We recently showed you how to set up Google retargeting ads (read here).
Google retargeting ads allow you to reconnect with website visitors who left without completing an action, such as purchasing an offer, setting up an appointment etc.
This allows you to lure back ‘lost’ visitors, be that to your own local agency site, or to a local business client of yours.
However, you don’t want to just set up your retargeting ads on Google and forget about them. Setting up retargeting ads takes time and money. You want to be sure that each of your ads is performing, so they reach your business goals.
The way you do this is by setting up Google Ads Conversion Tracking.
Conversion tracking is a free tool that tracks user actions you’ve defined after they click your ad. Conversion is defined as any user action you consider valuable, such as an appointment booked or a purchase made etc.
In this tutorial, we show you how to set up dedicated Google Adwords conversion tracking, so you can see how well your Google ads are performing.

Let’s get started with Google Ads Conversion Tracking:

First of all, go to your Google Adwords account. Click the “Tools & Settings” icon and then click on ‘Conversions’ under ‘Measurement’.

This is where you will configure your dedicated AdWords conversion tracking.
Now, let’s add a new conversion. Click on the “+Conversions” button.
This will give you a list of the different dedicated AdWords conversion tracking options.
As you can see, you have the option to track “Website” conversions, which is the most common type of AdWords conversion.
You also have the option to measure conversions for apps or phone calls, and even import conversion data from other systems.
However, for the purpose of this tutorial, we are going to cover the most common conversion that you’re likely to need, which is “Website” conversions.

Once you’ve clicked on the “Website” tab, you will see the “Category” section.
This section allows you to arrange your conversions inside the Google AdWords interface.
In this example, we’ll select “Lead” as a category, because our Ad was all about generating leads, and we want to see how many leads the ad generated.
Next, name the category (choose something relevant to your campaign). So, to go back to our example of tracking leads, let’s say our ad led to a contact form which allowed visitors to leave their email address. Therefore, we would name the category “Contact form”.

Now you have the option of assigning a dollar value for the conversion.
Using our example of lead generation, you would opt for the first option “Use the same value for each conversion” as there is no immediate monetary value from gaining a lead.
If you were measuring a real value, let’s say online transactions/purchases, you can use a symbolic dollar value, or a calculated value.

The last option is if you don’t want to use a value at all.
This option is not recommended for most conversions because a value helps you measure the impact of your ads. With this choice, the conversion value is always 0, and therefore you cannot see the how well your ads have been performing.
The next step allows you to count conversions into Google AdWords.  In our example, as you’re capturing leads, you’ll only want to count each conversion once. If somebody fills out your form several times (for example, to book an appointment) you only want to track them once, and not count them as several leads (when in fact it’s only one lead).
On the other hand, if you are measuring transactions, you’d want to set it to “Every” because you want to track each transaction, even if it’s just one person purchasing multiple items.
In the next section, you can select a “Conversion window”. 

It is possible for a visitor to fill out a form several days after interacting with your ad. What this section will do is basically instruct AdWords the length of time in which to measure between ad interaction and actual conversion.
The default is 30 days. This means AdWords will measure 30 days into history from the moment a conversion occurred.
In the next section, called “view through conversion window” you can set parameters for when someone views your ad but does not click it. This will then be reported as a “view-through conversion”. Setting this will allow you to decide how much historical data to include for the view through conversions.
There is also an option to include the conversions within the “conversions columns” inside the interface. Probably the only time you’d want un-check this is if you’re setting up tracking for a secondary objective. In this case, you might want to remove the data for these conversions.

(This selection is also used to include the conversions in automated bid strategies, such as CPC or CPA (cost per acquisition) bidding….this is rarely used in local marketing, so we will not go in to this).
In the final section, you can select an “Attribution model” for the conversions. This allows you to decide how to give credit for the conversion if someone clicks on more than one of your ads.
For example, if someone clicked through on two of your ads, the ‘last click’ attribution model would give 100% of the credit to the final ad that was clicked before the conversion occurred. You have the option of choosing between the last click, first click, linear, time decay and position based attribution models.
Once you have completed all the steps, you will be given your dedicated Google Adwords conversion tracking code, also known as the “tag“.

It’s important to distinguish this code from Google Analytics code (which you may already have on your own site, or a client’s site). The Google Analytics tracking code is placed on every page of a website. However, this “tag” or code is placed only on certain pages of the website. For example, this could be the page where visitors are redirected to after the desired action has been completed. So, to use our example of lead generation, this tag would go on the page that a visitor is redirected to after they’ve filled in the contact form with their email address.
The last step is to create an “Event Snippet”. You can choose to track conversions to a particular page (as in our example above where you want to see how many people land on a certain page after filling out the contact form), or you can track whether someone clicks a button or a link on a specific website page.
Now, all you have to do is copy and paste the snippet of code and paste it into your website / your local client’s website.
As you can see, Google ads conversion tracking is a simple yet powerful way to track and understand certain actions people are taking on your website (or a client’s website) after viewing or clicking your ad, which allows you to fine-tune your ads over time so they perform better and better, which leads to more leads and more sales!

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