Adwords Conversion Tracking

One of the definitions for the saying, “Shot In The Dark”, is: “An attempt that has little chance of succeeding”. You don’t ever want to start an Adwords campaign without conversion tracking setup! Without it there’s a lot of guesswork involved, plus it just makes figuring out your campaign return-on-investment much more difficult. With tracking installed Adwords will do a lot of the work and calculations for you, and you’ll know which specific keywords and keyword match type variations are performing best.

How Adwords Conversions Work

A conversion is an action you want users to take. Every campaign you run should have an ultimate goal of the user requesting your service, purchasing, downloading, or signing up for your email newsletter. Google provides you with a snippet of HTML and Javascript code that you’ll place on your website, or within your app, and it tells the Adwords platform a conversion has happened when that code is “fired”.

How To Setup Adwords Conversion Tracking

To get started login to your account and click on the link that says “tools” at the top. Then choose, “conversions”.
You’ll see a screen that looks like this:

Adwords New Conversion

Click the button that says “+ Conversion” on it, and you’ll be asked to choose which type of conversion you want to track.
Website, App Downloads, or Phone Calls. Most of you will probably want Website, but if you’re looking for app or phone conversions, you can skip ahead to those sections a little further down: App Conversion Tracking | Phone Call Conversion Tracking

So let’s click on “Website” for now then and you’ll see this screen next:

Google Adwords New Website Conversion

Currently there’s 6 parts to setting up a new website conversion:

NAME: Just pick a unique name for your conversion and hit the “done” button.

VALUE: How much is each conversion worth to you? Is it the same amount each time? If so this step is very easy for you. Just pick the first option, “Each time it happens, the conversion action has the same value”, and enter in that amount. If you don’t want to enter a value for your conversions for now then you’ll pick the third option, “Don’t assign a value”, and click the “done” button.

If you sell multiple products/services and they all have different values then instructions on how to properly track them all will vary depending on what platform and web technology your website is built with. We’ll cover most of the popular platforms further down below. First pick the option, “The value of this conversion action may vary (for instance, by purchase price)”, and enter in a default amount that Adwords should use just in case a value isn’t passed when your conversion happens. This is a backup in case of issues.

COUNT: Here you’ll be choosing how to exactly count your conversions. Do you want to know every single conversion that happens after an ad click, or do you just want to know that a certain type of conversion happened. This will depend on your business. Let’s say that you’re running ads for leads only, no sales transactions. You’ll probably just want to pick, “Unique”, here. For example, you have 3 different white papers for users to request. After clicking your ad and arriving at your website, one user requests all 3 white papers. Do you want to count that as 3 different conversions or just 1?

Or if you’re an e-commerce store and someone clicks your ad and buys 3 different items, you’d probably want to have, “All”, chosen here. It’s just a matter of how you’d like to track it.

CONVERSION WINDOWS: Two different settings here. The first one, “From ad clicks on Search or Display Network”, is how long you’d like to allow a conversion to be tracked after a user clicks on your ad, doesn’t convert right then, but comes back and does convert at a later time. The second one is, “From impressions, not clicks, of your image or rich media Display Network ads”, and this is when a user sees your ad on the Display Network, doesn’t click, but comes over to your website at a later date and converts.

CATEGORY: Quick and easy. Just pick the conversion category from the dropdown of options.

OPTIMIZATION: At times you may want to track conversions with little value in addition to conversions that do have high value to your business. For example, an email sign-up form may mean very little to your business compared to an ecommerce sale.

As you get more advanced with your campaigns, you may utilize automated bid adjustments. You’ll want Adwords to use past conversions as a guideline for looking at future opportunities for your ads. In other words let’s say you’ve gotten 5 recent conversions and those conversions came from users who all visit the same sort of websites, and they all happen to be around the same age. You can set rules that tells Adwords to search for more users who look like those recent customers. When Adwords is able to find more conversions with these settings, they’ll be listed in a column called, “(“Conv. (opt.)”)”. So with this setting you’re telling Adwords that this particular conversion should or shouldn’t be included in this column. If you’re just completely unsure with this setting just leave it included like it is by default anyway.

That does it. Hit the “save and continue” button, and next you’ll see something like the page below. This is where you’ll be provided the code that should go on your THANK YOU/CONFIRMATION PAGE ONLY. You don’t want this code on every page of your website, or every visitor will be triggering a conversion in Adwords no matter what they’re doing. This needs to go on the very last page a user sees after doing the action you want them to.

adwords conversion tag installation

You’ll either be copy/pasting this code yourself or sending it to your developer to handle. If you’re doing it yourself I try and cover many of the popular platforms and web technologies below.

