Offline conversion imports FAQs

This article addresses frequently asked questions about offline conversion imports.

1. What's the best way to check if the conversions are being accurately reported in my account?

  • The best method is to use the "All conv. (by conv. time)" column to your Campaigns report and then segment the report by conversion action.
  • The "All conv. (by conv. time)" column is different from most of the other columns because it reports conversions based on the time of the conversion.
  • Since your upload file contains the "Conversion time" column, you should be able to compare your reports with the upload results file. Make sure to use the results file since some conversions may have been rejected. The “Conversion time” column reports conversion counts based on the date of the conversion.

Common errors and resolutions in offline conversion imports:

  • Error: No Google Ads conversion types were defined when this GCLID's click occurred. You’ll need to create at least one conversion type.
    • Fix: In order to use offline conversion tracking, an “Import from Clicks” or “Import from Calls” conversion action must be created. Read Set up offline conversion imports for instructions.
  • Error: We cannot find this conversion name in the target account.
    • Fix: Confirm that the click came from the account you are uploading to. If the ad click came to an account within an MCC and you are uploading to the MCC account, make sure the account within the MCC has cross account conversion tracking enabled.
  • Error: Conversion date precedes click date.
    • Fix: The offline conversion cannot happen before the ad click. Add 1-2 days to your conversion time in your upload or check time zone is properly set.
  • Error: This click is too old for its conversion to be imported.
    • Fix: We retain the GCLID for only 90 days. You’ll need to upload more frequently, or if your conversion happens after 90 days, upload an offline conversion event that happens within 90 days.
  • Error: We are still processing this click’s information, please re-upload this conversion in 12 hours.
    • Fix: Our system has not processed the click yet. It is recommended that you wait 6 hours if using scheduled upload.

2. Do I need to have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system?

Not necessarily. Any system that captures lead information can be adapted for this use. A Google spreadsheet will also work.

3. Can I import a conversion that happens a long time after the advertiser clicks?

You can upload any conversion/GCLID so long as it’s uploaded no longer than 90 days after the click.

4. Do Smart Bidding strategies work with Google Ads conversion imports?

Yes, they do, however there are two important details:

  • In order for Smart Bidding to best respond to offline conversions imports you should:
    • Upload conversions at least daily. If unable to upload on a daily basis, upload on a consistent regular basis (for example, every 2 days, or every week)
    • Upload all conversions and assign values to use Target CPA, Target ROAS or Max Conversion Value bid types
  • Consistently perform daily uploads for at at least one but up to two conversion cycles before including the conversion in the “Conversions Column”
    • Note: Smart Bidding optimizes for whichever conversion types you include in the "Conversions" column.
  • If adopting target ROAS, we recommend you include the new values in the ‘Conversions’ column and wait 6 weeks for your campaign to receive conversion values at a similar rate. We also recommend reviewing your budget settings to make sure you feel comfortable spending up to 2 times your average daily budget, while not exceeding the monthly charging limit.

5. Can I change the conversion data after it's been uploaded?

Yes, it is possible to adjust conversions and/or restate conversion values using conversion adjustments, up to 55 days from when the conversion was first recorded. Review that documentation carefully before making changes. It’s important to note that if you “retract” a conversion, it can no longer be adjusted.

6. How do I upload the data?

You can use an automated method so you do not have to manually upload conversions - automated uploads allow you to best utilize Smart Bidding by ensuring your conversion data is up to date. You can either send it automatically via Google Ads API or use our integration with Zapier or Salesforce to connect your CRM to Google Ads. If you prefer manual uploads, you can use a simple 5-column Excel/CSV template and upload it via Google Ads or MCC web interfaces. Learn more about how to Import conversions from ad clicks into Google Ads

7. I want to track several different stages of the conversion funnel (including qualified leads and closed leads). Should I include all of these in the same conversion action? Or create separate conversion actions?

It’s best practice to create a separate conversion action for each stage of the funnel. This will give you more clarity in the reporting and allow for better segmentation. Usually, you would only want to bid to one stage of the lead funnel - in order to do this the stages need to be separate conversion actions.

8. Should I track offline conversions at the Google Ads Manager Account (MCC) or child account level?

The same logic applies here as for online conversions. Where any given user can be exposed to ads from several child accounts, it is usually best practice to use MCC-level conversion tracking to avoid double-tracking conversions (for example, if you have several accounts in one country, you may want to track conversions at the country MCC level). Keep in mind that mixed-level conversion tracking is not possible. If you already have conversion tracking set up at either the child or MCC level, the offline conversion tracking should be done at the same level.

9. What happens if I upload the same conversion twice (a duplicate conversion)?

If there is a GCLID+Conversion_Name+Conversion_Time combination already in our system, your conversion will not be re-uploaded. In this case, you don't have to worry about re-uploading past conversions. If you need to upload two of the same conversions for a GCLID, just make sure that you use a unique timestamp for each.
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