Import conversions from ad clicks into Google Ads using files (legacy)

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

You can also use third-party integrations to automate conversion imports from your CRM systems by integrating your Google Ads account with:

Learn more about how to Import phone call conversions.

Before you begin

Before importing conversions, make sure that 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, by using a CRM integration or by transmitting the data through the Google Ads API. This article explains how to import conversions by uploading or linking to a file and using a CRM integration. If you'd like to transmit the data through the Google Ads API, refer to the Conversion management section of 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 that you're uploading using your client account, and you’ll need to go to the manager account and upload conversions from there. Learn more about the Changes to offline conversion uploads from client accounts.

Instructions

Follow the instructions below to prepare and import your conversion 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 that you’d like to upload (download: Excel, CSV, Google Sheets or enhanced conversions for leads spreadsheets). You can also download templates from the Google Ads interface:
    Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the 'Appearance' icon and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
    1. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
    2. Click the Conversions drop-down in the section menu.
    3. Click Uploads.
    4. Click the plus button .
    5. Click View templates.
    6. Select the correct template based on the method that you're using: 'Conversions from clicks (enhanced conversions for leads)' or 'Conversions from clicks (using Google Click ID)'.
  2. Observe the following guidelines for uploading spreadsheets:

    If any of the conversions that 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 receive an error message letting you know which conversions are duplicates. Note that previously, duplicate conversions were ignored but didn't display an error, so if you frequently upload duplicates, you may notice 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 (GCLID), don't remove the Google Click ID field or your import will fail.
    • Make sure that 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 four-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. Add a new row for each offline conversion, and fill in the columns as follows:
    • If you're importing enhanced conversions for leads:
      • Email or phone number collected from your lead form: You must include either of the fields from your website lead form that you previously configured in global site tag or Google Tag Manager. We recommend using email. Learn more about how to Set up enhanced conversions for leads with the Google tag.
    • If you’re importing conversions from clicks using Google Click ID:
    • 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 capitalisation that you did when you created this conversion action in your Google Ads account.
    • Conversion Time: The date and time that the conversion occurred. Check 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 four formats listed. Replace '+z' with the GMT offset by indicating + or – and then the four-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.
    • Order ID (optional field): A unique identifier for each transaction, such as an order confirmation number. Learn more about how to Use a transaction ID to minimise 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 (for example, 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 the 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 isn't 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:

  1. Make a copy of the spreadsheet template.
  2. In the menu bar, click Extensions and select Apps Script.
  3. On the left panel, click Triggers.
  4. Select either create a new trigger or + Add trigger.
  5. In the menu, select the 'autoHash' function and set the event type to 'On edit'.
  6. Click Save.

The data that 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 England/London'
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'll 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 Part 1, step 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 bear in mind:

  • Don't remove the column that begins with 'Google Click ID', or your import will fail.
  • Make sure that your data doesn’t include additional columns or any personal information.
  • Remember to set the time zone value in the 'Parameters' row, the 'Conversion Time' column or both. Learn more About your language, number format, time zone and currency settings.
  • You need to enter the name of the attribution model that 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 example below).
  • The amount that 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 three clicks before a customer purchases a £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 01/05/2017 3:42:01 p.m. 0.33 33.33 GBP
googleclickid2 External Attribution Conversion action name 01/05/2017 3:42:01 p.m. 0.33 33.33 GBP
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: ExcelCSV), 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 two decimals 20
Conversion Currency ISO 4217 currency codes GBP
Check-in date

yyyy-MM-dd+z

Replace '+z' with the GMT offset by indicating '+' or '-' and then the four-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 four-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 below for a one-time upload or scheduled uploads, depending on how you want to import your conversions.

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

After creating a new conversion action, wait for four to six hours before uploading conversions for that conversion action.
One-time upload of your conversions
Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the 'Appearance' icon and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
  2. Click the Conversions drop-down in the section menu.
  3. Click Uploads.
  4. Click the plus button .
  5. In the 'Source' drop-down, select the source of your file. You can upload a file from your computer or Google Sheets, or transfer it over HTTPS or SFTP.
  6. Based on the source that 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.
  7. 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've 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.
  8. To import a file’s content 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 errors (if any) 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 view some of the content from your file. The errors (if any) will be shown first.
    • To view 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 view all the conversions that were imported.

You can view files that you’ve uploaded but haven’t applied, and files that you’ve uploaded and applied. Learn more about how to View 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's uploaded. To schedule file uploads, follow these steps:

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the 'Appearance' icon and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
  2. Click the Conversions drop-down in the section menu.
  3. Click Uploads.
  4. Click Schedules along the top of the page.
  5. Click the plus button .
  6. In the 'Source' drop-down, select the source of your file. You can upload a file from Google Sheets or transfer it over HTTPS or SFTP.
  7. Based on the source that you selected, choose from the options below:
    • If you selected 'Google Sheets', click Link an existing Google Sheet 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. Click the Frequency drop-down, then select how often you’d like your file to be imported.
  9. Click the Time drop-down, then select when your file will be imported.
  10. Click Save and preview. The preview indicates if the schedule saves successfully or not. 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.
  11. 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 notice an alert in your account and receive an email. You’ll need to check your online file to fix the problem.
  12. 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.

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. Learn more about how to Fix discrepancies and errors in offline conversion imports.

View your uploaded files

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

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the 'Appearance' icon and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
  2. Click the Conversions drop-down in the section menu.
  3. Click Uploads.
  4. If you have any files that you’ve previewed but haven’t applied, you’ll find 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.
  5. Below the 'Pending actions' table, you’ll notice a list of the files that you’ve uploaded and applied. Check the following columns for more information about the files.
    • The 'Status' column lets you quickly view 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 three 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 being processed. 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).

Guidelines for importing conversions

Time your uploads

Offline conversions that were uploaded more than 90 days after the associated last click won't be imported into Google Ads and, therefore, 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'll only be counted once, and you'll receive 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'.

Tip: If you happen to re-upload previously uploaded events, Google will automatically remove any duplicates in your data to avoid double-counting.

View your imported conversions in Google Ads

It takes about three 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 view 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.

Bear in mind, the longer the delay between your clicks and your conversions (online or imported conversions), the longer you'll have to wait to view the most complete conversion metrics.

Example

If you want to view conversion statistics for Monday, your clicks take three days to convert, and you upload your conversions nightly, then you'll have to wait until Friday morning before you can view 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 that you're 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 double-hash ('//') 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 double-hash ('//') 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 isn't 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 double-hash ('//') between the domain and the file path tells the FTP server not to assume that the file is in your home directory.

Related links

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
6899877437641572293
true
Search Help Centre
true
true
true