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Google Ads Basics: How to Track Conversions
6th January 2023 • The Google Ads Podcast • Solutions 8
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John takes you back to the basics of Google Ads to set the foundation for successful campaigns. To start this series, he talks about the lifeblood of every automated bidding strategy- conversion tracking.

Do you want to succeed with your Google Ads campaigns?

Who doesn't?! But to do that, you need to make sure you're tracking conversions correctly. In this episode, John goes over the basics of conversion tracking so that you can set yourself up for success.

Without accurate conversion tracking, it's impossible to know whether or not your campaigns are successful. That's why it's so important to get this step right- if you're not tracking conversions, you're flying blind!

Luckily, John is here to help make it easy for you. So listen to this episode now to learn more about:

- Why conversion tracking is important for your Google Ads campaign

- What is being counted and how it’s being counted

- Good conversions sources

- The best way to track conversions

- Mistakes to avoid when tracking conversions

- The step you should not miss if you don’t want a failed Google Ads campaign

PS: This guide series is from an internal Solutions 8 training. We’re sharing everything with you, our dear subscribers, to show our gratitude for the overwhelming support you’ve given us. We value you and your growth with Google Ads. 🖤💚🤍

0:00 Intro

0:36 Google Ads Basics: Conversion Tracking

2:59 Segment by conversion action

5:31 Why Google Analytics is not a good conversion source

9:13 Setting your click-through conversion window



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Transcripts

John:

What I wanted to do is kind of just do a recap about some things

John:

that are a little bit more basic, but is foundational to Google Ads.

John:

So we're talking about converter tracking, video strategy, budgets, campaign

John:

types, audiences, all the good stuff.

John:

Here's something that I think should be a foundational kind of

John:

core memory for everyone here.

John:

Core Alert.

John:

Let's look at the first thing that we wanna check is, Conversion

John:

tracking what is being counted as a conversion, is it appropriate and

John:

is it the best way to track that?

John:

And you'll know the reason why I'm using this one is it's not,

John:

this was not set up correctly.

John:

So today we're going back to basics.

John:

So we have a lot of new hires coming.

John:

We have a lot of new hires that are already here.

John:

And so what I wanted to do is kind of just do a recap about some things

John:

that are a little bit more basic, but is foundational to Google ads.

John:

So we're talking about conversion tracking, bidding strategy,

John:

budgets, campaign types, audiences, all the good stuff.

John:

I think it's gonna be good to kind of get everyone on the same page

John:

just so that we're more aligned with their overall strategies.

John:

So going kind of back to basics well, I guess solutions, a basics, which is like

John:

every other agency is like a next level.

John:

But it is going to be a, really good way for us to kind of round table and

John:

be all on same page in terms of how things work, how we see them work, how

John:

they expect to work what the client's needs are, how we set up campaigns to

John:

achieve those goals, whether are lead generation or e-commerce and some best

John:

practices, housekeeping items, et cetera.

John:

I'm gonna dive right in.

John:

I have a campaign pulled up here, and this is a campaign that's of an

John:

active client and an acting client that we're doing really, really well for,

John:

I wanted to kind of share with you a structure that I think goes against

John:

what we will say sometimes, potentially internally, and some results thereof.

John:

and then also talk about some of the why's.

John:

for example, this client looks to be really, really good.

John:

It looks like this conversions are scaling up.

John:

YouTube is performing really well.

John:

We've got 324 leads, last, 30 days, a hundred.

John:

Our cost lead is lower than the camp, than the account average.

John:

And this looks good.

John:

Now, when I'm saying back to basics, one of the first things I wanna

John:

measure is performance tracking.

John:

Wanna look at what is being counted, how it's being counted, and for

John:

what source is being counted.

John:

And can we make any sort of optimizations there?

John:

It's gonna be the first step to any success of any Google Ads campaign

John:

because conversion tracking is the lifeblood of any automated bidding.

John:

If we don't have this, we're gonna be stuck with manual and interpretation.

John:

So that's, you know, 2008 to Google ads.

John:

This is obviously 2022.

John:

So let's look at the first thing that we wanna check is conversion tracking.

John:

What is being counted as a conversion?

John:

Is it appropriate and is it the best way to track that?

John:

And the reason why I'm using this one is it's not.

