Import conversions from ad clicks into Google Ads

Importing conversions lets you see how your online ads affect offline sales and other valuable actions. This article explains how to prepare a file to import the conversions you receive from clicks on your ads into Google Ads.

For instructions on how to import conversions from calls, read Import phone call conversions.

Before you begin

Before importing conversions, make sure you’ve followed all the instructions to set up offline conversion tracking using GCLID or set up enhanced conversions for leads.

You can import your data into Google Ads by uploading or linking to a file through the Google Ads interface, or by transmitting the data through the Google Ads API. This article explains how to import conversions by uploading or linking to a file. If you'd like to transmit the data through the Google Ads API , refer to this help article from our API Developer's Guide.

Note: Starting in June 2021, you’ll no longer be able to upload offline conversions from a client account that has opted in to using manager account-level conversion measurement. You’ll receive an error message for any conversions you're uploading using your client account, and you’ll need to go to the manager account and upload conversions from there. Refer to Changes to offline conversion uploads for client accounts.

Instructions

Follow the instructions below to prepare and import your conversions data.

Note: For Hotel campaign conversions, go to Prepare your data for import (Hotel campaigns).

1. Prepare your data for import

  1. Download a template based on the type of conversions you’d like to upload (download: Excel, CSV, or Google Sheets). You can also download templates from the Google Ads interface:
    1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
    2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon] in the upper right corner of your account.
    3. Under “Measurement”, click Conversions.
    4. In the menu on the left, click Uploads.
    5. Click the plus button .
    6. Click View templates.
    7. Select the correct template based on the method you're using: “Conversions from clicks (enhanced conversions for leads)” or “Conversions from clicks (using Google Click Identifier)”.
  2. Observe the following guidelines for uploading spreadsheets:

    If any of the conversions you import are within one day of the click, Google Ads may not be able to record them yet. As a best practice, upload an extra day's worth of data with each import. Google Ads won’t count duplicate conversions, and you’ll see an error message letting you know which conversions are duplicates. Note that previously, duplicate conversions were ignored, but did not display an error so if you frequently upload duplicates, you may see more errors than before. To determine whether a conversion is unique, Google Ads uses the conversion action name, time of conversion, and the relevant unique identifier associated with a conversion.

    Note: If you're using external attribution with your conversion import, refer to About importing externally attributed conversions below for the appropriate upload template and additional features.
    • If you’re importing conversions from clicks using Google Click ID, be sure not to remove the Google Click ID field or your import will fail.
    • Make sure your data doesn't include additional columns or any personal information, such as phone numbers and emails.
    • If you want Google Ads to import your conversions automatically on a regular schedule (refer to Step 2: Import your conversions), you need to use Google Sheets or link to a file over HTTPS or SFTP.
  3. Use one of the following formats to enter the time zone (don't enclose the time zone in quotes or other special characters):
    • Enter your time zone ID. This method is recommended to avoid errors during daylight savings time transitions. Example - Parameters:TimeZone=America/Chicago
    • Enter your GMT offset by indicating + or - and then the 4 digit time difference. (For example, New York's offset is -0500, and Berlin's is +0100). If you use Greenwich Mean Time, then simply enter +0000. Example - Parameters:TimeZone=-0500
  4. Next, add a new row for each offline conversion, filling in the columns as follows:
    • If you're importing enhanced conversions for leads:
    • If you’re importing conversions from clicks using Google Click ID:
      • Google Click ID: The GCLID that led to the offline conversion. (If you haven’t already, follow the instructions to set up offline conversion imports to learn how to get this.)
    • Conversion Name: The name of the conversion action (for example, "lead qualified" or "contract signed") that you’d like to import this conversion for. It's important that you must use the same spelling and capitalization that you did when you created this conversion action in your Google Ads account.
    • Conversion Time: The date and time that the conversion occurred. See the table below for a list of acceptable date formats (for example, MM/dd/yyyy HH:mm:ss). You can add a time zone to the conversion time by using one of the last 4 formats listed. Replace“+z” with the GMT offset by indicating + or - and then the 4 digit time difference (for example, New York's offset is -0500, and Berlin's is +0100), or replace "zzzz" with the time zone ID from the codes and format list.
    • Transaction ID (optional field): A unique identifier for each transaction such as an order confirmation number. Learn more about using a transaction ID to minimize duplicate conversions
    • Conversion Value: (optional field) A number representing the value that you place on the conversion. It could reflect a currency value, or you can choose to enter relative values (i.e. in other words, 1-10). If you leave this field blank, Google Ads will automatically apply the "conversion value" that you defined in Step 2.8 when you created your new offline conversion action.
    • Conversion Currency: (optional field) The currency in which your conversion value is provided. You'll use this if you report conversion values in more than one currency, or have multiple accounts that are billed in different currencies. Use 3-character ISO 4217 currency codes, such as USD for United States dollars, and JPY for Japanese yen.
  5. If you’re using enhanced conversions for leads with a scheduled upload, then you must hash the phone number and email fields using SHA256. Hashing is not required for a manual, one-time upload with enhanced conversions for leads.

