If we were to view Google Ads through a mythological lens, conversion tracking would be a labyrinth, and the Google Ads platform the minotaur we need to conquer. When you look at it that way, figuring out the best ways of tracking your conversions seems pretty impossible.
But fear not! While I may not be a Greek hero, what I am is a paid ads expert, which means I know a thing or two about Google Ads conversion tracking. I’m being modest: I know more than one or two things. I know at least three.
Anyway, I have the map that will help you find the exit point without encountering any mythical beasts, and I’ve decided to help. If you’re feeling lost with all the Greek talk, let me put it in simple English: I’m going to share some tips to help you with your Google ads conversion tracking.
Before we get started, I do want to do some self-promotion here. It’s for a good cause. The good cause is me getting more business! I run a paid ads agency called Snowball Creations, so if at any point throughout this post you feel like you need help, we’re your guys! I also have a YouTube video covering this topic if you’d rather give that a watch.
The e-commerce odyssey: setting up conversion tracking in Google Analytics
Let’s start with e-commerce, the special land where transactions are like unicorns: magical, and highly sought after. E-commerce tracking has become harder and harder thanks to Google Analytics. That’s why you need to set up your own conversion tracking.
Hopefully, if you run an e-commerce business, you’ve already set up conversion tracking so that you know where your conversions are coming from. You can do this in Google Analytics itself, but it’s kind of buggy. There is an alternative, which is to get the tracking code added to your website.
Primary versus secondary: choose your fighter
Paid advertising is all about strategy, so let’s get down to business. Is a conversion your most profitable action? Is that what reigns supreme? Is it what you’re hoping for – the holy grail, Jason’s golden fleece?
Or is it just an NPC, going along for the show? You need to figure out what the answer is, as this will affect your strategy. Primary conversions are the MVPs. You’re pouring everything into them. Secondary conversions are in the background. They’re the middle child. They still deserve attention, but they’re not in the spotlight.
To give you a more practical example . . . someone clicking “add to basket” would be a secondary conversion. It’s still a conversion, as it’s an action that you want them to take, but it’s not the number one conversion you’re after. A primary conversion, on the other hand, will be someone actually buying something, as that would help you reach your main goal.
Also keep in mind that you should be optimising for primary conversions by using strategies like maximise conversions or maximise conversion value, whereas generally, secondary conversions don’t need to be optimised.
Conversion value: the key to successful Google Ads campaigns
Google Ads conversions are going to carry different weights depending on what your business is. For my business, someone filling in an enquiry form is a great step, and it’s a conversion. That being said, it’s not nearly as valuable as someone booking a call with me.
This means that different types of conversions have different values, and that, my friends, is your secret weapon. Yes, nuanced conversions can be more effort, but they are powerful. By assigning different values to different conversion types, you can really start to see a clear difference when you track conversions. This is where you should start to use a strategy like maximise conversion value rather than just maximise conversions when you set up conversion tracking.
Click-through attribution sounds like a super fancy concept. You might be thinking it’s on the same level as trying to understand string theory. Spoiler alert: it’s not.
In fact, the simpler, the better when it comes to Google Ads. Don’t unnecessarily limit yourself! Make sure that you have a nice long attribution window of ninety days, and then sit back and relax while the data flows in.
I’m kidding. Don’t actually sit back and relax; you need to keep hustling if you want to get anywhere. But also don’t spend all your time fretting over one Google Ads campaign in the early days. Patience is a virtue. Your goal with Google Ads campaigns should be to get as much conversion data as possible, and a longer attribution window will help with this.
For example, if someone sees your ad and only makes a purchase two months later, you might miss out on that data if you have a very short attribution window. If you have a longer one, though, you will easily be able to track conversions right back to your ad. That’s why I always recommend a ninety-day conversion window.
Options, options everywhere
In a generation where decision fatigue is something everyone seems to be suffering from, having options can make you go “No thank you.” But despite what society tries to tell us, having multiple options is a good thing.
And when it comes to conversions? Options are your new best friend. You can pick which conversions mean the most to you, and Google will keep that in mind. Quite considerate of them, if I do say so myself.
After all, some people may aim for generating leads, whereas others will see an over-the-phone sale as a good conversion event, so having different options for your conversion tracking setup is always good.
Offline conversions: an often overlooked gen
I know what you’re thinking: don’t you need the internet to get lead conversions?! Technically, yes. But also no. It’s a bit of a dark horse if I’m being honest.
If you have tons of inquiries but you’re not sure which ones are actually quality leads, you should track what happens once users have left your website, as this will give you much more insight into the journey that takes someone from being an enquiry to a qualified lead.
This is where offline conversions come in. They help you not only track conversions but also the various stages that someone goes through. They might click on an ad, then fill in a form, then book a call, and then only convert. Having this precious conversion data is priceless! Also, keep in mind that a bigger conversion window will work in your favour when you are tracking conversions.
The magic step: setting up your Google tag
Time for some magic! And by magic, I mean installing the Google conversion tracking tag. The Google tag is going to be your trusty sidekick for tracking your conversions.
It’s not as daunting as it sounds! It’s pretty much a copy-paste affair, although if you do have a hard time nailing it, you can always ask your web developer for help with the Google tag manager.
You might think that coming up with great ads is the be-all and end-all. And yes, it’s important. But it’s also not enough. You can have the best ad campaigns in the world, but you’re not going to know it unless you track conversions.
And you can have dozens of ads, but you won’t know which ones are worth keeping and which ones need to be retired to the family farm. The most important thing is to make sure that your conversion tracking covers everything, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
Don’t just track the big conversions, but also all the little steps in between that lead to those big conversions. Google conversion tracking is key, so if you don’t have the time, patience, or knowledge to do it properly, get a Google Ads agency to assist.
Fill in the form below to get in touch with my company to learn how we can help you set up conversion tracking so that you can start tracking conversions through your Google account.