Setup accurate and active conversion tracking

 

Google Ad Grants policy requires active and accurate conversion tracking. . Use your reliable conversion data to see what keywords, ads and campaigns are bringing you visitors that take action on your site, and optimise your account towards growing these meaningful results.

What is conversion tracking? 

Conversion tracking is a free tool that shows you what happens after someone interacts with your ads -- whether they donated, purchased something from your charity shop, called your support line, signed up for your newsletter, signed up to volunteer, or downloaded your app. When someone completes an action that you've defined as valuable, these completed actions are called conversions. 

Why is conversion tracking worth installing? 

Get the best return on your Ad Grants budget by tracking results. Benefits include: 

  • See which keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns are best at driving valuable activity.
  • Understand your return on investment (ROI) and make better informed decisions about your Ad Grants budget spend. 
  • Use Smart Bidding strategies, like Maximise Conversions, that automatically optimises your campaigns according to the goals you've set and can exceed the maximum CPC set as a program rule for manual bidding campaigns. 
  • 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.

Check if you have conversion actions and are recording conversions 

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns on the navigation panel on the left.
  3. Select date range Last 30 days on the top right.
  4. View the row at the bottom of the results table "Total: Account" and the column "Conversions". If the column "Conversions" doesn't appear, click Columns at the top of the table and add "Conversions".
  5. If there are 0 conversions for the past 30 days you must determine which of the following issues are present. 
  6. Click on the Tools icon on the top panel. Under the Measurement column click Conversions.
    1. If there are no conversion actions listed, setup conversion tracking.
    2. If there are conversion actions but under "Status" your conversion actions say:

Setup tracking if you have no conversion actions

Google Ad Grants policy requires active and accurate conversion tracking. Use your reliable conversion data to see what keywords, ads and campaigns are bringing you visitors that take action on your site, and optimise your account towards growing these meaningful results.

With Google Ads conversion tracking, you can see how effectively your ad clicks lead to valuable website visitor activity, such as donations, purchases, phone calls, app downloads, newsletter sign-ups, and more. Depending on the type of conversion you’re tracking, the setup process is different, so the first step in setting up conversion tracking is choosing your goal.

Based on the action you wish to track, skip to the relevant section below.

  • Track a monetary transaction

  • Track a new sign-up, service user, lead, form submitted, or key document download

  • Track engagement with your website content

  • Track hotline or support line phone calls

  • Track when a customer installs your app or completes an in-app action

Note

At least one of the conversion types below must be set up as described and when the account is active, must accrue at least 1 conversion per month to comply. Conversion types not listed below may be added to your account, but should be excluded from “Conversions” and use the category of ‘Other’.

 

Switch to Smart campaigns for quick and easy set-up, minimal ongoing management, and automated performance insights. You'll save time and your account will not be subject to Ad Grants’ performance and conversion tracking requirements. Follow the Google Ad Grants enrollment guide to setup your account.

Track a monetary transaction

Monetary transactions can come in many forms. Track donations received, ticket sales, sales of online charity shop goods, fee based bookings for events, services, appointments, membership growth and signups to fundraising initiatives.

Policy: Ensure all monetary transactions use the category "Purchase/Sale". 

Use Google Analytics and track transaction values

Tip

We recommend installing Google Analytics, linking the accounts, and setup goal tracking or Ecommerce to view transaction data. In addition to importing Analytics goals and transactions into Google Ads Conversion Tracking, you can also view Analytics metrics—like Bounce Rate, Avg. Session Duration, and Pages/Session—on your Google Ads Campaigns and Ad groups tabs.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account. Sign in with the same username that you used to create your Ad Grants account in Part 1.

  2. In the upper right corner, click the tool icon , and under "Measurement," click Conversions.

  3. Click the plus button .

  4. Select Import, select Google Analytics, then click Continue.

  5. Select the goal or transaction meeting the following requirements that you want to import, then click Import and continue.

    1. If you aren’t using Ecommerce, then ensure that the goal that is tracking an online transaction is a Destination goal tracking a visit to the payment confirmation page.

    2. If you direct people off your site to complete the transaction with a third party payment processor and cannot get the confirmation or value passed back, setup Event tracking on the final stage Donate or Purchase button.

    3. We recommend using Ecommerce and importing Transactions. Since Transactions should track all monetary transactions on your site, avoid importing other goals that are also tracking values along with Transactions, as this will probably lead to duplicative counting.

    4. Click Done.

Once you've imported your Analytics goals, edit them to save the following settings.

  1. Click the name of the imported goal you want to edit.

  2. In the bottom right corner, click Edit Settings.

  3. Click Category. Select "Purchase/Sale" from the dropdown for the conversion action that reports a transaction with a monetary value.

  4. Click Value. Use the setting “Use the value from Analytics” once you have accurately established value tracking in Analytics. De-select/select “Use the same currency as in Analytics.”

  5. Click Count. Select “Every,” which is best for transactions, when every conversion likely adds value for your nonprofit. “One” is best for leads, such as a sign-up form on your website, when only one conversion per ad click likely adds value for your organization.

  6. Click Conversion window. Select how long to track conversions after an ad interaction from the drop-down. 90 days is recommended to capture longer purchasing cycles, like donations.

