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Blog / How to Optimize Google Ads Conversion Tracking With Custom Conversions

How to Optimize Google Ads Conversion Tracking With Custom Conversions

Conversion tracking is crucial for measuring the success of your campaigns. Google Ads offers powerful conversion tracking tools to help businesses understand the effectiveness of their advertising efforts. 

However, traditional conversion tracking methods may face transparency challenges, limiting your ability to gain insights and optimize campaigns effectively. This is where custom conversions come into play, offering a solution to overcome these limitations and achieve transparent analysis for potential benefits. 

In this blog, we’ll explain how you can use custom conversion tracking to report on the performance of your campaigns with greater accuracy and granularity.

What is Google Ads conversion tracking?

Google Ads conversion tracking is a feature that allows you to measure and analyze the exact actions taken by users after interacting with your ads. It tracks specific events, such as website visits, form submissions, or purchases, providing valuable data on the performance of your campaigns. 

By understanding which ads and keywords drive conversions, you can make informed decisions about where to allocate your advertising budget and optimize your campaigns for better results.

While traditional conversion tracking methods often face transparency challenges, Google Ads conversion tracking offers marketers much more information on customer behavior. For example, if you're tracking website visits as a conversion, traditional conversion tracking might not offer visibility into what actions users take once they reach your site. 

Without this valuable information that Google Ads conversion tracking provides, it can be tricky to understand the true impact of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions using traditional conversion tracking.

 

What are custom conversions?

Custom conversions within Google Ads empower you to monitor precise actions or events that resonate with your business goals, surpassing the boundaries of standard conversion types. Instead of relying solely on metrics like website visits or form submissions, you can delineate and monitor conversions according to tailored criteria, such as particular page views, scroll depths, or engagements with website elements.

For example, if you operate an eCommerce business, you could configure a custom conversion to track instances where users add products to their cart or commence the checkout process.

This heightened level of detail provides valuable insights into user behavior and the efficacy of your campaigns in stimulating desired actions. Marketers can also set parameters to monitor when website visitors complete a free trial sign-up, upgrade their subscription tier, or renew their membership.

Custom conversions are equally valuable for marketing agencies. Agency marketers can collaborate with clients to track highly specific custom conversions, like visits to a certain product page, and refine their Google Ads strategy based on which ads and landing pages are more likely to trigger these specific conversions rather than more generally tracking engagement or website visits.

Why should custom conversions matter to marketers?

In an increasingly privacy-focused digital landscape, custom conversions play a pivotal role in navigating the transition towards a cookieless world. With third-party cookies becoming obsolete and stringent data privacy regulations like GDPR shaping the online advertising ecosystem, relying solely on traditional metrics like website visits becomes insufficient. 

 

cookie-deprecation-blog-heroCustom conversions provide valuable customer insights irrespective of cookie deprecation.

 

Custom conversions offer a proactive approach, allowing advertisers to track user interactions directly tied to their business goals, irrespective of cookie limitations. This ensures continued accuracy and relevance in campaign measurement and optimization efforts, preserving the value of digital advertising strategies surrounded by evolving privacy concerns.

Navigating transparency challenges

Custom conversions play a vital role in overcoming transparency challenges in your campaign reporting by offering a more detailed picture of user behavior. Unlike traditional website metrics such as visits, custom conversions provide insights into the precise actions users take post-ad interaction. 

This level of transparency enables a thorough analysis of campaign impact and optimization opportunities, such as refining targeting parameters, enhancing ad copy relevance, or optimizing landing page design. By analyzing these more nuanced metrics, advertisers can achieve more tailored and effective campaign strategies.

 

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Google Ads offers multiple ways to map and analyze custom conversions.
 
 

Google Ads offers several products and features that enable tracking and analysis of custom conversions and offer more transparency. These include Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and the Conversion Tracking feature within Google Ads itself. By integrating these tools into your advertising strategy, you can gather detailed data on user interactions, refine targeting parameters, and optimize campaign performance based on specific conversion actions. 

Additionally, features like Google Ads' enhanced conversions and Smart Bidding algorithms leverage advanced machine learning techniques to offer even more transparency and effectiveness in driving desired outcomes.

5 steps to building an efficient custom conversions strategy

To create a successful strategy for custom conversions, you’ll need to take a systematic approach to ensure accurate tracking and optimization. 

Let’s take a look at how you can build an effective custom conversions strategy in five simple steps:

1. Define your conversion goals

Begin by clearly defining the specific actions or events that align with your business objectives. These could include product purchases, lead form submissions, content downloads, or any other key actions that indicate user engagement or progression along the conversion funnel. Consider both macro-conversions, such as completed purchases, and micro-conversions, like email sign-ups or brochure downloads, to capture various stages of the customer journey.

2. Set up custom Google Ads conversion tracking

Within your Google Ads account, navigate to the "Conversions" section and create new custom conversions based on the goals you've defined. Customize conversion settings to accurately reflect the actions you want to track, including conversion name, value, and attribution windows. Specify conversion categories and assign them to relevant campaigns to streamline data analysis and optimization efforts.

3. Implement tracking code

Once custom conversions are configured, follow Google's instructions to implement the tracking code on your website or app. Ensure proper placement of the code snippets on relevant pages to track user interactions accurately. Utilize Google Tag Manager for simplified tag management and deployment, allowing for seamless updates and modifications to tracking configurations as needed. Verify tracking implementation through Google Tag Assistant or similar debugging tools to confirm accurate data collection for your custom conversions.

4. Monitor and analyze data

Regularly monitor your Google Ads reports and custom conversion data to gain insights into campaign performance and user behavior. Adverity or similar data analytics platforms can help you streamline data aggregation, visualization, and analysis processes, enabling a comprehensive assessment of campaign effectiveness. Identify trends, patterns, and conversion drivers to optimize targeting, messaging, and budget allocation strategies. Leverage automated reporting and alerting features to stay informed of significant changes or opportunities for optimization in real time.

5. Test and refine

Continuously test and refine your custom conversions strategy to maximize performance and ROI. Experiment with different conversion actions, attribution models, and tracking methods to identify the most effective approaches for driving desired outcomes. Conduct A/B tests, multivariate tests, or incremental lift analyses to evaluate the impact of changes and iterations on conversion rates and campaign success. Incorporate learnings from testing initiatives into ongoing campaign optimization efforts to iteratively improve performance and achieve long-term growth objectives.

Conclusion

As cookie deprecation and privacy laws continue to limit the data available to marketers, optimizing Google Ads conversion tracking with custom conversions presents a sustainable solution for transparency challenges related to campaign performance tracking. 

By tracking actions tailored to your business objectives, you not only gain invaluable insights into user behavior and campaign efficiency but also empower yourself to make informed decisions that drive tangible results.

In summary, embracing the power of custom conversions not only enhances campaign transparency and performance but also future-proofs your advertising goals despite the strengthened privacy regulations and evolving consumer preferences. By leveraging custom conversions, advertisers can unlock the full potential of their digital advertising efforts and drive meaningful engagement in a cookieless world.

 

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