If you’re running Google Ads campaigns, solid conversion tracking is crucial for your performance. Unfortunately, many accounts have suboptimal tracking setups that limit their ability to measure conversions accurately. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of best practices to help you increase conversions in your own account without changing your campaigns.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the essential Google Ads tracking best practices that can boost your conversions by 6-20%. We’ll also provide real-life examples of improved conversion tracking from our own accounts, so you can see the impact of these best practices in action.
Use the Google Ads Tag for Primary Conversion Goals
One of the most common mistakes people make with conversion tracking is only importing Google Analytics events as Google Ads conversions. However, if you want to measure as many conversions as possible, you need to use the Google Ads Tag. By doing so, you can track more conversions like cross-device, view-through, engaged-view, and enhanced conversions.
In some of our accounts, we’ve seen an increase in conversions by up to 44% when using Google Ads conversion goals instead of Google Analytics events. The conversion uplifts may come from the ability to track view-through and engaged-view conversions, which are not included in your conversion column by default, so Smart Bidding doesn’t optimize for them. Additionally, cross-device conversions can be measured accordingly when a user is logged in with a Google account on multiple devices.
Use Enhanced Conversions to Track More
Google introduced enhanced conversions to counteract conversion tracking preventions like those caused by iOS14. While the setup process can be technical, it’s worth it because you can see an extra 6-10% conversions, especially on video campaigns.
Use Data-Driven Attribution to Attribute Better
When it comes to attribution, data-driven attribution is a game-changer. With this attribution model, your conversion will be attributed better across various campaigns that lead to a conversion. Despite its benefits, many accounts still don’t have data-driven attribution enabled. While there are some cases where last or first-click attribution models make sense, we recommend data-driven attribution 90% of the time.
Use Events from Google Analytics as Backup (Secondary) Conversion Goals
We recommend using events/goals from Google Analytics as backup secondary conversion goals for when your primary Google Ads conversion goals stop working. A small change to your website code can break your conversion tracking, which is why you want a backup in place. However, make sure to set it up as a secondary conversion, so Smart Bidding doesn’t optimize for this goal.
Use Offline Conversion Tracking to Improve Conversion Quality
Offline conversion tracking is a fantastic way to improve conversion tracking quality. You can use it to overwrite data, add more conversions, add conversion values for lead gen, and more. While we won’t dive into much detail here, know that it can be a game-changer for your performance.
Setting up New Conversion Goals? Be Careful – Do This
If you’re only using imported goals from Google Analytics and want to optimize your setup by implementing Google Ads conversion goals, don’t switch cold turkey. Your new conversion goal needs to gather data first (preferably 30 days). Making changes to your conversion tracking can have a huge (temporary) impact on your performance and Smart Bidding.
Therefore, we recommend the following procedure:
- Set up conversion goal with the Google Ads tag
- Set action optimization
- Gather data for 30 days
- Check tracking quality
- Make the switch
Real-life examples of improved conversion tracking
Now that we’ve gone through the best practices, let’s look at some real-life examples of how these best practices have improved conversion tracking in our own accounts.
Example 1: Cross-device conversions
We recently had a client who had set up their conversion tracking using Google Analytics events. They were only seeing a small number of conversions in their Google Ads account, despite seeing a significant number of leads in their CRM.
When we audited their account, we discovered that they had not set up cross-device conversion tracking. As a result, they were missing out on a significant number of conversions.
We recommended that they switch to using Google Ads conversion goals and set up cross-device conversion tracking. After making the switch, they saw a 60% increase in conversions in their Google Ads account.
Example 2: Engaged-view conversions
We also had a client who was running a YouTube campaign and only using imported Google Analytics events for conversion tracking. They were seeing a small number of conversions and were struggling to get the results they wanted from the campaign.
When we audited their account, we discovered that they had not set up engaged-view conversion tracking. We recommended that they switch to using Google Ads conversion goals and set up engaged-view conversion tracking.
After making the switch, they saw a 25% increase in conversions in their Google Ads account.
Example 3: Enhanced conversions
We had another client who was running a video campaign and struggling to get the results they wanted. After auditing their account, we discovered that they had not set up enhanced conversions.
We recommended that they set up enhanced conversions, and after making the switch, they saw a 10% increase in conversions in their Google Ads account.
Solid conversion tracking is crucial for the success of your Google Ads campaigns. By following these best practices, you can increase conversions in your own account without making any changes to your campaigns.
Use the Google Ads Tag for primary conversion goals, use enhanced conversions to track more, use data-driven attribution to attribute better, use events from Google Analytics as backup (secondary) conversion goals, and use offline conversion tracking to improve conversion quality.
Remember to be careful when setting up new conversion goals and to gather data for at least 30 days before making any changes to your conversion tracking.
By following these best practices, you can ensure that your conversion tracking is accurate, and your campaigns are optimized for success.