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.
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.
- 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.
If you use DCM for display campaigns and DS for search campaigns, you can upload conversions from the DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM) API instead of using the DS API. This is the preferred solution if you use DCM and can identify conversions by cookie ID. It's important that you use either the DS API or the DCM API, but not both: conversions that you upload from both APIs are not deduplicated and may cause data discrepancies. Learn more.
Important details about uploading conversions
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.
Attribution models: only some offline conversions are included
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.
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.
Will DCM reports contain the uploaded conversions?
No. DS does not send uploaded conversions—neither conversions that you add nor conversions that you edit—to DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM). Reports that you create in DCM Report Builder will not reflect the uploaded conversions.