Example: You can use the example method below to hash your data for enhanced conversions for leads using Google sheets:

  • Make a copy of the spreadsheet template.
  • In the menu bar, click Extensions and select Apps Script.
  • Click the Triggers icon.
  • Select Create new trigger.
  • In the menu, select the “autoHash” function and set event type to “On edit”
  • Click Save.

The data you enter in the email and phone number fields will be automatically hashed.

Format Examples
MM/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss aa "08/14/2012 5:01:54 PM"
MMM dd,yyyy hh:mm:ss aa "Aug 14, 2012 5:01:54 PM"
MM/dd/yyyy HH:mm:ss "08/14/2012 17:01:54"
yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss "2012-08-14 13:00:00"
yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss "2012-08-14T13:00:00"
yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss+z "2012-08-14 13:00:00+0500"
yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss+z "2012-08-14T13:00:00-0100"
yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss zzzz "2012-08-14 13:00:00 America/Los_Angeles"
yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss zzzz "2012-08-14T13:00:00 America/Los_Angeles"
Externally attributed conversions

If you use your external attribution system to attribute your conversions across multiple clicks then you will want to use external attribution with your conversion imports. Externally attributed conversion actions allow you to import fractional conversion credits for each click.

To use external attribution with your imports, make sure you select Use external attribution when you create your conversion action in Google Ads (as specified in Step 1, item 14 of these instructions). When you're ready to upload conversions with partial credit, make sure you download our conversion import template for external attribution (download: Excel, CSV, or Google Sheets). There are also a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure not to remove the column that begins with “Google Click ID”, or your import will fail.
  • Make sure your data doesn’t include additional columns or any personal information.
  • Remember to set the TimeZone value in the "Parameters" row and/or in your “Conversion Time” column. Learn more about setting up your currency and time zone
  • You need to enter the name of the attribution model you're using to assign partial conversion credit. For example, this could be “Linear” or “Data-driven”.
  • If you choose to include conversion value, it should be the partial value corresponding to the attributed conversion credit (refer to the following example below).
  • The amount you enter in the “Attributed Credit” column should be greater than zero and less than or equal to one.
  • The “Conversion Value”, and “Conversion Currency” columns are both optional.

An example of how to use the conversion import template with external attribution is when you're tracking purchases and collecting the GCLID from each customer click. It might take 3 clicks before a customer purchases a US$100 item on your website. One click might come on a Google Ads display ad, one click from another advertising network and a final click on a Google Ads search ad. If you use a linear attribution model, then your upload would look like this:

Parameters:Attribution Model = linear
Parameters:TimeZone=-0800 # Attributed credit should be between 0 and 1 # # Optional # # Optional #
Google Click ID Conversion Name Conversion Time Attributed credit Conversion Value Conversion Currency
googleclickid1 External Attribution Conversion action name 05/01/2017 3:42:01 PM 0.33 33.33 USD
googleclickid2 External Attribution Conversion action name 05/01/2017 3:42:01 PM 0.33 33.33 USD
Prepare your data for import (Hotel campaigns)

If you’re using Hotel campaigns, you need to use specific parameters for your conversions (such as a hotel ID and itinerary dates). You can download a template of required parameters (download: Excel, Google Sheets, CSV), or add the parameters to an existing template. Use the table below to understand how to format each parameter.