John:

This was not set up correctly.

John:

So the first thing I wanna look at is segment by conversion action.

John:

What's currently being counted in the campaign, we could do a, review of our

John:

own accounts, and this is gonna be very important when we take over new accounts.

John:

If we skip this step, we set ourselves up for failure.

John:

So what you can see here is I'm only counting one of the, I don't even know,

John:

13 conversion actions here on the page.

John:

Now why is because I'm using an automated bidding strategy for every single one of

John:

these campaigns, except for the brand.

John:

That is going to allow me to optimize the campaign along with Google for the

John:

type of sales or leads that I would like.

John:

So one thing that's really important is making sure that the conversion

John:

action that you want as the end goal be the conversion action, you're

John:

accounting, and possibly solely the conversion action that you're counting.

John:

There is some use cases to say otherwise.

John:

However, I've usually found.

John:

The most beneficial and concrete and foundational to go after the conversion

John:

action you want as the end goal.

John:

What I mean by that, if we're looking for a specific type of lead, maybe

John:

don't start with counting all of the catalog downloads, because

John:

that's not the type of lead we want.

John:

We want people that are filling out the design tool and actually submitting,

John:

so that's a good example here.

John:

I'm still going to count them in a conversion, but in the

John:

all conversions, and I'll share that with you here in a moment.

John:

As a secondary conversion, so we're looking at the

John:

download of the R T A catalog.

John:

I have three here, and there's very, very little, well, I used to have a lot

John:

more, I used to have, this was usually.

John:

30 to 40 per month, but I only counted the design tool submissions,

John:

and that's actually what I'm basing all by my optimizations on.

John:

Why is this important?

John:

Well, I'm still getting 42 people a month in this one campaign filling out

John:

the contactless form, and I'm getting two phone calls, but I'm only counting

John:

the design tool submission, and that is what you can see is the highest, that's

John:

getting the most amount of activity.

John:

So you use your conversion counting off of two reasons.

John:

One, a guide as to how you see that campaign performing, but

John:

also B, what you're teaching.

John:

That's the difference between a secondary and a primary conversion.

John:

Secondary, I can see it.

John:

I'm not counting it though, against the bidding strategy.

John:

That'd be primary.

John:

That's what the campaign's optimizing for.

John:

So making sure that you're counting only the conversion actions that

John:

you want and that you have verified with the client, that's what

John:

they want is gonna be step one.

John:

Now we look at, well, how are we counting these commercial actions?

John:

What is the source?

John:

And I'd like everyone to go off mute if you're, if you're

John:

wanting to if you're wanting to.

John:

To chime up, but what do you see here is, an issue right off the bat?

John:

Does anybody know Google Analytics as a conversion source?

John:

That's right.

John:

Frank nailed it.

John:

It's a conversion source coming from analytics.

John:

Does anybody know why this is bad?

John:

Analytics drops on average about 20% of the track of the users when it's tracking.

John:

So analytics will drop off and sometimes all the way up to about 60% I've had it.

John:

And the 60% difference.

John:

Google Analytics is the same day.

John:

Last click attributed non-direct network.

John:

What that means is that anybody that has a Google Ads click that then has a

John:

click somewhere else that is not direct.

John:

It is going to not give credit back to the Google Ads channel that

John:

may have started that conversion.

John:

So if you have a person that Googles a cold traffic keyword, goes to the website,

John:

leaves comments back by googling the brand name and clicking organically, analytics

John:

will say, we had an organic conversion.

John:

Today is not paid ads.

John:

So paid ads does not get a credit from analytics for the job that it did.

John:

So my conversion actions inside that, the counter missing, I might

John:

be missing, 200 to 500 conversions.

John:

. Now we know this.

John:

We already had this particular use case, hired measurement marketing.io,

John:

the rebuilding, everything else calls Mike 7,500 bucks.

John:

They're redoing the website, yada, yada, yada.

John:

But that's a fail point, and I know that fail point.

John:

So what do we do instead?

John:

We confirm the actual lead amount with the client, and then we also support

John:

ourselves by looking through analytics.

John:

Analytics can tell us if someone clicked on Google Ads.

John:

and then click through another path.

John:

That can be another time from our day.

