Google AdWords

4 Types of Google AdWords Conversions You'll Want to Track

In their book Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, online advertising and Google AdWords experts Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes and Bryan Todd offer information that will help you get more clicks from Google for less money, convert more visitors to buyers, and make your online business more effective than ever. In this edited excerpt, the authors explain the benefits of tracking your ad conversions and which four conversions you might want to track.

Forecasting markets and predicting buyer behavior is near impossible. Worse still, knowing which keywords, ad groups and campaigns are bringing you the best paying customers can be an opaque black box.

Truly experienced marketers create campaigns with the understanding that nobody knows what truly works until the target audience has cast their vote. And nobody knows which advertising dollars are creating the best return until you’ve looked at the hard data.

Google gets this. Its conversion tracking tools are engineered such that you have to guess what’s working and what isn’t. The “instruments” in the AdWords interface let you measure every last bit of prospect and buyer activity in precise detail. With this in place, even the smallest business can go head-to-head against large competitors knowing exactly where their advertising dollars are having the greatest impact.

Google’s conversion tracking can break down your numbers and tell you where each conversion came from. It can even show you the journey your visitors took to find you. Most importantly, it shows you where the waste is.

For every business owner, “conversion” can refer to a variety of different actions that a prospect or customer takes. Some are more valuable than others:

  • To a blogger, it might be a visitor reading at least three posts.
  • To a service provider, it might be a visitor picking up the phone or completing a registration form.
  • To an ecommerce site owner, it might be a visitor making an online purchase of $100 or more.

Google makes it easy to track all of these. There are four essential types of conversions you’ll want to monitor.

1. Track when someone lands on a particular page. This includes the person who sees your thank-you page after completing your newsletter signup form, or the buyer who arrives at your download page after purchasing your software.

This is the most common type of conversion tracking and the most basic. It’s worth knowing how to set it up. 

2. Track when someone calls you after seeing your ad or visiting your site. According to one survey, 70 percent of mobile users at some time or another have seen an advertiser’s phone number on a Google results page and called it.

Putting your phone number in a Google ad is a strategy that works, especially if your number is “click-to-call.” Best of all, it’s easy for Google to track.

One option to setting up phone call tracking is to swap your regular phone number for a Google forwarding number. That way any time a person calls the forwarding number you get credited with a conversion, whether they saw the number in your ad or on your website.

This is only available in certain countries, but if you’re able to take advantage of this, you get access to better reporting. You can even specify to Google that only calls of a certain length will count as a conversion.

A second option is Call-on-Site. With this feature, a mobile user can see your phone number on your site and click on it to call you, and you get credited with the conversion. You keep your current phone number and Google tracks your clicks and calls. (It does require you to add a piece of code to your website.)

Either of these options is excellent. You may also want to try some third-party tracking options. Ifbyphone and Mongoose Metrics are examples of these and are popular in the U.S. There are other good call-tracking services available that you can find by searching online.

3. Track when a person downloads your software application. If your have an app on Google Play or the Apple App Store, Google can track downloads and count them as conversions. To set this up, find the URL for the download page of the app store you want to use, and make that the destination URL of your ad.

4. Track conversions that happen offline. What if your primary business model involves calling leads and closing the sale over the phone? Google now has Offline Conversion Tracking, which lets you connect sales back to your AdWords accounts.

Imagine you discovered that 80 percent of the leads who arrived from AdWords ad groups A, B and C converted to a sale, but only 5 percent of the leads who came through ad groups D, E or F ended up buying. Just think of the leverage that would give you.

With this kind of conversion tracking, you can know in advance which leads are most likely to become customers. That could save you huge amounts on your Google spend, and it could save your sales team tremendous amounts of time and effort.