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A Guide to Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Many companies spend thousands of dollars a month on Google Ads (AdWords), but what do they actually get in return? As an (online) marketer, you should know exactly what these efforts have yielded. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of clarity about the actual ROI. Unnecessary! In this blog article, I want to explain the value of correct conversion tracking and give you the insight if the current results are correct.

Determining conversion value

The most important thing is the value you assign to a conversion. You need to be clear about the macro-conversions of your organization. Depending on the business in which you operate, these are usually purchases, registrations or requests for quotes.

It’s not the intention that you include micro-conversions such as newsletter subscriptions or downloads etc. These do not directly deliver value. This does not mean that they are not important or have long-term value, but it can cause confusion if you want to have a clear picture of what the direct value of Google CPC is.

Determining the value of a conversion is relatively simple. If you have a webshop, then you can simply use the proceeds from the transaction as conversion value. With Google Ads, it is possible to keep track of this kind of e-commerce data. However, some adjustments need to be made on the website.

You will have to look at what the average customer delivers. Sometimes this calculation is difficult to make. Online tools can help you with this.

Adding the conversion value in Google Ads is relatively easy. In the Google Ads interface, you go to ‘Tools’ and then to ‘conversions’. You can then change the settings of your current conversions or create a new conversion. It is useful to measure the conversion using the conversion code of Google Ads. There is also a possibility to import conversions, but this can have a number of disadvantages.

Conversion period

After setting the conversion value, Google asks how long the conversion period can be. The number of days you set here should be more than the normal orientation process someone goes through. Google only starts measuring after someone has clicked on the advertisement.

Another statistic that Google keeps is the ‘view-through conversion period’. In this situation, people have seen the ad but did not click on it. The presence of the advertisement has in some cases made a small contribution to the actual conversion.

Recording of conversions

Earlier in this blog, I indicated that it is good to distinguish between macro and micro conversions. When you choose to include a conversion for conversions, Google will use the conversions as input for your bidding strategies. If you choose not to include conversions, then the conversions will not be included, but they will be visible when you select ‘all conversions’ as statistics.

Attribution model

The way conversion is assigned is a crucial step in setting up conversion tracking. There are several attribution models to choose from:

  • Data controlled
  • Last click
  • First click
  • Linear
  • Time-lapse
  • Position Based

Which model to choose depends on several factors. Once you have completed the above steps, you will receive a conversion code. This code must be placed on the Thank You page after the conversion has been completed. In addition to the conversion code, it is recommended to install the latest version of the general site tag (gtag.js). You can do this by putting the code directly on the site, or by using Google Tag Manager.