About offline conversion tracking
Importing offline conversion events gives you a more comprehensive look at which keywords and targeting criteria (for example, geography or time of day) drive the most cost-effective conversions. This data can help you to target and optimise your campaigns for increased profit.
If you attract either leads or buyers (or both) online, then you might want to record a conversion in the following cases:
- When you close a sale offline (for example, over the phone or in person) and track this sale in a customer relationship manager system
- 30 days after an online sale so that you can exclude those transactions that resulted in a return
- Only when a sale has been made to a new customer
- Only if it's a customer's second purchase
Here's a quick overview of the feature.
Types of offline conversion tracking
Google Ads offers two options to see how your Google Ads campaigns drive offline sales and leads:
- Google Ads Conversion Import allows you to import conversions that you track in any other system into Google Ads. It’s the broadest option and applies to many different ways of tracking offline conversions. And it allows you to import conversions that started with an ad click or with a call from your ad.
- Instructions: The set-up is different depending on whether you want to import conversions that start with a click on your ad or a phone call from your ad:
- Google Ads Conversion Import for Salesforce® allows you to automatically see when sales events that you track in Salesforce started with a click on an ad. It's the best option if you use Salesforce’s Sales Cloud® to track your sales data. You can find out more about the specifics for this solution in About Google Ads Conversion Import for Salesforce.
- Instructions: Import conversions from Salesforce
How it works
Offline conversion tracking works a little differently depending on whether you’re tracking conversions that start with an ad click or call from your ad.
Conversions from clicks
Google Ads provides you with a unique ID, called a "GCLID", for every click that comes to your website from an ad. To track offline conversions, you'll save that ID along with whatever lead information you collect from the person who clicked your ad.
Later, when that person "converts" in the offline world, by signing a contract, for example, you give that GCLID back to Google Ads along with a few details about the type of conversion that it was and when it happened. Then Google Ads records this conversion along with your other conversion tracking data.
You design, build and sell custom boardroom tables. You use Google Ads to drive prospective customers to your website, where they then can then submit their contact information and request a sales call. If a lead results from a click on an ad, then the lead's contact information will also include a GCLID.
Once a week, your salespeople review that week's sales and send you the prospects (and associated GCLIDs) that converted into customers, along with the date and time of each sale. You then put that data into a five-column spreadsheet and upload it into your Google Ads account. Within a few hours you'll be able to see which keywords and queries are contributing not just to new lead submissions, but, more importantly, to actual sales.
This new data saves you time and makes it easier to maximise on your investment in Google Ads.
Conversions from calls
By importing call conversion information into Google Ads, you can track which of your ads and keywords result in the most sales calls for your business.
Instead of using a click ID as with conversions from clicks, you track information about the phone calls that resulted in sales or other valuable customer actions. When you import this information into Google Ads, these conversions are matched with phone calls from your ads.
For more information about how this option works, read About importing phone call conversions.
Use automated bidding with offline conversions
You can use Google Ads automated bid strategies to optimise for offline conversions. If you do, it's a good idea to do the following:
- Import offline conversion data frequently. (Daily is best.)
- Begin uploading conversions and then wait the length of your conversion window before you turn on automated bidding.
- If you're tracking a combination of online and offline conversions, try the target ROAS bid strategy. With target ROAS, you can better optimise for online and offline conversions by assigning different values to different conversion actions, such as leads and offline sales.
Say you’re tracking leads through an online conversion action, and final sales through an offline conversion action. You can assign different values to each conversion action to reflect the value each has for your business: for example, the value of a lead is £10, and that of a sale is £500. This gives Google Ads more insight into your sales funnel. And the more insight Google Ads has into your sales funnel, the better it can optimise your bids for you.