John:

I don't wanna make this an analytics how to, but know that analytics can

John:

tell you the model comparison tool, which is the first and last click,

John:

and you can actually kind of deduce for yourself what you may be missing.

John:

that's the first thing.

John:

Cause we always wanna use Google tag or even just the actual conversion event

John:

on the thank you page, but it should be the conversion source being a.

John:

to share this in a more extreme scenario.

John:

Here's what I mean by this.

John:

If you're running e-commerce and you're using analytics, and you already know

John:

that this company has a fairly good brand name, , when you count it as

John:

a analytics, we're gonna see a whole bunch of missed opportunity because

John:

the people that come back through the brand name are not gonna be counted.

John:

Study Google ads.

John:

I've purposely kept this client live with this view, so I could

John:

share this as an example, but the last 30 days Look at the difference

John:

between what analytics counted as a.

John:

and what Google ads counted as a sale.

John:

If I'm using automated bidding strategies on target, return on Aspen, I'm hitting

John:

my target return on Aspen of $10,000, when in reality I brought $15,000.

John:

or if I'm using a T C P A, I'm only counting 196 conversions, not the

John:

353 conversions I actually got.

John:

That's the difference between analytics and Google Ads.

John:

Analytics source misses all these people.

John:

Why?

John:

I know that this company here already has a really good brand name, but we

John:

don't have enough budget to spend on our along with maxing out the brand name.

John:

So an analytics will say, well, people came back and blew the brand.

John:

Didn't click on your brand campaign cuz it's nonexistent.

John:

They clicked on your organic listing.

John:

You don't get credit.

John:

This is actually the delta between the people that clicked on us

John:

and came back to the brand and that's counted and did not count.

John:

That's why this is very, very, very important.

John:

So any questions from conversion tracking and sources and why

John:

they're important so far?

John:

All right.

John:

Cool.

John:

Next thing.

John:

We wanna look at the conversion window.

John:

I think the conversion window is extremely important because if you're counting

John:

something, and I don't have this one updated cuz we don't have any videos,

John:

so I'm not really worried about it.

John:

But for example, when we're looking at the click through conversion window, I

John:

like to max this out as much as possible.

John:

My opinion, There's no reason to count this less than 90 days.

John:

I don't have a use case that I could not argue and usually win for a click through

John:

conversion window less than 90 days.

John:

If you're generating interest and you're generating the first click,

John:

and you can see that it's cold traffic campaign, the keywords are non-branded

John:

and dynamic, remarking is doing a good job of bringing 'em together and

John:

yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada.

John:

Should get credit for that.

John:

Why remove credit from you?

John:

Because they took 31 days to convert, not 30 doesn't make sense in my mind.

John:

So making sure that your click through conversion windows

John:

are as wide as possible.

John:

Now, there's use case to say yes, but you're gonna count, duplicates.

John:

So one purchase, and then another purchase, and another purchase,

John:

and another purchase that would be here where you count one

John:

conversion or every conversion.

John:

The distinction here is that if I get an ad click and one

John:

sale, it's gonna count at one.

John:

If I get an ad sale and get two sales, this will count it two

John:

times one act, click two sales.

John:

That's gonna be indicative of returning traffic.

John:

That happens quite a bit.

John:

What I mean by that is if you're counting every conversion and that

John:

conversion window is at 90 days, if you earn click on day one and you

John:

have a purchase on day 15, 45, 60, and 90, you're gonna see for sales.

John:

Is that okay?

John:

Again, it's up to your individual campaign, your individual strategy,

John:

but just know that will happen.

John:

If you count this as.

John:

You're gonna have an ad click for the first time ever to your website

John:

through Google Ads, and that ad click, let's say, converts 90 days.

John:

You count that once they convert twice, you still count it.

John:

Unless they click on your ad again.

John:

So this just denotes the one click to how many times that person can be counted

John:

as a conversion for the next 90 days.

John:

This is not a glitch.

John:

I'm interrupting the video you're watching because I need to remind

John:

you that I'm always looking for people to join our team.

John:

So if you're passionate about Google Ads and you wanna work with the best

John:

Google Ads agency on the planet, please go to so late.com/apply.

John:

Speaking of working with the best Google Ads agency on the planet, if you're

John:

having trouble with Google Ads and you want professional, That's what we do.

