Upload conversions

About uploading offline conversions

Conversions for some advertisers start online and finish offline. For example, a consumer initiates research online for a purchase, clicks on an ad, and then telephones a call center to complete the purchase. Or a consumer with a smartphone taps a “call now” button in an ad and purchases an item over the telephone.

For these conversions, DoubleClick Search (DS) will automatically have data about the online portion. If you want to provide data about the offline portion—to enhance your reports, for use in automated rules, or for optimization in a bid strategy—you can use a call-tracking service that analyzes call-center traffic, attributes calls to search advertising, and automatically uploads conversions, or you can upload conversions yourself.

Integration with call-tracking services

All of the following call-tracking service providers can automatically upload conversion data to DS:

To start uploading data from these services, contact the service provider.

Options for uploading offline conversions yourself

If you use a call-tracking service that doesn’t integrate with DS, you can use any of these techniques to upload offline conversions:

  • Upload from a bulksheet:
    Enter data about conversions into a spreadsheet, and then upload the spreadsheet to DS.
    Offline conversions for social and auto track engines can only be uploaded from the DoubleClick Search Conversions API.
  • Upload from the DS API:
    If you have a computer system that maintains conversion data, you can write a program that uses the DS API (application programming interface) to automatically upload conversions. To use the API, you’ll need to work with a computer programmer who understands REST or other standard programming languages.
  • Upload from the DCM API:
    If you use DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM) for display campaigns and DS for search campaigns, you can upload conversions from the DCM API instead of the DS API. This is the preferred solution if you use DCM and can identify conversions by encrypted user ID, mobile device ID, or Google click ID. It's important that you use either the DCM API or the DS API, but not both: conversions that you upload from both APIs are not deduplicated and may cause data discrepancies.

Important details about uploading conversions from a bulksheet or the DS API

The details in this section apply only to conversions uploaded from DS bulksheets or the DS API. They do not apply to conversions uploaded from the DCM API.

Uploaded conversions ignore Floodlight lookback windows

When a user interacts with an ad, then visits a Floodlight-enabled webpage, Floodlight uses lookback windows to decide whether to include the interaction for a Floodlight activity. For example, if a user clicks one of your ads, then visits your Floodlight-enabled website 15 days later, but your lookback window for clicks is only 10 days, no activity is recorded. (You set up lookback windows in your DCM advertiser.)

However, if you attribute offline conversions to clicks or visits, the default last click attribution model ignores the Floodlight lookback window. That is, the last click model will attribute a conversion to a click or visit no matter how much time passes between the click and the conversion. Continuing the example above, if you upload a conversion for a click that occurred 15 days ago, Floodlight will count the conversion even if your lookback window is set to 10 days. To prevent unintended attributions, the best practice is to upload conversions as soon as they are available and avoid uploading conversions for clicks that occurred outside your lookback window. If you're storing click IDs in a web log, each entry in the web log will often include a timestamp. Use this timestamp to filter out clicks that occurred outside the lookback window.

DS does apply the lookback window in attribution models other than the default last click.

Uploaded conversions ignore Floodlight instructions

Floodight instructions transform the raw data recorded by a Floodlight activity, such as changing the currency of a recorded transaction. DS does not apply Floodlight instructions to uploaded conversions.

Uploading custom Floodlight variables from bulksheets not supported

You cannot specify custom Floodlight variables for conversions that you upload from a bulksheet. To upload custom data for offline conversions, use the DS conversion API.

Attribution models: only some offline conversions are included

See which types of attribution models can be applied to offline conversions

How soon can I use the uploaded data?

If you specify a conversion timestamp of today or yesterday for a conversion, metrics for the conversion will show up on the campaign management UI within an hour of the upload. If you specify a conversion timestamp that's older than yesterday, metrics will be updated in several hours.

Can I upload historical conversions?

It depends. Historical conversions are subject to a few restraints:

  • Conversions attributed to keywords, ads, product groups, or visits are forced into the last-click attribution model no matter when they're uploaded, whereas those attributed to Google click IDs (GCLIDs) are forced into this attribution model after 60 days.
  • You can't upload conversions attributed to GCLIDs if either of the following is true:
    • The conversion timestamp is older than 90 days.
    • The GCLID is older than 90 days.
  • You can't edit conversions by referencing a GCLID older than 365 days. However, you can edit conversions dating as far back as 2 years by referencing the conversion and criterion IDs.
  • You can't upload conversions where the conversion timestamp is older than 2 years.

Will DCM reports contain the uploaded conversions?

No. DS does not send conversions that you upload from bulksheets or the DS API—neither conversions that you add nor conversions that you edit—to DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM). Reports that you create in DCM Report Builder and data transfer files do not show conversions uploaded from the DS API or bulksheets.

Ready to get started?

  1. Learn about best practices for uploading offline conversions.
  2. Set up Floodlight activities for tracking offline conversions.
  3. If you're using the DS API to upload conversions, or if you want to attribute conversions to Google click IDs:
    1.  Activate the conversion API for your advertiser.
    2. Work with your webmaster to start storing the click ID.
      You'll need to store the value of the gclid parameter that DS adds to your landing page URLs each time a customer clicks an ad and visits your site. For example, set up your web logs to store this data. The value is case-sensitive, so make sure your web logs and tracking software do not change the case of the click ID.

      You can also find click IDs in the Visit external click ID or Conversion external click ID columns of the Conversions and Visits report.

  4. Use bulksheets, the DS API, or the DCM API to upload offline conversions.
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