About conversion tracking

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

This article explains the benefits of conversion tracking, how it works and our security and privacy standards. For setup instructions, see Set up conversion tracking.

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 Smart Bidding 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 Google Ads account. A conversion action is a specific customer activity that's valuable to your business. You can use conversion tracking to track the following kinds of actions:

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 on your ad from Google Search or selected Google Display Network sites, or when they view your video ad, 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 and in-app purchases from Google Play and local actions will automatically be recorded as conversions, and no tracking code is needed.

Once you’ve set up conversion tracking, you can see data on conversions for your campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords. Viewing this data in your reports can help you understand how your advertising helps you achieve important goals for your business.

Security and privacy for website tracking

Google has strict security standards, and uses a combination of data encryption and secure servers for data protection.

Please ensure that you're providing users with clear and comprehensive information about the data that you collect on your website(s), and that you're getting consent for that collection where legally required.

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