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Managing Google Ads: How to set up conversion tracking

If you want to generate traffic for your website and results for your business, then Google Ads are a great way to get started. But going through the work of creating a highly targeted ad is only effective when you can track how well it’s performing in real-time. 

Conversion tracking is a crucial way to improve the performance of your ad campaigns. Not only does it help Google and other advertising platforms find more users for your website, it shows exactly how your audience interacts with your ad and, eventually, your website.

So, it’s important to make sure you’ve set up conversion tracking before you start running Google Ads.

Setting up conversion tracking can be daunting. Luckily, you don’t need to be an HTML coding expert to reap the benefits of Google conversion tracking. 

Let’s get started.

How to set up Google Ads conversion tracking

You can find the most up-to-date instructions for setting up Google Ads conversion tracking from Google.

To get started, sign in to your Google Ads account in a new tab. 

From there, click on the Tools and Settings icon in the top right-hand corner. A drop-down menu should appear.

Click Conversions under Measurement, then click + New Conversion Action.

Now you’re ready to create your first conversion.

Google will need a little information from you here to help generate the code you’ll need. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the type of conversion you want to track. Selecting Website will be right in most cases.
  2. Then you can accept one of the suggestions Google gives you when you enter your website or click Add A Conversion Action Manually. It’s likely you won’t have tracking ability on your website, so you’ll need to select Add A Conversion Action Manually.
  3. This will take you to a set up page, where you will need to input a few more pieces of information as follows.
  4. You can select the most relevant Goal category. This drop-down menu has several conversion types as options. This is an organizational tool. When you open your Google Ads conversions settings, your conversion actions will be organized according to their category to make them easier to manage. You can also select which category or categories Google will optimize towards.
  5. You’ll then enter a conversion name. You can name your conversion action whatever you like. This name will help you identify your conversion action and distinguish it from any others you might have set up to measure other conversion actions.
  6. The conversion value tells Google how much it should prioritize a specific tag. If all your conversion tags have the same value, then they’ll receive equal priority. You can put in the value of the conversion action being measured. You can also not use a value if there isn’t one associated with a particular conversion action.
  7. Next, you’ll be asked how you want Google Ads to count your conversions. Setting it to One means you only need one conversion to add value to your business – such as a sign-up form so that duplicate submissions are not double counted. Setting it to Every counts every conversion as a value-adding one, which is what you’d want for a sales page so that every transaction is counted separately.

This is the basic information you’ll want to provide Google Ads to help you set up an effective conversion tag.

There are other settings available if you want to adjust the conversion window and attribution model. But it’s not necessary to change the default settings here.

You can now click Create and continue.

This will take you to a page with instructions on how to set up the tag and finish setting up your conversions tracking. You can either install the tag yourself or use Google Tag Manager. For beginners and new marketers, it’s best to use the Tag Manager to simplify the process.

But before you leave this instructions page, make sure to note down the Conversion ID and Conversion Label. You can find this by clicking on Use Google Tag Manager under Tag setup. You will need these during the tag set up process in Google Tag Manager.

How to set up Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager allows you to quickly update tags and code snippets on your website using an easy-to-understand interface. So, how do you set it up?

Google also provides instructions on how to set up Google Tag Manager and how to finish setting up Google Ads conversions tags through Google Tag Manager afterwards.

  1. Log into your Google Tag Manager Account.
  2. On your Google Tag Manager dashboard, click Add a new tag under New Tag.
  3. Click the Tag Configuration tab and select Google Ads Conversion Tracking.
  4. Google Tag Manager will ask you for some input, but you can find all the information on your Google Ads interface which you recorded in the previous steps.
  5. Enter the following details from your Google Ads interface:
  • Conversion ID
  • Conversion Label
  1. If you have the following details or variables available, you can also enter them. But they are not necessary to complete the set up:
  • Conversion Value
  • Order ID
  • Currency Code
  1. Then, choose where you want your tag to be applied. Selecting All Pages will trigger your tag on every page of your website. To create triggers for specific pages, click Page View and enter the URL of the pages you want Google Tag Manager to fire in.

    Usually, you would enter the URL of the page the user gets taken to when a conversion action is completed. An example of this may be the “thank you” landing page that follows once a form is submitted or a purchase has been made.
  2. Rename your trigger and tag to make it easier to manage, click Save for both and you’re all set!

Under triggering, you can also specify any other events that can trigger your tag. Some common examples include when a form is submitted, but they are not taken to another page with a unique URL, or when a contact button is clicked.For optimal tracking performance, ensure that a conversion linker is enabled. As always, Google has provided instructions for setting conversion linkers up in Google Tag Manager.