Boost Your Marketing ROI: An In-depth Look at Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Table of Contents

Why Track Conversions in Google Ads?

What Types of Conversions Can You Track With Google Ads?

How to Set Up Google Ads Conversion Tracking in 3 Steps

Seeing Conversion Value in Google Ads Reports

Start Tracking Your Conversions From Google Ads With Narrative BI

FAQ

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While Google Ads is an essential resource for many marketing teams, the success of an ad campaign can’t be determined without knowledge of how many conversions campaigns are generating. Setting up Google Ads conversion tracking can make or break the success of a digital ad campaign by determining what strategies are most effective in converting leads into sales.

Organizations can appropriately divide their resources and track user interactions to uncover valuable campaign insights and analytics by taking advantage of Google Search conversions and tracking capabilities. The magnificent art of Google Ads conversion tracking can drive website traffic like never before, transforming a campaign’s success. This post will explore the world of Google Ads conversion tracking and cover the following subjects:

  • Why teams should track conversions in Google Ads
  • What types of conversions can be monitored with Google Ads
  • How to efficiently set up Google Ads conversion tracking
  • How to find conversion value in Google Ads Reports

Let’s get started!

Why Track Conversions in Google Ads?

So, what is the importance of tracking conversions in Google Ads concerning a campaign’s overall performance? Understanding the Google Ad conversion process can transform a campaign’s success by revealing what elements of a campaign are effective and what elements aren’t serving their purpose.

Incidentally, Narrative BI allows you to track conversions and receive automated reports on Google Ads, providing valuable insights into the overall effectiveness of your ad campaigns.

You no longer need to spend time manually reporting your Google Ads performance. With Narrative BI's reporting platform, you can easily track all your key metrics in one place and make informed, data-driven decisions.

Google Ads conversions tracking report
Image source: Narrative BI: Google Ads reporting platform

Tracking Google conversions ensures that marketing teams can make actionable improvements on current campaigns and build future campaigns based on what is proven successful. Tracking conversions in Google Ads means that teams can identify which campaigns drive the most conversions, making it easier to make essential adjustments related to the following:

  • Keywords
  • Bidding
  • Campaign strategies
  • Budgeting

What Types of Conversions Can You Track With Google Ads?

Teams can track several types of conversions through Google Ads. The five primary conversion actions that are trackable through Google Ads conversion tracking are the following:

  1. Website actions: These include making a purchase, filling out a form, clicking on a button to find out more about an offering, and other similar actions.
  2. Phone calls: This type of conversion includes any call made to a business in response to a Google Ad.
  3. App installs and in-app actions: This third type of conversion applies to organizations that use Google advertising for advertising an application. Tracking this conversion involves counting all app downloads and interactions within the app.
  4. Imported conversions: An import occurs offline but originates from an initial Google Ad. Imported conversions like over-the-phone sales and in-person actions technically occur offline but are still related to the original ad and its effectiveness.
  5. ‍Local actions: Finally, local conversions entail any action specific to the advertiser’s location during or following an interaction with the original ad. Local conversions occur through Google services like Google Maps, including viewing an online menu, getting directions to a physical location, and clicking to call a physical location.

How to Set Up Google Ads Conversion Tracking in 3 Steps

Setting up Google Ads conversion tracking is easy when teams follow the proper steps! Let’s explore the steps necessary to set up Google Ads conversion tracking accurately and start gathering informative and effective campaign information.

To begin, access your Google Ads account and locate the “Tools & Settings” icon positioned at the top right corner. Within the menu labeled “Measurement”, choose “Conversions”. Next, select the blue plus symbol at the top left corner and follow the provided instructions to finalize the setup for the appropriate conversion source.

Step #1: Create your conversion action

Setting up tracking for Google Ads conversions requires teams to create an initial conversion action. Conversion actions are specific customer actions that are valuable to a business, including online purchases, phone calls, and similar activities.

Creating an action allows teams to identify how specific ads lead to meaningful actions and conversions. This process is accomplished through one of two methods.

Method #1: Set up conversions with a URL

The first method is setting up conversions with a URL and is most practical for teams that want to track a page load as a conversion without customizing their measurement setup.

This method is possible through the following steps:

  1. To track a suggested URL as a conversion, consider Google’s list and select “Accept Suggestion”.
  2. To track a unique URL, select “Add URL”. Choose the conversion goals closest to the URL being tracked as a conversion.
  3. Enter the URL for the conversion page on the main website; for instance, “Thank you” pages following purchases or click-to-subscribe options for newsletters or other services.
  4. Select “Add”.
Create Google Ads conversion actions from website events
  1. To edit settings for added URLs, select “See more settings”.
  2. Go to “Conversion action optimization options” to identify an immediate action for bidding optimization and reporting or a secondary action for observation.
  3. Choose a name for the conversion being tracked.
  4. Choose how to track the value of conversions.
Google Ads conversion action details
  1. Choose how to count the conversion amount, such as counting every conversion or a single conversion.
  2. Customize the conversion tracking process through Google’s “Click-through”, “Engaged-view-through”, and “Attribution model” options.
Google Ads conversion action details - second screen
  1. Done, Save and Continue.

