Google AdWords Conversion Tracking Setup Guide

Google AdWords Conversion Tracking

If you’ve recently setup a new Google AdWords account, one of the first things you should do before running an ad is setup conversion tracking. Basic AdWords reporting will tell you how many times your ad was clicked, but those clicks don’t guarantee that a user took the action on your site that you wanted them to take. Did they end up buying your product? Did they fill out your contact form? Did they complete your online application?

By default, Google can’t answer these questions. Enter AdWords conversion tracking. By placing a conversion tracking tag onto a page on your website, you can send this information back to Google. They will match up the people who completed a conversion on your website with those who always clicked on your AdWords ad. This provides a more complete picture of how your ads are truly performing.

Let’s take a look at how to setup AdWords conversion tracking. First, we’ll create a tracking tag in AdWords. Then, I’ll show you how to install it (on a WordPress website, and using Google Tag Manager).

If you haven’t setup an account yet, read our Google AdWords account setup guide first.

Setup AdWords Conversion Tracking

  1. Login to your account at adwords.google.com
  2. Navigate to Tools > Conversions
  3. Click the + Conversion button

Google AdWords Conversion Tracking landing page

AdWords Conversion Source

There are 4 sources available, but for most of us, we’ll be tracking website conversions.

  1. Find “Website”
  2. Click the Select button under Website

Google AdWords conversion tracking setup step 1

AdWords Conversion Tracking Settings

Now you’ll be asked to fill in some details about the conversion tracking you want to set up.

  • Name – Choose something obvious. For example, you might consider a conversion each time someone fills out your contact form. Name it “Contact Form Submission.”
  • Value – You can assign a monetary value to each conversion. This helps you track ROI more closely in your reports.
    • Each time it happens, the conversion action has the same value – If you are tracking customer acquisition, and you have defined a set value that each customer is worth, you’d choose this option, and enter a dollar amount.
    • The value of this conversion action may vary – This is helpful for ecommerce conversions, or anything where the price of each conversion could vary. If you’re selling products or different membership subscription levels, choose this option. You will need to customize your conversion tracking tag.
    • Don’t assign a value – If you’re unsure which option is right for you, choose this one. It will track conversions, just not assign any monetary value to them, which is fine for many websites.
  • Count – Choose to either count every conversion, or if multiple conversions are made off a single ad click, only count it as one conversion. I recommend leaving this set to Every.
  • Conversion window – This determines how long after an ad click you no longer want to attribute a conversion back to that ad click. I recommend leaving this at the default 30 days.
  • Category – This is for your own internal reporting. It will help you group similar conversions together.
  • Include in “Conversions” – Leave this set to Yes

Click “Save and continue.”

Google AdWords conversion tracking settings

Install Conversion Tracking Tag

There are two ways to implement the tracking tag:

  • Page load
  • Click

Page load will be the most common. After most website conversions, the user is directly to a thank you page of some kind. It could be a receipt after an online store purchase, or a thank you page after a form submission. Let’s keep that option selected.

If you need to install the tracking tag on click, that will requires additional changes to your site, and are not covered in this article.

  1. Copy the code at the bottom of the page. If you have a developer who can install it on your site for you, email him/her instructions. Otherwise, I’ll show you how to install it on your website.
  2. Click “Done”

You’ll be redirected to the “Conversion actions” page. You’re tag will have a status of “Unverified.” Don’t worry about that for now. It hasn’t been installed yet, and it could take 48 hours for Google to verify it.

Google AdWords conversion actions

Install AdWords Conversion Tracking Tag on WordPress Site

We only want to insert the tracking tag on one page—the one that signifies a conversion. We’ve created a separate thank you page that a user lands on only once they have submitted our contact form.

  1. Open your theme’s footer.php file. Preferably, you have created a child theme and will edit the child theme’s footer.php file.
  2. Locate the closing </body> tag
  3. Just above it, paste in your AdWords conversion tracking tag

By default, it would display on all pages. Now let’s add some code to only make it appear on our thank you page.

  1. In your WordPress admin, go to Pages > All Pages
  2. Click on the page you want to track, just as if you were going to edit it
  3. Your URL should look something like this:
http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1234&action=edit

The number immediately following post= is your page ID. In this example, I’m using 1234. Change that to whatever your page ID is.

Add this line before your tracking tag:

<?php if ( is_page( 1234 ) ) { ?>

Add this line after your tracking tag:

<?php } ?>

Now your entire code should look like this: (your AdWords ID and conversion label will be unique)

<?php if ( is_page( 1234 ) ) { ?>
	<!-- Google Code for Contact Form Submission Conversion Page -->
	<script type="text/javascript">
	/* <![CDATA[ */
	var google_conversion_id = 123456789;
	var google_conversion_language = "en";
	var google_conversion_format = "3";
	var google_conversion_color = "ffffff";
	var google_conversion_label = "4PJaX5LQomZQ__filPM";
	var google_remarketing_only = false;
	/* ]]> */
	</script>
	<script type="text/javascript" src="//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js">
	</script>
	<noscript>
	<div style="display:inline;">
	<img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/123456789/?label=4PJaX5LQomZQ__filPM&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0"/>
	</div>
	</noscript>
<?php } ?>

After you’ve added that code, just upload the file to your server using an FTP program.

Install AdWords Conversion Tracking Tag using Google Tag Manager

This part of the tutorial is coming soon.


If you have any questions about setting up AdWords conversion tracking on your site, please let me know in the comments.

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