John:

You can go to so late.com, that's s o l eight.com to apply for your

John:

free, no obligation action plan.

John:

And if I've given you any level of value at all, maybe think about giving me a

John:

thumbs up and subscribe to our channel.

John:

That's how we juice the YouTube algorithm so they actually know

John:

that I know what I'm talking about.

John:

If you have questions, comments, concerns, or confessions,

John:

hit me blowing the comments.

John:

And now back to your regularly scheduled program.

John:

You'll start to see some oddities though in this.

John:

And what I mean by that.

John:

Is if I look at I'm just gonna go back in time and I'll share with you.

John:

So June, July, August, September, October, when I segment by the days to

John:

conversion, you'll see a bell curve here.

John:

Normally, you'll see sort of a bell curve here.

John:

And what I mean by that is when you look at the conversions and the

John:

conversion value, see how it's 86,000 and less than one day for a total.

John:

Or for 117 or 86,000 for a total conversion by time of 1 25.

John:

When you count something for 90 days and you count every conversion,

John:

you're actually giving yourself a bit more credit, which is okay as

John:

long as you're not over counting due accounting or taking too much credit.

John:

I don't think though, that if you bring a new customer and count what

John:

that customer's worth inside of Google, that's taking too much credit.

John:

Individual use cases may vary, but what you'll notice here is a bell curve, and I

John:

want everyone to understand this because this actually goes into effect and what

John:

we're gonna be talking about next of time, lag time decay, I guess I would say.

John:

And also changing around campaigns, admitting strategies and budgets.

John:

here's something that I think should be a foundational kind of

John:

core memory for everyone here.

John:

A core learning, which is the bell.

John:

it's kinda like a reverse bell curve.

John:

You have a lot of sales come in and then a lull, and then over a course

John:

of time the sales start to come back.

John:

If you only count to 30 days, you miss the second half of that bell curve.

John:

, the first bell curve is gonna be addictive of your first seven

John:

days of, conversions for the cost.

John:

That's gonna be a, about 80% of your transaction, maybe

John:

maybe 70% of your transactions.

John:

The additional 20 to 30% is gonna come later on, and you're going to be able to

John:

identify that inside of this bell curve and also a tone for that I guess in your

John:

bidding strategies and your budgets and your target CPAs and or target row assets.

John:

Here's what I mean.

John:

$86,000 out of 125,000 happened within 24 hours of the last click.

John:

What this day out here is representative of, is the last

John:

click to the Google Ads account.

John:

So it goes from 86 down to 4, 3, 2, 1, down into 640.

John:

That's 10 or 11 days out.

John:

Now what happens from 10, 11 days out to 11, 12, 13, 14, you start to see

John:

six 40 go to a thousand, and then 2000, 8,030 to 45 days, 3000 1200, 2400.

John:

Any account and e-commerce in Google that we have, I invite you to look

John:

back four months segment by days two conversion and see this bell.

John:

Nine times out of 10 it will be there unless it doesn't have a good repeat.

John:

You know, if they're one off big, expensive products, you still will

John:

see the bell curve because of delayed at delayed attribution of what they

John:

click in and then they convert.

John:

But you're gonna see that here.

John:

Now if we're counting to 30 days, my tracking stops here.

John:

, I'm missing 3, 4, 5, 6.

John:

I'm missing $7,000 out of 125,000 that goes against my

John:

ro, that goes against my C P a.

John:

I'm missing, I don't know, maybe let's call this seven

John:

sixty five seventy conversions.

John:

I'm missing all those here.

John:

So how you count and how long you count it are also going to help you

John:

identify what the actual conversion value is and how to make sure that that

John:

is adjusted for your bidding strategy.

John:

If this row as was two.

John:

Versus 2 88, what would you do?

John:

It's actually 2 88 in reality, but we're counting it's two 50 cuz

John:

you lit missed on days 30 to 90.

John:

So your CPA targets are gonna be higher because you have less conversions.

John:

Your ROAS targets is gonna be lower because you have less roas.

John:

All of this that you count is going to be directly affected on how you manage

John:

and ex and, and measure your campaigns.

John:

So just know that that time lag is a factor and that is something that should

John:

be set up before you start making large daily ad spend adjustments and targeting.

John:

that's just So I wanna make sure that everyone kind of has a good grasp on that.

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