How to Track Conversions From Google AdWords


One of the most important parts of using Google AdWords is being able to track conversions accurately. After you’ve made your selection of keywords, created a compelling ad, and then implemented your Google AdWords campaign, the next step is to start tracking conversions and reviewing the results.

Google offers two valuable conversion tracking tools through the AdWords platform, but you may decide you want to simply rely on landing page hits or the number of sales generated from a particular link you used within the ad. Whatever the case may be, here are some tips for tracking conversions with Google AdWords:

First, you’ll need to embed your conversion link using JavaScript. If you are using a shopping cart or other type of setup where the buyer receives a confirmation as part of their checkout process, your best bet is to use some JavaScript code that gets sent back to the Google AdWords tracker.

This tool allows you to track the ads that clicked through and produced a complete conversion; bear in mind that this tool does not allow you to see the number of visitors to the site. Just place the few lines of code into your website, and then access your conversion tracking reports directly on the ‘Campaign Summary’ page in the Reports Center of Google AdWords.

The only requirements for installing conversion tracking on your website is that you are running approved AdWords ads on the site, and that the code snippet is placed only on your conversion page. If you’re missing either of these elements, you will not be able to generate accurate data about your AdWords campaign.

You can verify if the code is working by completing a complete conversion yourself. If you can find out exactly when a user has clicked on your ad and completed the conversion process, you can review your conversion reports within 24 hours and see the click-through on the report summary. Avoid clicking your own ads, as this is a breach of the Google AdWords terms of service contract.

If you are using PayPal or another payment checkout system, you can still track conversions by setting up your Google Adwrods conversion tracker correctly. All you need to do in this case is set up a conversion confirmation web page within PayPal; you can then insert the Google AdWords JavaScript code directly into the web page. Whenever a customer completes the PayPal or other shopping cart process, you’ll have a record of their visit, and, most importantly, the conversion.

Authors Sarah Milstein, J.D. Biersdorfer and Mathew McDonald of the book “Google: The Missing Manual”, explain that it’s also important to determine your total cost-per-conversion over any given campaign period.

This information will let you understand how much it actually costs to generate your sale; you can calculate this by using the free conversion-tracking tools and matching the number of conversions up with the total cost of your campaign for any given period of time. To calculate this, you will need to produce a summary report of keyword purchases at the end of each month and divide the number of conversions by your total costs to run the ad.