How to Set Up Conversion Tracking for Google Ads?

How to Set Up Conversion Tracking for Google Ads?

So you’ve finished setting up your Google Ads campaign. You got your ads, your keywords, and the clicks are flowing. But, what if your objective is to generate conversions? Sure, boosting the amount of people that enter your landing page is great, but that’s not your end goal. 

How do you know your campaign is working or if they are entering from somewhere else other than your ads?

Well, luckily there’s a way to set up conversion tracking for Google Ads. In this blog entry we’ll guide you step by step on how to set it up.

What are conversions in Google Ads?

Like we said, if your objective is to increase conversions, tracking the performance of your ads is a must. How can you make changes if you don’t know what isn’t working? Tracking conversions on Google Ads allows you to visualize what ads are getting you closer to your objective but most importantly it lets you know what ads aren’t.

Now, conversions do not necessarily mean sales. For example: Let’s say you are making a campaign for people to pre-register to an event. A conversion in this scenario would be someone leaving their contact information.

What are the most common conversions for a Google Ads campaign?

  • Fill out a form
  • Purchase
  • Make a phone call
  • Install an App
  • Schedule a Meeting/Call
  • Visit a Store / Business (Open Google Maps)

So how do you track those?

How to set up conversion tracking for Google Ads?

For starters, you need to define what you count as a conversion. Like in the example above, it could be people leaving their contact information, scheduling an appointment, or a sale. Tracking conversion on Google Ads is as easy as it sounds. Nonetheless we’re going to explain it step-by-step to make sure your campaign is a success!

But before we dive into it, we need to explain some key elements that make up conversion tracking for Google Ads.

  • Conversions: A specific action you want your visitors to take after seeing your ad.
  • Conversion Tracking: The task of counting the completed conversion actions of a specific ad, set of ads, or campaign.
  • Attribution Model: For campaigns with more than one ad type, the attribution models help us know which ad should get credit for the conversion. This works great for retargeting ads.
  • Conversion Value: For monetary objectives, conversion value is an additional metric that allows you to add specific values to an action.
  • Google Tags: A piece of code that keeps track of the specific action and registers it on your Google Ads account.

Did you know the average conversion rate across Google Ads is 4.40% on the search network and 0.57% on the display network?


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On the topic of Conversion Categories…

We are not the only ones that know conversions are more than online purchases, that’s why Google Ads have multiple categories to effectively track conversions.

  • Sales Categories: This is a no-brainer, this category tracks final purchases or subscriptions. Anything that has to do with a visitor making a payment.
  • Leads Categories: When the intent is to push the lead further into a lead funnel. I.e. fill a form, book an appointment, get directions.
  • Further categories: Although 99% of Google Ad campaigns do not need a further category, there are exceptions to the rule for example: when you want your lead to just visit a page.

Setting up Google Ad conversion tracking

A little less conversation, a whole lot more action.

To set up conversion tracking you will need: 

  • A website to place your Google Tag code
  • The ability to edit your website code. Although you don’t need  to be an expert web developer to do it, the code needs to be in a specific part of your website’s code.
  • A Google Ads account. (Obviously)

Step 1: Website Setup

This is when we tell Google Ads what our objective is and how to measure it.

  1. Sign into your Google Ads account.
  2. In the upper right corner, click the tools menu and choose Conversions under the Measurement bucket.
  3. In the new screen click +New Conversion Action
  4. Type the URL you are going to keep track of. (This could be your landing page, or a specific product page.)
  5. Google will scan the website to check for existing Google tags. 
  6. If there is not an existing tag on the website, Google will provide you one to copy and paste in on your site.

Step 2: Set up the conversion action

  1. Choose how to set up your conversion action. This can be done in two ways:
    1. URL Setup: It is faster and easier to do. But only applies if your objective are pageviews.
    2. Manual Setup: Is for anything else as it helps to register clicks on buttons or links. We highly recommend always using this one.


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Step 3: Installing the Google Tag

If you ever wondered what website cookies are and what they do, They track and store (anonymously) information about what a user does on a website after clicking on an ad.

To do so, it is important to install the Google Tag correctly onto your website code. This is done by pasting the code prompted by Google onto the <head> section of your site.

Step 4: Checking the Google Tag

  1. On your Google Ads account, under: “Conversion Actions” there’s a column called “Tracking Status”. It should show one of the following options:
    1. Recording Conversions: Your tag and your campaign are up and running
    2. No recent Conversions: Your tag works but there haven’t been any conversions, you should check your ads.
    3. Tag Inactive: You are not using the tag
    4. Unverified: There might be a problem with how you installed your tag.

And that’s it! Easy as pie.

Remember, conversion tracking is essential for any paid marketing campaign on Google.Take your time to correctly set it up and you’ll be amazed at how it can improve the insights you obtain.


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