data.

For Google AdWords, the simplest way to install the conversion tracking code is using Google Tag Manager. It places the tracking code directly into your conversion pages. Alternatively, you can hire a skilled professional to set up conversion tracking.

How To Know If Google Ads Conversion Tracking Is Working Properly?

First, install the Google Tag Assistant extension in your browser.

Then trigger a conversion like making an order through an ad click (it will cost you a click’s worth).

Then check the results of tag analysis. It should show a change in the Google Ads conversion tracking.

Setting Up Conversion Tracking In Other PPC Platforms

Each platform gives you a step-by-step process to set up conversion tracking. Here are some great guides for the most common PPC platforms.

Website builders allow you to add conversion tracking plugins instead. But be careful not to overload your site with plugins. It will become slow and discourage users from interacting with it. 

Conversion Tracking Best Practices

Correct Set-Up

The number one rule with conversion tracking (and other data-driven strategies) is setting up your tools correctly. Mistakes lead to inaccurate data. And inaccurate data leads to wasted money.

Avoid False Positives!

For example, if you are tracking calls, only include the calls that led to conversions. Hire someone to sort through your calls if you must. Including calls that didn’t bring revenue feeds the wrong data to the most powerful tool in ad campaigns.

Get User Consent!

As per the GDPR, you should get user consent before tracking and give them the option to opt-out.

After tracking conversions, the next step is optimizing your campaigns for conversions. Analyze the conversion information to target best-performing keywords to ideal customers. Also, run different tests to identify any problems with the user experience on your pages, causing lower conversions. Also, test different ad copy and test different strategies. Improve, then test: that’s the marketing cycle.

If you need help optimizing your conversions or have any questions, reach out to us here! 

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