Column name Acceptable format Example
Google Click ID Alphanumeric string

EAIaIQobChMIlLfH1KqK9AI
VvEocAh3BowKiEAoYAyAAEgKZSPD_BwE

Conversion Name Alphanumeric string In-App Hotel Booking
Conversion Time yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss 2022-11-10 5:00:00
Conversion Value Numeric value up to 2 decimals 20
Conversion Currency ISO 4217 currency codes USD
Check-in Date

yyyy-MM-dd+z

Replace “+z” with the GMT offset by indicating "+" or "-" and then the 4 digit time difference in hh:mm format (for example, New York's offset is -05:00, and Berlin's is +01:00)

2022-12-01+05:00
Check-out Date

yyyy-MM-dd+z

Replace “+z” with the GMT offset by indicating "+" or "-" and then the 4 digit time difference in hh:mm format (for example, New York's offset is -05:00, and Berlin's is +01:00)

2022-12-04+05:00
Hotel ID Alphanumeric string Hotel123
Order ID Alphanumeric string OrderABC123

2. Import your conversions

To import your offline conversions to Google Ads, you'll need to upload your conversion file to the Google Ads account that manages your conversions. If you have cross-account conversion tracking set up, you should upload conversions at the manager account level. You can either upload a file once or create a schedule to regularly upload a file that you keep online. Follow the instructions for a one-time upload or scheduled uploads below, depending on how you want to import your conversions.

You can create a custom variable by using conversion tracking tags or uploading offline conversions.

Important: After creating a new conversion action, wait 4-6 hours, before uploading conversions for that conversion action.
One-time upload of your conversions
  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon] in the upper right corner of your account.
  3. Under “Measurement”, click Conversions.
  4. In the menu on the left, click Uploads.
  5. Click the plus button .
  6. Click the Source drop-down, and select the source of your file. You can upload a file from your computer or Google Sheets, or transfer it over HTTPS or SFTP.
  7. Based on the source you selected, choose from the options below:
    • If you selected “Upload a file” or “Google Sheets”, click Choose file to find and select the file that contains your offline conversion information.
    • If you selected HTTPS or SFTP, enter the file URL and the username and password to access the file.
      Note: If you select SFTP and get a "File not found" error, try placing a double-slash ("//") between the file path and name. For example, SFTP://sftp.mysite.com/conversions//conv.csv.
  8. Indicate if your user data is hashed or unhashed (unhashed preferred). Unhashed data will be hashed on your computer by Google before uploading the user data; hashed data indicates that you have pre-formatted your file and hashed the private user data using the SHA256 algorithm, which is the industry standard for one-way hashing.
    • Note: If you use the “hashed” method, make sure that your first-party data isn’t re-formatted before being hashed. Your first-party data should exactly match what was entered in the lead form when it was collected before being hashed.
  9. To import a file’s contents without previewing the upload results, click Apply and skip the remaining steps. To preview the upload results, click Preview. The file preview highlights the number of conversions that will be imported into your account. The preview also includes any errors in your file. You can fix the errors in your file and upload it again, or ignore the errors.
    • When the preview is ready, click Details to see some of the content from your file. The errors will be shown first.
    • To see all of your file contents, click More.
    • Click Apply file. A progress bar at the bottom of the page will notify you when the conversions in your file have finished importing. Click Details in the progress bar to see all the conversions that were imported.

You can view files that you’ve uploaded but haven’t applied, as well as files you’ve uploaded and applied. Learn more about viewing your uploaded files

Upload your conversions on a schedule

Google Ads can automatically import your conversions on a regular schedule. You’ll need to create a file with your conversions in Google Sheets or store the file online with HTTPS or SFTP. If you’re using enhanced conversions for leads, you must hash the data in your file before it is uploaded. To schedule file uploads, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon] in the upper right corner of your account.
  3. Under “Measurement”, click Conversions.
  4. In the menu on the left, click Uploads.
  5. Click Schedules along the top of the page.
  6. Click the plus button .
  7. Click the Source drop-down, and select the source of your file. You can upload a file from Google Sheets, or transfer it over HTTPS or SFTP.
  8. Based on the source you selected, choose from the options below:
    • If you selected “Google Sheets”, click Choose file to find and select the file that contains your offline conversion information.
    • If you selected HTTPS or SFTP, enter the file URL and the username and password to access the file.
      Note: If you select SFTP and get a "File not found" error, try placing a double-slash ("//") between the file path and name. For example, SFTP://sftp.mysite.com/conversions//conv.csv.
  9. Click the Frequency drop-down, and select how often you’d like your file to be imported.
  10. Click the Time drop-down, and select when your file will be imported.
  11. Click Save & preview. The preview indicates if the schedule saves successfully or if it doesn’t. A schedule might not save if Google Ads can’t reach the file source due to an incorrect username or password, or if the file isn’t formatted properly.
  12. Click OK to return to the Schedules page. The Schedules page lists all of your scheduled uploads.

