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Google Ads Conversion Tracking Explained & How to Use (2024)

Google Ads conversion tracking

In the realm of Google Ads, the effectiveness of any advertising campaign hinges on the mastery of conversion tracking. Yet, for many marketers, the challenge lies in navigating the complexities of setting up this vital component, particularly when it involves seamless integration with their website.

With this blog, we embark on a journey to demystify Google Ads conversion tracking. From understanding its pivotal role to providing actionable steps for implementation, we aim to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to enhance your advertising efforts. So, without further delay, let’s delve into the intricacies of setting up conversion-tracking Google Ads for optimal results in 2024.

What is Google Ads conversion tracking?

Google Ads conversion tracking is a free tool that measures how clicks on your ads lead to meaningful actions such as sales, newsletter sign-ups, phone calls, downloads, etc. These actions, known as conversions, are crucial for understanding the performance of your ads and listings concerning your business’s success.

By tracking conversions, you can identify which ads, listings, and keywords are most effective for your business. This insight is vital for optimizing your advertising strategy and achieving your business goals.

Why does Google Ads conversion tracking setup matter?

Google Ads conversion tracking setup is crucial for several reasons, each highlighting the importance of this tool in optimizing your online advertising efforts.

  • Understanding ROI: Conversion tracking allows you to see which of your Google Ads campaigns are generating leads and sales, and which ones are not. This information is critical for understanding your ROI and ensuring your Google Ads spend is worthwhile.
  • Accurate measurement: Without conversion tracking, you won’t be able to accurately measure your Google advertising campaigns’ success. This means you’ll be guessing which keywords, ads, and campaigns are working. It can lead to wasted resources and missed growth opportunities.
  • Key metrics: Conversion tracking helps you measure several key metrics, including the number of conversions each keyword, ad, and campaign generates, your overall Google Ads conversion rate, and your cost per conversion. These metrics provide a comprehensive view of your campaign’s performance. They are crucial for making informed decisions about your paid ads campaigns.
  • Security and privacy: Google Ads conversion tracking adheres to strict security and privacy standards. This ensures that your data is protected. From that, you can comply with legal requirements regarding data collection and use.

How does conversion tracking in Google Ads work?

Conversion tracking in Google Ads mainly revolves around three steps: defining a conversion action, installing the correct tracking tag, and choosing an attribution model. These key actions are essential for measuring the effectiveness of your ads and refining your campaign strategies.

How does conversion tracking in Google Ads work?

1. Define your conversion action: Decide on the actions that are most valuable for your business. Currently, Google Ads allows you to track:

  • Website actions: Including purchases, sign-ups, form submissions, downloads, and other interactions on your website.
  • Phone calls: Track calls made from ads using call extensions, clicks on a phone number on your website, and calls made to a phone number displayed on your website.
  • App installs and in-app conversions: These conversions are only relevant if you are advertising an app. They help you track app installations and other interactions within the app.
  • Imported (offline) conversions: Tracks actions that occur offline but start from your ads. Examples include offline sales and other types of offline conversions.
  • Local conversions: Including estimated visits to a physical location resulting from an ad, or actions related to your Google My Business listing, such as clicking for directions, viewing business photos, or making direct calls from the listing.

2. Install the Google tag: Add the Google tag to your website. This tag acts as a bridge between your website and Google Ads, allowing you to track conversions accurately. If you’re using Google Tag Manager, you can manage this tag easily.

3. Choose an attribution model: Select how you want to attribute credit for conversions to your ads. At the moment, Google Ads provides you with 2 options of attribution models, which are Last-click and data-driven.

How to set up Google Ads conversion tracking? 

As to how to add conversion tracking in Google Ads, there are three main steps to go about this: Create a conversion action in your account & Install the Google tag on your website, and Verify the Google tag. In the next section of this blog post, we’ll go over the details of this process. 

Step #1: Create a conversion action

To begin with, click the Goals icon -> Conversion -> Summary in your Google Ads account.

Google Ads Conversion Tracking 1.1

In the summary, click + New conversion action.

Google Ads Conversion Tracking 1.2

After doing this, select Website and click Next.

Google Ads Conversion Tracking 1.3

Enter your website domain and click the Scan button. Please follow the instructions to input your domain and scan your website. This verifies if the Google tag is installed. If not, you’ll receive a code snippet to add to your site as prompted.

Select your preferred method for setting up your conversion action. You’ll be presented with two options: setting up with a URL or setting up manually.

  • Setting up conversions with a URL: Choose this method if you simply want to track a page load as a conversion. So you don’t require any customization for your measurement setup. This is the quickest and simplest way to establish a conversion action.
  • Set up conversions manually: Opt for this method if you need to track clicks on buttons or links, or if you want to personalize your event tag with value tracking, transaction IDs, or other custom parameters.

You’ll receive guidance for setting up through a URL and for manual setup. It’s a simple process, just follow the prompts. At this stage, you’ll also choose your attribution model and other settings. To assist with your decision, you can consult the attribution model guide shared earlier to determine the most suitable option for your requirements.

Google Ads Conversion Tracking 1.4

Press the Save and Continue button to move on to the next step.

Step #2: Install Google tag on your website 

Your next steps for setting up Google Ads conversion tracking will depend on whether you’ve already configured your Google tag.

  • Create conversion action with URL: If your Google tag is set up, you’re all set and ready to start seeing data on that conversion. However, if you haven’t set up Google tag, you’ll be directed to a screen with instructions.
  • Create conversion action manually: If your Google tag is set up, you’ll receive instructions to add the action’s unique event snippet. In contrast, you’ll receive instructions to add a Google tag on every site page and your conversion action’s event snippet.

The purpose of the Google tag is to establish new cookies on your domain, storing data on user activities after clicking your ad. While you’ll need to install the tag on every site page, only one tag per Google Ads account is necessary. Installation options include directly pasting the Google tag into your website code or utilizing Google Tag Manager, as detailed in this advanced Google documentation.

Step #3: Verify the Google tag

To verify the correct installation of your Google tag and ensure accurate conversion tracking, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to your Google Ads account and access the Conversions section
  • In the conversion actions table view, review the Status column to monitor the performance of each conversion action. For assistance, refer to our guide on troubleshooting Google Ads conversion tracking issues.

Discover an alternative to Google Ads conversion tracking

Google Ads conversion tracking offers valuable insights into user behavior and advertising performance. However, the setup process can be daunting and time-consuming.

Fortunately, there’s a more efficient and user-friendly option available exclusively for Shopify merchants. Leveraging marketing attribution software like NestAds. With NestAds, you can bid farewell to the complexities of lengthy setup procedures as it seamlessly integrates with your website.

But that’s not all. NestAds operates on a multi-touch data-driven attribution model, allowing for a flexible look-back window of up to 90 days. This extended timeframe enables businesses to delve deeper into historical performance trends, facilitating more informed decision-making. And the benefits don’t end there. NestAds can centralize data from various platforms into a unified dashboard, simplifying cross-channel performance monitoring for businesses.

With all these advantages, it’s clear that NestAds emerges as one of the most compelling alternatives to Google Ads conversion tracking. So why wait any longer? Elevate your Shopify conversion tracking with NestAds today!



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