When it comes to running campaigns in Google Ads, you need to know if they’re working for your business. And there’s no better way to measure how well your campaigns are performing than by looking at how well they convert.
But wait, what are conversions, and how do I track them, I can hear you asking.
Let’s take a step back for a minute.
In this blog I’m going to explain what are conversions, why you need to be tracking and monitoring their data, and how to set up conversion tracking in Google Ads.
What is a conversion?
A conversion is an action that you want a visitor to take on your website. Depending on your business type and how your website and business is set up, there are several kinds of actions you could choose to measure as conversions (also referred to as goals).
Conversions could include actions such as:
– Making an online purchase
– Submitting a contact form
– Submitting a lead or quote request form
– Clicking a phone number to call
– Clicking an email to call
– Making a calendar booking or appointment
– Signing up for a newsletter
Simply put, a conversion happens when a visitor takes the action that you want them to take on your website.
What kind of conversions can you set up in Google Ads?
So when it comes to Google Ads, what kind of conversions can you set up?
All of the above!
Using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, you can set up conversions tracking for things like phone call clicks, email clicks, online purchases, form submissions, appointment bookings and email signups.
You could also use conversion tracking code generated within Google Ads to implement on your website to track conversions from Google Ads specifically.
I prefer to use Analytics and Google Tag Manager where possible and relevant as this allows you to track conversions from all sources of traffic via Google Analytics, not just traffic from Google Ads.
For call extensions, you can track these separately by setting up a specific phone call extension goal within the conversion section of Google Ads (more on this later).
Why should you track conversions in Google Ads?
To effectively work out if Google Ads is generating you more business, tracking conversions is essential.
If you aren’t tracking sales, leads or other goal types, how do you know what’s working in your campaigns and what’s not working?
Knowing that your ad spend is getting you a return on your investment is crucial, and I don’t run Google Ads for clients until we have identified the kind of actions we need to track and have this in place from the day we flick that switch to activate ads.
If you want to know what keywords and ad texts are generating you more clients, and want to spend less on your clicks and get more business, then tracking conversions on your Google Ads account is a no-brainer.
How to set up conversion tracking in Google Ads
There are a few different ways to track conversions in Google Ads.
I’ll talk you through some of the most common ways to do this.
Option 1 – Import goals from Google Analytics
When you’ve set up goals in Google Analytics, you can import these to your Google Ads account – provided the accounts have been connected first. You can do this in the settings under Linked Accounts.
All you need to do is click to add a new conversion, and then choose the Import option. Depending what version of Google Analytics code you have set up, choose either Google Analytics (UA) or Google Analytics 4 properties (most people are still using the UA version at the moment as GA 4 is very new), and click Continue.
From here, a list of conversions you have not yet imported will come up, just tick the ones you want to import and that’s it – super simple.
Option 2 – Add custom Google Ads tracking code to your website
If you would prefer to track conversions using a unique Google Ads code, you’ll need to choose the ‘Website’ option when you click to add a new conversion.
You’ll then need to set up the conversion you want to track by setting the category, adding a name, choosing a value, and choosing whether the count every goal or just one goal per person. You can also set your conversion windows (how long you want to count conversions for after the initial interaction), and set your attribution model.
Google Ads automatically sets conversions to an attribution model of ‘Last Click’ – even though they do not recommend this setting which is just crazy! I tend to set it to linear but it will depend on your business type and other factors like how many touch points a client normally needs before they would purchase from you or send an enquiry.
Once you click ‘Create and Continue’, Google Ads will generate a string of code which will track conversions. You’ll need to add this code to your website, usually the page you’re wanting to track (e.g. a final order confirmation page, or a thank you page after a form is submitted). You may need a web developer to help you with this part if editing your website isn’t something you usually do.
If you’re using an e-commerce platform like Shopify or Woo Commerce, their help guides are usually great at explaining how to implement this yourself if you’re up for giving it a go.
Option 3 – Set up a phone call extension conversion
For tracking calls from your phone call extension in Google Ads, choose the ‘Phone Calls’ option when adding a new conversion and then choose ‘Calls from ads using call extensions or call-only ads’.
From here, you’ll set the name, value and how to count conversions (every or one per person). Next you can set the call length, conversion window and attribution model and create it.
Once created, you can set up your phone extensions and then choose the conversion you have set up as the conversion action for your phone call extension.
Option 4 – Google hosted conversions
These are conversions that pull through from actions taken on your Google My Business listing.
If you have a GMB listing connected to your Google Ads account, conversions can be tracked on all actions taken on your listing during or after a user has interacted with one of your ads. These conversions show the source as ‘Google hosted’ in Google Ads, and will be included in the ‘All conversions’ column.
These actions can include:
– clicks for directions
– clicks to your website
– clicks to call
– orders placed
– menu views
– other engagement such as saves or shares
5 Great Reasons To Start Tracking Conversions In Google Ads Today
- Find out what’s bringing you the most leads and sales.
- Find out what’s not generating any enquiries or sales.
- Help you make changes to your campaigns that could help your ads reach more of the right people at the right time.
- Help you achieve a better return on your ad spend.
- Save money on your ad spend! Who doesn’t want to save on their marketing budget?
I hope you’ve found this blog about why you need to set up conversion tracking in Google Ads useful.
If you have any questions about setting up conversions on your Google Ads campaigns, get in touch with me.
And if you’d rather hand your Google Ads set up and management over to someone who specialises in this, freeing you up to run your business and do your thing, I’d love to help you!