Fix discrepancies and errors in offline conversion imports

While importing conversions you receive from clicks on your ads into Google Ads, you may encounter some issues. This article explains how to fix discrepancies and errors in offline conversion imports. You can view issues with your conversion imports in your offline data diagnostics page.

Before you begin

When importing offline conversions, you may encounter one or both of the following issues:

  • Upload errors: Upload errors cause some or all of your conversions from being successfully uploaded to Google Ads. You can view upload errors in your offline conversions diagnostics page. For more details, review the common upload errors below.
  • Data discrepancies after a successful upload: After conversions are successfully uploaded, you still may not find all the uploaded conversions reflected in your conversion reporting. There are a number of reasons why conversions may not be processed and reflected in your reporting after being successfully uploaded. For more details, review data discrepancies after successful upload below.

Note: If you use file-based imports you can view your uploaded files on the Uploads page for additional details on upload errors.

How to fix common upload errors

It's common, especially when you're first setting up your conversion import process, to have errors in your uploaded conversions via API, file import, or CRM integration. We recommend all advertisers review the results of their uploads.

Note: If you use enhanced conversions for leads and you receive the error “Unknown clicks”, know that this is expected and generally can be ignored. When you use enhanced conversions for leads, you upload all your conversions, including organic conversions and those driven by other marketing channels. Only a portion of the conversions you upload will be Google-attributed, and the others will show an “Unknown click” error. Learn more about Unknown click error.

Here are common upload errors you may receive and how to fix them:

Identifiers or iOS URL parameters are too old

We only keep the GCLID for 90 days. We recommend you upload more frequently, or if your conversion happens after 90 days, upload a different offline conversion event that happens within 90 days.

You may also receive this error if the conversion is older than your specified conversion window. Learn more About conversion windows.

Wrong Google Ads account for clicks

Make sure that the account you’re uploading to has a conversion action with the name used in your uploads. If you’re uploading “Conversion A” to “Account B”, then “Conversion A” must exist in “Account B”. Furthermore, the conversion action source must be “Import from clicks”.

You can check the source in the “Conversion source” column on your “Conversions” page. If the ad click came to an account within a manager account (MCC) and you're uploading to the MCC account, ensure that the account within the MCC has cross account conversion tracking enabled.

Check permissions

If you’re using a manager account to upload conversions, make sure the account you’re uploading conversions to is linked to your manager account.

If you aren’t using a manager account, make sure your account owns the conversions you’re uploading instead of your manager account. If your manager account created the conversion action, you should use your manager account to upload it.

Unknown clicks

This means the conversion can’t be attributed to Google Ads.

This error commonly appears when using enhanced conversions for leads to upload conversions keyed by hashed, user-provided data (email or phone). If you’re using enhanced conversions for leads, this error can generally be ignored. Because you’re uploading all your conversions (including organic conversions and those driven by other marketing channels), it’s expected that only a portion of the conversions you upload will be attributed to Google Ads.

However, if all your conversions show this error or if you’re getting much fewer attributed conversions than you expect, it’s likely that there’s an issue with your implementation. Make sure you’re successfully capturing user-provided data on your website.

Conversion actions not active

No Google Ads conversion types were defined when this GCLID's click occurred. You’ll need to create at least one conversion type. To use offline conversion tracking, an “Import from Clicks'' conversion action must be created. Learn more about how to Set up offline conversion imports using Google Click ID (GCLID).

User-provided data not hashed

To avoid hashing errors, use the following guidelines:
  • Make sure there's no hash for country or zip columns.
  • Make all characters in the email addresses lowercase and remove any extra spaces before or after the email addresses.
  • All email addresses should contain an at (“@”) sign.
  • All email addresses should contain a period (“.”) followed by a top level domain, such as “.com”.
  • Email addresses shouldn’t contain spaces.
  • Email addresses shouldn’t contain consecutive dots [..].
  • Email addresses shouldn’t start or end with a period.
  • Email addresses shouldn’t contain accents (for example: è, é, ê, and ë).
  • You can use accents in the “First Name” and the “Last Name” fields.
  • Phone numbers should be formatted according to the international standard, the E.164 format.

Invalid conversion times

The offline conversion can't happen before the ad click. Add 1-2 days to your conversion time in your upload, or check that the time zone is properly set.

Click too recent

The click associated with the given identifier or iOS URL parameter occurred less than 6 hours ago, retry after 6 hours have passed.

How to fix data discrepancies after successful upload

After you’ve reviewed the “Uploads” page to confirm your conversions are successfully uploaded, you may notice that uploaded conversions are missing from your conversion reporting. You may also notice that there are other differences between your Google Ads reporting and other reporting methods. There are 3 reasons for these discrepancies:

Differences in date range and reporting date

Any attributed conversions will appear in reporting in Google Ads organized by their impression or click time. If you find a discrepancy between Google Ads and external reporting, check how your conversion data is organized in your external reporting and make sure it aligns with Google Ads. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using Google Ads conversion data reporting:
  • To report on conversions by conversion date in Google Ads, add the relevant "by conv. time" columns, such as “Conversions (by conv. time)” and “Conv. value (by conv. time)” in Google Ads.
  • Don't compare conversions by upload date to reporting in Google Ads since Google Ads doesn’t support conversions by upload date.
  • Make sure that the date range in Google Ads is wide enough to capture all the conversions you uploaded, keeping in mind that the date range corresponds to the conversion Impression or Click time.
  • Pay attention to time zone differences between your upload and the Google Ads account.

Expected conversion processing delays

You can expect a delay between a conversion being uploaded and being reported in the account due to conversion processing. Conversion processing typically takes less than 12 hours, but can take up to 72 hours if you use GBRAID and WBRAID-keyed conversions. Depending on the identifiers used, you may need to wait a few days after uploading conversions before all your successful uploads are reflected in reporting.

Conversions not processed

Conversions may not be processed after being uploaded successfully for several reasons:

  • Conversion count setting: Conversions with a count setting of “One” means only one conversion per ad interaction is counted. If multiple conversions were successfully uploaded for the same ad interaction, only one will be reported and the rest will be discarded. To check for this, add the column "Repeat Rate" on the “Conversion Summary” page in Google Ads. Then, if you notice a repeat rate is greater than one and has a count setting of "One", that means some conversions were discarded.
  • Invalid or spam conversions: Uploaded conversions go through a conversion filtering process, and any that are deemed invalid or spam are discarded.
  • Month-end freeze (if using pay for conversions): Conversions that aren't uploaded within the deadline for pay for conversion processing or billing will be discarded. This is specific to campaigns using pay for conversions. Offline conversion uploads aren't recommended when using pay for conversions.

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