    Note: If there’s a problem with your scheduled upload, then you’ll see an alert in your account and receive an email. You’ll need to check your online file to fix the problem.

  13. To change your scheduled upload, click Options under the “Actions” column and choose from the options below:
    • Click Edit to change the settings for a scheduled upload.
    • Click Pause to stop the scheduled uploads for a file.
    • Click Resume if the scheduled uploads for a file were paused and you’d like to resume the scheduled uploads.
    • Click Remove if you don’t need to upload the conversions in the file anymore.
  14. You can’t change the scheduled upload options if your Google Ads account has read-only access.

3. View your results and fix issues

It's common, especially when you're first setting up your conversion import process to have errors in your upload files. We urge every advertiser to examine the results for their uploads.

View your uploaded files

When your conversions file is uploaded, you'll see a new entry for that file on the uploads page. Note that uploading, and applying a file could take several minutes.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon] in the upper right corner of your account.
  3. Under “Measurement”, click Conversions.
  4. In the menu on the left, click Uploads.
  5. If you have any files that you’ve previewed but haven’t applied, you’ll see them in the “Pending actions” table. In the “Actions” column, click Apply to import the conversions in the file or Discard to remove the uploaded file.
  6. Below the “Pending actions” table, you’ll see a list of the files you’ve uploaded and applied. Check the following columns for more information about the files.
    • The “Status” column lets you quickly see whether the conversions in the file were imported successfully.
    • The “Results” column provides more details about the import status. If the file import failed, this column will provide a reason why it failed. This column also provides links to view the conversions that were imported and which ones weren’t due to file errors.
    • The “Actions” column provides the following links:
      • Download results: Download a copy of your uploaded file. This link appears when all the conversions in your file were imported successfully.
      • Download all: Download a copy of your uploaded file, including conversions that failed to import.
      • Download errors: Download a spreadsheet that lists the conversions from your file that failed to import, along with error messages.
      When you select any of the 3 links above, the downloaded file includes a “Results” column which confirms that a conversion was imported successfully or explains why it failed to import. These links are removed 30-60 days after your initial upload.
Fix import issues
  1. View your uploaded files and find the file that has the error.
  2. In the “Actions” column, click Download errors to download a spreadsheet that lists the conversions from your file that failed to import.
  3. Review the error messages in the “Results” column of the spreadsheet to determine why Google Ads couldn’t import your conversions.
  4. Make the necessary corrections to the spreadsheet, save it, and try uploading it again.
  5. Sometimes there might be a problem that prevents the entire file from processing. If this happens, you'll find the error message in the first row (if it's a .csv or .tsv file) or in a new "General Errors" worksheet (if it’s an Excel file).

Common errors and resolutions in offline conversion imports

No conversion types defined

No Google Ads conversion types were defined when this GCLID's click occurred. You’ll need to create at least one conversion type. In order to use offline conversion tracking, an “Import from Clicks'' conversion action must be created. Read Set up offline conversion imports.

Hashing errors

To avoid hashing errors, use the following guidelines (see sample formatting below guidelines):
  • Make sure there is 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 @ 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 finish with a period.
  • Email addresses shouldn’t contain accents (for example: è, é, ê, and ë).
  • You can use accents in “First Name” and “Last Name” fields.
  • Phone numbers should be formatted according to the international standard, E.164 format.

We cannot find this conversion name in the target account

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, ensure that the account within the MCC has cross account conversion tracking enabled.

Conversion date precedes click date

The Offline Conversion cannot 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.

This click is too old for its conversion to be imported

We retain the GCLID for only 90 days. Please upload more frequently or if your conversion happens after 90 days, upload an offline conversion event that happens within 90 days.

We are still processing this click’s information, please re-upload this conversion in 12 hours

Our system has not processed the click yet. Recommended wait is 6 hours if you are using scheduled upload.

Guidelines for importing conversions

Time your uploads

Offline conversions uploaded more than 90 days after the associated last click won't be imported into Google Ads, and this means it won't show up in your conversion statistics.

Upload multiple conversions for the same click

The same conversion won't be imported more than once. So, if you try to upload a conversion with the same combination of unique identifier (GCLID or lead form user-provided data), "ConversionName", date, and time, or duplicate conversion adjustment, it will only be counted once, and you will see an error message for any duplicate uploads.