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Method #2: Set up conversions manually

The second method requires teams to set up conversions manually. While it’s a more complicated process compared to the first method, it is ideal for teams that need to track clicks on buttons and links or want custom event tags with value tracking, transaction IDs, and other parameters.

Manually setting up conversion tracking requires the following steps:

  1. Select “Create conversion actions manually using code” and create a conversion.
Create Google Ads conversion actions manually using code
  1. Select “Goal and action optimization” to determine the goal that each conversion counts towards.
  2. Choose “Conversion action optimization options” to identify whether the action is primary or secondary.
  3. Choose a name for the trackable conversion.
Goal and action Google Ads optimization
  1. Select the actions tracked through this goal next to the “Goal” section.
  2. Choose how to track the value of conversions.
  3. Choose how to count conversions next to “Count”.
Google Ads conversion action details - second screen (manually)
  1. Select the period to track conversions.
  2. Select “engaged view-through” to track view-through conversions.
  3. Choose the “Attribution model” to identify how ads perform and optimize the conversion journey.
Google Ads conversion action details - third screen (manually)
  1. Done, Save and Continue.

Step #2: Set up your Google Tag

The subsequent process for setting up Google Ads conversion tracking will vary based on whether your Google tag is already in place or not. A Google tag aims to set up a new cookie to a domain to store information about user activities.

  • If a Google tag is already set up with conversion actions using a URL, users will see a screen that confirms that conversion actions are set up.
  • A screen with instructions to set up a tag will appear if a Google tag has not been created.
  • Users will receive instructions to add an event snippet if a tag is already set up with manual conversion actions.
  • Users will see instructions to add a tag and an event snippet for specific conversion actions if the tag hasn't been created.

Add a Conversion linker tag

After you set the Google tag you should set the “Conversion linker tag”. Conversion linker tag is essential because it stores all ad click information when conversions occur on a website. Adding a conversion linker tag is possible through the following steps:

  1. Open Google Tag Manager
  2. Select the container you want to configure
  3. Choose “Tags,” then select “New”
  4. Select “Tag configuration” then “Conversion linker”
  5. Choose a trigger for all page views or specific page views
  6. Save and publish the tag configuration

Teams managing one domain won’t have to complete any additional configuration; however, teams dealing with multiple domains that want to track visitors across domains must select “Enable linking across domains” and provide the domains of all websites involved in the user journey. Separate these domains with commas.

Step #3: Create and Check your Google Ads Conversion Tag

Now, we need to create a new Google Ads Conversion tag. But first, go back to your Google Ads account > Tools and Settings > Conversions > Summary, choose your conversion action and copy the “Conversion ID” and “Conversion Label” from the “Tag setup” options.

Then, navigate to Google Tag Manager and choose Tags > New. Within the Tag Configuration window, opt for Google Ads Conversion Tracking. From there, input the appropriate Conversion ID and Conversion Label in their respective fields.

And configure when the tag fires and save the tag.

To ensure that Google Ads Conversion Tag is installed correctly we should check it in Google Tag Manager Debug mode and submit the changes.

To check the new conversion action and its status, navigate to the Google Ads conversions summary.

Teams don't have to take further action if the tracking status is unverified for under 24 hours. If the tracking status has remained unverified for over 24 hours or the tag is marked inactive, teams must verify whether they have the correct tag installed on the appropriate page.

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Seeing Conversion Value in Google Ads Reports

Identifying conversion value is crucial to how effective Google Ads conversion tracking is for improving ad quality and conversion rates. This process is possible by opening the Campaigns settings in a Google Ads account, then navigating to “Columns - Modify columns.” This section provides a look into all conversions in a Campaigns report.

Select the conversion value option under the “conversions” tab and click “Apply.” This step will reveal a column with unique conversion values to help teams analyze conversion data, including who clicks on ads, which users are converted by the ads, the value of individual conversions, and how much money can be spent on future ad campaigns.

It’s essential to note that accurate data is only available after publishing an ad version and once changes go live on the initial website.

Start Tracking Your Conversions From Google Ads With Narrative BI

Tracking Google Ads conversions is crucial for any successful digital ad campaign. Narrative BI allows teams to track conversions and receive automatic Google Ads reports for valuable insights into overall campaign performance and to identify areas of opportunity.

Narrative BI provides all the tools necessary to track conversions from Google Ads successfully and easily. Check out the Narrative BI Google Ads reporting tool to gather improved insights into current ad campaign success.

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FAQ

How Many Conversions Can I Set Up?

Google Ads conversion tracking prioritizes five conversion types that can be set up and tracked simultaneously: website actions, phone calls, app installs and in-app actions, imported conversions, and local actions.

What Does Conversion Tracking Help You Measure?

Conversion tracking allows teams to measure the success of their advertising campaigns by tracking and analyzing several subsequent actions related to a specific ad, including purchases, clicks, downloads, form sign-ups, and similar actions that indicate further interest in an ad’s offerings.

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