**Remember: if your conversion values are different every time (dynamic conversion values) then you’ll need to modify the code given to you here. If this applies to you what needs to change is covered in each section below. Look for the platform or web technology you’re using.**

Let’s use two quick examples to help you understand when dynamic conversion values would be needed or not:

First let’s say you’ve got 3 different informational courses for sale on your website. $99, $129, and $159. It would probably be easier for you to just create 3 different thank-you pages and 3 different conversions in Adwords here. One for each price point.

But now let’s say that you have 300 different items for sale on your ecommerce store. You obviously wouldn’t create 300 different thank-you pages and 300 different conversions in Adwords here. You’d go the “dynamic conversion tracking” route in this situation.

Tracking Conversions On A Basic HTML Website

If you’ve got a really simple website built with good old fashioned HTML & CSS you’ll just need to make sure you’ve got a “Thank You” page coded up and ready to go. The Adwords code snippet just needs to be within the body tags of the page: <body></body>. Save your file and re-upload it to your server, and you’re good to go and ready to track conversions.

Tracking Conversions With WordPress

I’m willing to bet a lot of you are using WordPress to power your websites. If so you’re probably aware of how easy it is to install plugins instead of dealing with code. It’s no different with conversion tracking either. Go ahead and copy the code snippet Google provides you with and go to your “Thank You” page within your theme. Within your page editor, up at the top right corner, make sure that the “text” tab is active:

wordpress text tab

At the bottom, below your content, you can paste the code in here. Again, make sure it’s on a page that your customers see AFTER buying or signing up for something. As long as your editor is in “text” mode and not “visual” mode, then the code won’t be visible to your users.

If your conversion value changes each time (dynamic conversion values), you’ll need to edit the code snippet some. Remove what’s crossed-out here and add in what’s highlighted:

Adwords Dynamic Conversion Tracking For PHP

Once that’s done, save the page and you’re all set!

Tracking Conversions With Woocommerce

If you’re selling with Woocommerce and all products are just one price-point go ahead and install this add-on plugin here. Once it’s installed hover over “Woocommerce” in your admin panel, and then click on “settings” as seen here:

conversion tracking woocommerce

Once inside you’ll see this:

woocommerce conversion pixel

Click on the “Integration” tab up top and then you’ll paste the conversion tracking code into the “Checkout Scripts” box. If your conversions have no values or they don’t change each time, then you’re all done. Just save!

If you need dynamic conversion tracking then you can install this plugin here: which should track conversions that change in value each time.

Tracking Conversions With Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is a very popular contact form plugin for WordPress with over a million installs. If you’re using this and want to track form submissions as conversions in Adwords, just install this Contact Form 7 add-on that redirects users to a thank-you page after submitting the form. On that thank-you page is where you’d have your conversion tracking code that Adwords has provided for you.

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Tracking Conversions With Shopify

Once you’re logged into your Shopify account, find the “Settings” link in your admin panel:

shopify admin

And then you’ll need to click on the “Checkout” link:

shopify admin checkout

Once inside the checkout area scroll to “Order Processing”:

shopify adwords conversion tracking script

You’ll see a box that says, “Additional content and scripts”. This is where your Adwords conversion tracking code will go. Paste in here and save.

For those that need dynamic conversion tracking:

Within your conversion tracking code replace this: var google_conversion_value = 1; with this: if ({{ subtotal_price }}) { var google_conversion_value = {{ subtotal_price | money_without_currency }}; }.

Hit save and you’re done!

Tracking Conversions With BigCommerce

Login to your account and over in the top right-hand corner you should see this “Setup & Tools” link:

bigcommerce admin

Within the dropdown find the link that says “Conversions”:

 adwords conversion tracking

You’ll be given a box to paste your conversion tracking code into.

For dynamic conversion tracking:

Find this line in your code snippet: var google_conversion_value = 0.00; and replace it with this: var google_conversion_value = %%ORDER_AMOUNT%%;

Don’t forget to click the save button!

Tracking Conversions With MailChimp

If you’re counting Mailchimp form submissions as conversions then you need to redirect users to a custom thank-you page after doing so. Mailchimp already has a perfect guide on setting this up here.

Once you’ve got that setup, just make sure that your conversion tracking code snippet is installed on this page. After a user has signed-up or sent a submission they’ll be sent to this page and Adwords will record a conversion for you.