If you want to upload multiple conversions of the same type—several offline purchase conversions, for example—for the same click, you can. Google Ads will record them as separate conversions as long as they have different times (the unique identifiers and conversion names can be identical), and provided you have your conversion counting setting set to 'every'.

It's a good idea to re-upload any conversions that occurred shortly before your last upload, just in case some of them were too recent to be processed. Google Ads needs 4-6 hours after the ad click before a conversion can be successfully uploaded. (If you upload a conversion too soon after the click, you'll see an error message that says "We're still processing this click's information, please try again after 4-6 hours.")

For example, if you upload your conversions daily, you'll want to make sure you upload all conversions from the last two days, just in case some of the conversions from two days ago weren't processed. Don't worry about double counting—Google Ads won't count the same uploaded conversion more than once. If you upload multiple conversions for the same click you’ll receive an error for each duplicate conversion.

View your imported conversions in Google Ads

It takes about 3 hours for your imported conversion statistics to show up in your Google Ads account. When they do, they'll appear in your conversions columns. You can learn about the conversions columns and how to add them to your reports in Understand your conversion tracking data. To see how performance varies by conversion action, you can segment the “Conversions” column by “Conversion action name”.

To validate whether your conversion imports are working, use the "All conv. (by conv. time)" column. Unlike the other conversion columns, this column reports total conversions by the date of the conversion because your upload file records a conversion time.

Keep in mind, the longer the delay between your clicks and your conversions (online or imported conversions), the longer you will have to wait to see the most complete conversion metrics.

Example: If you want to see conversion statistics for Monday, your clicks take 3 days to convert, and you upload your conversions nightly, then you'll have to wait until Friday morning before you can see Monday's accurate conversion statistics.

Configure your SFTP URL

"File not found. Please check that your URL, name, and/or password are correct."

If you encounter this upload error, and you've already determined that the username and password are entered correctly, then you most likely need to modify your URL to clarify if the file is located in your home directory.

Every user (for example, Jon) on an SFTP server< (for example, ftp.example.com) has a home directory (for example, /home/Jon/). Some SFTP servers assume that the file you are requesting (for example, upload.csv) will always reside somewhere within your home directory. In these cases, if you include your home directory in the URL, the FTP server will look for the file in the wrong location.

Fix upload errors

Here are a few examples of upload errors and how to solve them.

If the file is saved to your home directory (/home/Jon/)

Status URL Reason
Bad ftp.example.com/home/Jon/upload.csv This seems like the logical URL to use, but the FTP server assumes that the file is stored in your home directory. So it interprets this file path to be /home/Jon/home/Jon/
Good ftp.example.com/upload.csv Removing the path to your home directory (/home/Jon/) will eliminate the confusion.
Good ftp.example.com//home/Jon/upload.csv Placing a "//" between the domain and the file path tells the FTP server not to assume that the file is in your home directory.

If the file is saved to a directory within your home directory(/home/Jon/data/)

Status URL Reason
Bad ftp.example.com/home/Jon/data/upload.csv

Again, because the FTP server assumes that the file is stored in you home directory, it interprets this file path to be /home/Jon/home/Jon/data/

Good ftp.example.com/data/upload.csv Removing the path to your home directory (/home/Jon/) will eliminate the confusion.
Good ftp.example.com//home/Jon/upload.csv Placing a "//" between the domain and the file path tells the FTP server not to assume that the file is in your home directory.

If the file is not saved to your home directory (instead it in /foo/bar/)

Status URL Reason
Bad ftp.example.com/foo/bar/upload.csv This seems like the logical URL to use, but the FTP server assumes that the file is stored in your home directory. So it interprets this file path to be /home/Jon/foo/bar/
Good ftp.example.com//foo/bar/upload.csv Placing a "//" between the domain and the file path tells the FTP server not to assume that the file is in your home directory.

Using third-party integrations to import offline conversions

You can use third-party integration to automate conversion imports from your CRM systems by integrating your Google Ads account with Salesforce or Zapier.

Note: As an alternative to setting up a third-party integration, you can set up enhanced conversions for leads and automate the upload process using SFTP or HTTPS.

Note: Starting in June 2021, you’ll no longer be able to upload offline conversions from a Google Ads client account that has opted in to using manager account-level conversion measurement. You’ll receive an error message for any conversions you're uploading using your client account, and you’ll need to go to the manager account and upload conversions from there. Refer to Changes to offline conversion uploads for client accounts.

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