Conversion Tracking for Google Ads in 2018 – How to Maximise Your Ad Spend

Conversion Tracking for Google Ads in 2018 - How to Maximise Your Ad Spend

Like most things in digital marketing territory, conversion tracking for Google Ads is moving at the speed of light. So where does it stand in 2018? And what do you need to know to squeeze every last drop out of your ad spend? Here’s the lowdown.


Why Use Conversion Tracking for AdWords?

When you’re putting money on the table for an advertising campaign, you want to be sure that it pays off. And the beautiful thing about digital advertising, compared to say a billboard, is you can easily track your return on investment.

As it stands in the Google Ads interface, you can track all sorts of things like clicks and impressions, but it’s difficult to ascertain how many sales or leads were generated from those interactions. Enter conversion tracking: with this, you can track exactly how many online purchases or new clients resulted from your ad spend.

So what are the explicit benefits of implementing conversion tracking? Firstly, you can put a dollar value on exactly how much money you need to spend to make a sale or gain a client. You can also determine which campaigns and offers are yielding the best results, giving you the ability to start reducing the cost and increasing the gains of your ads. Lastly, you can collect invaluable data about the preferences of your customers, and the efficacy of your website. It’s a no brainer, right?


What Should You Be Tracking?

Next up is the all-important decision of which actions you should be tracking. The obvious one is to track sales or leads, but what about phone calls? Or whether your customers click on a particular product category? Or the number of people who click ‘add to cart’ compared to actual sales to determine the percentage of people who were turned off by shipping costs?

The actions you decide to track should all depend on the goals of your business, but the more data you have, the better. Basically anything can be tracked through your Ads account, from page views to button clicks.

Here are some ideas to help you get started;

  • Sales / leads
  • Contact form submissions
  • Email sign ups
  • Phone calls
  • Clicks on ‘add to cart’
  • Clicks on ‘add to wish list’
  • Clicks on social media icons
  • App installs

An important thing to think about when you’re setting up these conversions, is how long after a customer sees the ad that the conversion should count. Google Ads will ask you how long you’d like to track these metrics, and if you specify 30 days, it will include a conversion from a particular customer if they act within 30 days of seeing the ad. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but usually these times should be longer for new businesses and shorter for businesses with established awareness.


Getting Set Up

If there’s one word of advice we could give to conversion tracking newbies, it would be to start a Google Tag Manager account. Google Tag Manager is a super helpful interface that allows you to easily implement and manage each of the snippets of code required to track conversions on your site. Here’s the latest advice from Google on how to set up a Tag Manager account. And how to add conversion tracking in Google Ads.

Once you’ve got that set up, our second piece of advice is to install the Chrome extension Tag Assistant. This is a handy tool that lets you test your tags to make sure they’re all working properly. Unlike the rest of the conversion tracking realm, Tag Assistant is very intuitive - you’ll get happy green faces if your tags are working properly, or thankless red faces if they’re not.

Lastly, we’d also recommend linking your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts. So when it comes time to report on your website performance for the month, you’ll be able to connect the dots much better regarding the impact of your ad spend. Here’s the lowdown from Google on how to link your Analytics and Ads accounts.


Need Help Getting Started?

If the conversion tracking gods are not smiling upon you, or this all sounds too scary to find out, our web developers and digital experts can help. Shoot us a question or get in touch to find out about our digital advertising services.

By Pav KR | 12th November, 2018

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