6 Steps to AdWords Conversion Tracking Joy

This post is written by PPC director Sunandita Nijhawan, based in our Sydney office.  

Having a PPC campaign is not enough. To measure success, it’s always a good idea to have conversion tracking installed too. Conversion tracking lets you measure your campaign’s achievements and the areas of development for campaign.

This post will help you to understand how to track the performance of your AdWords campaigns, and how to make the most of the updates Google made towards the end of last year.

In September 2015, Google introduced optimisation settings for the ’Conversions‘ column, along with the ’All conversions‘ column . Both changes are great as now you can prioritize the stuff that’s most important to you for both reporting and bidding (in ’Conversions‘), while still keeping an eye on everything you’re tracking (in ’All conversions’‘).

In October 2015, Google enabled reporting for cross-device conversions at the keyword level. This one was particularly exciting because it meant that it was now possible to include conversions from desktops, smartphones and tablets in your ’Conversions‘ column. You just need to check the box to include the conversions which will be taken into account for your automated bidding.

In short: The ’Conversions‘ column is what you should be using (not the ‘Converted clicks‘ column), and you can take full advantage of the new features with a few simple steps.

1. Create your first conversion

Now to get started with this amazing feature. First, click the Tools and Analysis tab in AdWords and select ‘Conversions’ from the dropdown menu. The ‘All conversions’ page will come up. Click on the ‘Conversions’ tab, and then click the ‘+Conversion’ tab to create your first conversion.

Conversion source

Here you would see an option of which conversion type you would like to install for your website. Based upon your goals, you can select from the following four options:

  • Website conversion

This conversion type helps you track purchases made on your website, form sign-ups and other actions you would like to monitor such as views of a key page.

Conversion settings

From the dropdown menu on the ‘Category’ section you can choose the conversion category for your website.

  • App conversions

This conversion type is pertinent to advertisers who wish to track app downloads or user engagement once the end user is utilising the app.

  • Phone calls

This conversion type will enable an advertiser to track phone calls to their business that originated with a click on paid ad.

  • Import

This is an advanced option and allows advertisers to pre-build conversion goals from Google Analytics.

2. Name your conversion type

Second, after you have chosen your conversion category, name your conversion type. Ideally, it should have an intuitive name. For example, if your goal is phone calls made to your business, name it ‘Phone calls (Your Company Name)’.

3. Give your conversion goal a value

Third, assign a value to your conversion goal. There are three options for this field. Choose the one that is most relevant to your business and your marketing goals.

Conversion goal value

4. Choose how conversions are reported

Fourthly, decide how you want conversion actions reported in AdWords interface. Use the ‘Count’ feature for this action.

Conversion count

5. Choose the time frame of your conversion

The fifth step is to decide the Conversion window for your conversions. Here an advertiser has the ability to customise the length of time after an ad has been clicked, that the ad should still be given credit for an eventual goal completion. You can modify this window threshold up to 90 days.

Conversion time frame

6. Do you want to include in conversions in your reporting column?

Finally, you need to decide if you want to Include in conversions . This means that for each conversion recorded, you can decide whether or not to include its conversions in your conversions reporting column. Generally, I like to see my conversions in the reporting interface, so I always click ‘Yes’ to this option.

Include conversions

After filling out all the details, Google AdWords will take you to the ’Settings’ option. Here, you can see that I created all these settings for a website conversion goal for a test campaign:

Tag Installation settings

AdWords further explains the process of installing your conversion tag on your website under the headline ‘Install your tag’. You can install this code in between the Body tag <body> </body> tags of the page that you’d like to track.

In the event that your conversion needs to record the conversion upon a page load rather than on the click of a page element such as a button, simply click the ‘Advanced tag settings’ options and then choose ‘Page load’.

Advanced tag settings

If you’ve followed the steps above (also remember to implement the code snippet on your webpage – which would allow the AdWords interface to pull in conversion data) you should be good to go.

Here are a few ways that you can ensure everything is in place:

  • View ‘Conversion tracking’ in the AdWords interface

If your conversion tracking is relatively simple – a single code on a ‘Thank you’ or confirmation page, for instance – access the ’Tools‘ section in AdWords, which is where you started to create a code.

From there, click on the ‘Webpages’ tab, and you will be able to see which pages are reporting conversions. If you see a URL on this list that you do not wish to be counting as a conversion, you will need to access that page and remove the code.

  • View ‘Website page source’

Access your website’s ‘Thank you/confirmation’ page. Right click on the body of the page, and select the ‘View page source’ option. A new window will populate which would show you the HTML of your landing page. Press Ctrl + F and search for the term ‘google_conversion’, and see if it contains the right tag.

  • Google Tag Assistant

The easiest solution to ensuring that conversion tracking is in place is the Google Chrome extension, Tag Assistant. You can use this tool and it will automatically scan the page for Google tags and present the results to you.

Once you have your conversion tracking properly in place, you’ll be able to measure the success of your paid search campaigns, ads and keywords, allowing for more precise and data-oriented decision making.

Conversion tracking enables you to better understand your business and know what actions drives the best conversions.

If you’d like to know more about conversion tracking, or anything related to PPC campaigns, our PPC team would love to hear from you.

This post is written by PPC director Sunandita Nijhawan, based in our Sydney office.