What Is Conversion Tracking & Why Is It Important For Your Google Ads Campaigns?
If you just tapped into Google Ads or even have some campaigns running already, you probably came across the terms ‘conversion’ or ‘conversion tracking’ at some point. In this article, we’ll shed some light on what conversions and conversion tracking are and why they are so important for the success of your Google Ads campaigns.
What is a conversion?
A conversion is one of many metrics that Google Ads uses to measure your campaigns’ performance. It is a user’s action on your website that generates monetary or non-monetary value for your business. What exactly this action is, depends on the type of business you have but the most frequent examples are sales, phone calls, newsletter signups, lead form completions or downloads.
You can have multiple types of conversions and they can have different priorities. For example, an eCommerce store might consider a store purchase as their primary conversion type because that’s what they make money with. However, they might also consider newsletter signups as a secondary conversion since these allow them to send promotional material or special offers to users and turn them into paying customers at a later stage.
What is conversion tracking?
Conversion tracking is the process of collecting conversion data from your website. Unlike metrics like impressions or clicks which Google tracks automatically and reports in the Google Ads dashboard, conversion tracking needs to be set up by you. In other words, you need to ‘tell’ Google what a conversion is for your business before this data can appear in the conversions column of your Google Ads dashboard.
There are different ways of setting up tracking depending on what you want to track. You can either set it up using the Google Ads conversion tracking tag and have the entire setup done within Google Ads. Alternatively, you can set up goals in Google Analytics and use Google Tag Manager to track button clicks, for example, if someone clicks ‘submit’ on a lead form.
The advantage of the second method is that Google Analytics tracks your entire website data, not only traffic and conversions generated by paid ads. This means that you can see even conversions generated by traffic from social media, email marketing, Google organic and more. Therefore, you get a bigger picture of which channel is most valuable for your business rather than tracking conversions in Google Ads only. None of these options requires coding skills, so usually, you won’t need a web developer to make it work.
Why is conversion tracking so important?
While it is possible to run campaigns without conversion tracking in place, it’s not recommended because you miss out on a whole lot of information and optimisation opportunities. When you first started Google Ads (or if you’re about to start) you probably have certain expectations and targets these campaigns should help you reach. In order to work out if these expectations are met, you need to be able to track the full process from the user’s first interaction with your ad to the final conversion. Tracking results like the number of sales, phone calls or enquiries is the only way to actually find out if your campaigns are worth their budget or not.
Another important reason for conversion tracking is that usually not all campaigns, keywords and ads perform equally well. Getting conversion data is a major factor in helping you to optimise your campaigns and ensure that you spend money only on campaigns that generate a return. Having multiple conversion types also helps you to figure out which campaigns generate, for example, top-of-funnel conversions like newsletters or downloads and which ones generate lower-funnel conversions like sales and leads.
And lastly, conversion data doesn’t only provide you with useful insights but also Google Ads itself. Google uses this performance data to automatically optimise your campaigns and target people who are similar to those that previously converted. In combination with search keywords or other targeting methods, this is a really powerful way of finding new customers for your business.
Conversion tracking plays a huge role in getting your campaigns to perform well. Without this extra bit of information, your campaigns might always be just mediocre while you lose money on campaigns that miss out on their true potential. Get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to assist you.