Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

About conversion tracking

Conversion tracking is a free tool that shows you what happens after a customer has clicked your ad – whether they purchased a product, signed up for your newsletter, phoned your business or downloaded your app. When a customer has completed an action that you've defined as valuable, these customer actions are called conversions.

Use conversion tracking to measure your AdWords results


Why use conversion tracking

  • See which keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns are best at driving valuable customer activity.
  • Understand your return on investment (ROI) and make better informed decisions about your ad spend.
  • Use flexible bid strategies (such as target CPA, enhanced CPC and target ROAS), that automatically optimise your campaigns according to your business goals.
  • See how many customers may be interacting with your ads on one device or browser and converting on another. You can view cross-device, cross-browser and other conversion data in your “All conversions” reporting column.

How conversion tracking works

Conversion tracking starts with you creating a conversion action in your AdWords account. A conversion action is a specific customer activity that's valuable to your business. You can use conversion tracking for these sources:

  • Website actions: Purchases, sign-ups and other actions that customers complete on your website.
  • Phone calls: Calls directly from your ads, calls to a phone number on your website and clicks on a phone number on your mobile website.
  • App downloads and in-app actions: Downloads of your Android or iOS mobile apps and purchases or other activity within those apps.
  • Import: Customer activity that begins online but finishes offline, such as when a customer clicks an ad and submits a contact form online, and later signs a contract in your office.

The conversion tracking process works a little differently for each conversion source, but for each type besides offline conversions, it tends to fall into one of these categories:

  • You add a conversion tracking tag or code snippet to your website or mobile app code. When a customer clicks your ad from Google Search or selected Google Display Network sites, a temporary cookie is placed on their computer or mobile device. When they complete the action that you defined, our system recognises the cookie (through the code snippet that you added), and we record a conversion.
  • Some kinds of conversion tracking don’t require a tag. For example, to track phone calls from call extensions or call-only ads, you use a Google forwarding number to track when the call came from one of your ads, and to track details such as call duration, call start and end time and caller area code. Also, app downloads from Google Play will automatically be recorded as conversions, and no tracking code is needed.

Counting conversions

There are two important conversion tracking metrics: conversions and converted clicks. You can view both metrics in your conversion tracking reports.

  • Conversions
    For each conversion action, you can choose to count every or one conversion after each click. The "Conversions" column of your reports will display conversions within your chosen conversion window, according to your selected counting method. The "Every" setting is useful for counting every instance of sales, while "One" is used to count only one conversion when the same person has generated multiple leads. For example, one person fills in two different forms asking to be contacted about different services that you offer.
  • Converted clicks
    The "Converted clicks" column shows you the number of AdWords ad clicks resulting in one or more conversions within your chosen conversion window. Note that the converted clicks count doesn't reflect the relative value of each converting click. Clicks that lead to high-value conversions (such as multiple purchases) aren’t distinguished from those that lead to low-value conversions (such as a single newsletter sign-up). Also, you can't segment the "Converted clicks" column by conversion name, source or category, because each ad click can lead to multiple conversions. If you were to segment by conversion name, then some converted clicks could be counted more than once and your segmented converted clicks would add up to more than the total.

Find out more about these different metrics and how they affect bidding and reporting.

Security and privacy

Google's security standards are strict. Only pages containing the Google conversion code are tracked through this programme. We use data encryption and secure servers.

Privacy is also very important to Google. That's why we do the following to protect your customers' privacy:

  • Conversion tracking cookies persist for a limited time only.
  • Conversions aren't isolated: this means that you can't match conversion data to specific customers, just see overall data for ads and keywords.
  • Conversion tracking includes the option to notify customers about cookies: during the setup process, we'll help you to create a notification box for your website that lets your customers know that they're being tracked. This is known as the Google Site Stats box, which appears on your conversion page – the page that customers will see after they have completed a conversion. Google Site StatsThis notification appears only for customers who've been referred by Google to your site on the same device. When customers click it, they'll see a page explaining how we use cookies and how they can disable them. Customers will also have an opportunity to provide feedback about your website.
  • Promote a clear privacy policy: if you don't use the Google Sites Stats box, then we ask that you review your website's privacy policy to make sure that it discloses your use of tracking technology.


If you choose to use it, we recommend placing the Google Site Stats notification in the bottom right-hand corner of the conversion page, no further than a quarter of the screen away from the last line of content.

Was this article helpful?