Adwords Conversion Tracking For Mobile Apps

First you’ll need to create a new conversion. Once logged in to your account click the “Tools” link at the top and then pick “Conversions”.

On the next screen you’ll pick “App”:

app conversion tracking

You’ll need to pick which type of app you need tracking for. Android or iOS.

App Tracking For Android

You can track your app downloads, opens, and in-app actions that happen because of your ad campaigns.

App Tracking For iOS

It’s a little harder to track your iOS apps. iOS conversion tracking is currently available only for ads that show in mobile apps on the Display Network. You can track first-opens and in-app actions.

Android downloads

1) Name Your App.
2) Give It A Value. (usually the price of the app)
3) Package Name. You can find it by looking up your app in Google Play. It’s the part of the base URL that identifies your application:


Once you’ve entered the package name, click on “View in Google Play” and make sure this takes you to your app’s page on Google Play. Click Done.

Android and iOS opens (advanced)

App open tracking starts the same as download tracking:
1) Name Your App
2) Give It A Value (usually the price of the app)
3) Package Name.
4) Postback URL (This option allows you to send conversions information back to your Android app analytics package. Enter the postback URL that your app analytics provider has given you.)
5) Click “Save and Continue”.
6) Google goes on to describe what you’ll need to do next: Select one of the two options under “Set up your tracking method.”

A) Put tracking code into the app: Select this option if you want to use the Google conversion tracking SDK to add conversion tracking code to your app.

B) Set up a server-to-server conversion feed from an app analytics package to AdWords: Select this option if you use a 3rd-party app analytics server and want to use it to track AdWords install conversions. Select whether to save the information or email it to your developer.

Android and iOS in-app actions (advanced)

1) Name Your App.
2) Give It A Value.
3) Package Name.
4) Count. (Select whether to count all or unique conversions. “All” is best for sales; “unique” is best for leads.)
5) Category.
6) Hit “Save and Continue”.
7) Choose how to setup your tracking. Place it right within the app or let Adwords know you’ll be using a 3rd-party analytics server.

How To Setup Adwords Call Tracking

Not all conversions have to be digital only. You can even count phone calls to your business as conversions too!

Login to your account and click on the “Tools” link at the top. Then choose “Conversions”, and then pick “Phone Calls” on the next screen:

adwords phone only conversions

Next you’ll need to decide your situation:

Calls from ads using call extensions or call-only ads. There’s a campaign type where you can run ads that only allow phone calls and no website visits. If that’s what you’re doing then this is the setting you’d choose. In addition to that, if you have call extensions running on your ads, (I talked about them here) you’ll also pick this option. Note: This requires a Google Forwarding Number in order to work.

Calls to a phone number on your website This option is for those of you who are sending traffic to a page on your website that lists your phone number. If you want Adwords to track phone calls once users are on your website, then you’ll be choosing this option. Note: This requires a Google Forwarding Number and some custom code in order to work. Google walks you through it in 3 parts here. Google will provide you with another code snippet to add to the area of your web page where the number is displayed. You’ll also be provided a little bit of Javascript that needs to be added to the page as well.

How To Track Link And Button Clicks As Conversions

In some situations you may need to track link or button clicks as conversions. If so you’ll setup a new website conversion as described up at the very beginning of this article. Where things change though, is after the conversion is saved and you’re given your code snippet:

adwords advanced tag settings

Click the “advanced tag link” and then choose, “Click”:

adwords conversion tracking for clicks

Now you’ll edit the page’s HTML where the button or link lives at. Open the page and you’ll paste in your Adwords code snippet somewhere within the <BODY></BODY> tags of the page. You’ll also need to add something called an “onclick” to the button or link that you want to track. Here’s a link example:

<a href="#">DOWNLOAD NOW</a>

Now here’s what that link would look like after adding the onclick:

<a onclick="goog_report_conversion ('')" href="#" >DOWNLOAD NOW</a>

Now whenever your users click on that link, a conversion will be recorded in Adwords.

Be careful with this. If this page has other traffic sources (non-Adwords traffic) going to it, Adwords will be counting their clicks as well. So make sure this page can only be accessed by your Adwords traffic.

(For you more-advanced users who want to use this method with Ajax, this conversation here should be helpful.)

That does it folks! Let us know your thoughts. Need us to cover more scenarios or web platforms? Need it done for you? Request Adwords management, or let us know on Twitter