  7. Click View-through conversion window. Select how long to track view-through conversions from the drop-down. 30 days is recommended to capture longer purchasing cycles, like donations.

  8. Click Include in “Conversions.” Select “Yes” to include tracking for monetary transactions in your "Conversions" reporting column and use this data to influence your Smart Bidding strategy.

  9. Click Attribution model and select an appropriate model. We recommend “Time decay.”

  10. Click Save for each section and Done at the bottom of the window.

Option 2) Use Google Ads conversion tracking for your website

If you don’t wish to install Google Analytics, you have the ability to process payments on your site, and can edit your site to add conversion tracking code, called a “tag,” track a visit to the purchase confirmation page using destination page tracking with Google Ads.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account. Sign in with the same username that you used to create your Ad Grants account in Part 1.

  2. In the upper right corner, click the tool icon , and under "Measurement," click Conversions.

  3. Click the plus button .

  4. Select Website.

  5. Next to “Conversion name,” enter a name for the conversion you’d like to track, such as “Once off donation,” “Monthly donation,” “Ticket purchase,” “Online store purchase.” This will help you recognize this conversion action later in conversion reports.

  6. Next to “Category,” select Purchase/Sale from the dropdown.

  7. Next to “Value,” select how to track the value of each conversion.

    • Select “Use different values for each conversion” if the total amount could be different each time the same conversion happens, e.g. if you’re tracking purchases of products or tickets with different prices. Later, when you add your conversion tracking tag, you’ll need to customize your tag to track transaction-specific values.

    • Select “Use the same value for each conversion” if you plan to setup multiple conversion actions for each transaction and each transaction tracks a specific value. For example, setup a conversion action with a value of $10 if someone donates $10 by tracking a visit to the confirmation page: www.example.com/thankyou10. In order to track a donation of $20, a second conversion action with a value of $20 should be set up to track a visit to the confirmation page: www.example.com/thankyou20.

  8. Next to “Count,” select “Every,” which is best for transactions, when every conversion likely adds value for your nonprofit. “One” is best for leads, such as a sign-up form on your website, when only one conversion per ad click likely adds value for your organization.

  9. Click Conversion window. Select how long to track conversions after an ad interaction from the drop-down. 90 days is recommended to capture longer purchasing cycles, like donations.

  10. Click View-through conversion window. Select how long to track view-through conversions from the drop-down. 30 days is recommended to capture longer purchasing cycles, like donations.

  11. Click Include in “Conversions.” Select “Yes” to include data for this important conversion action tracking monetary transactions in your "Conversions" reporting column and use it to influence your Smart Bidding strategy.

  12. Click “Attribution model” and select an appropriate model. We recommend “Time decay.”

  13. Click Create and continue.

You’ll now see a screen that shows you’ve created your conversion action. Follow the instructions in Step 2 to set up your tag. The tag must be implemented for conversion tracking to be deemed complete and your account eligible to be activated.

Option 3) If you are using a third party platform to process transactions initiated on your site (e.g. Paypal, Classy, Ticketmaster).

If you are using a third party payment processor, import those goals into Google Ads. Reach out to your processor for support, or visit our Help Center for guidance if you are using Classy, Frontstream Artez or Blackbaud Luminate.

Tracking the value of Leads

If you are tracking a lead and you are confident of the end value to your nonprofit, add that value and use the category "Purchase/Sale".  

Track a new sign-up, service user, lead, form submitted, or key document download

Track any key action taken on your site meaningful to your organisation. For example: a volunteer sign up, a service user sign up, a newsletter signup, a pledge or petition signature, an appointment booking, a request for more information, or a download of a document. Once the action is completed, the user should reach a confirmation or thank you page. Track this page using webpage tracking. If you don't have a confirmation page, track the click of the button. 

Option 1) Use Google Analytics to track a view of the confirmation page, or a click of a button

Tip

 
We recommend installing Google Analytics, linking the accounts, and setting up goal tracking to track the view of a confirmation page. Also available uniquely to Analytics, not Google Ads, is the ability to track engagement with the view of a YouTube video or click on a button with Event tracking. If importing from Analytics, you can also benefit from metrics—like Bounce Rate, Avg. Session Duration, and Pages/Session—on your Google Ads Campaigns and Ad groups tabs. 
  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account. Sign in with the same username that you used to create your Ad Grants account in Part 1.

  2. In the upper right corner, click the tool icon , and under "Measurement," click Conversions.

  3. Click the plus button .

  4. Select Import, select Google Analytics, then click Continue.

  5. Select the goal or transaction meeting the following requirements that you want to import, then click Import and continue.

    • Ensure that the goal that is tracking an online transaction is a Destination goal tracking a visit to the confirmation page.

    • If you don’t have a confirmation page, or if you direct people off your site to complete the action and can’t get the confirmation passed back, setup Event tracking and track a click on the final stage submission button. Events are user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load. Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events.

  6. Click Done.

Once you've imported your Analytics goals, edit them to save the following settings.

  1. Click the name of the imported goal you want to edit.

  2. In the bottom right corner, click Edit Settings.

  3. Next to “Category,” select Signup or Lead depending on the conversion action. Note: Don’t select Purchase/Sale unless you are tracking a valid monetary value for that action.

  4. Next to “Count,” select “One,” which is usually the best for signups and leads, when only one conversion per ad click likely adds value for your organization. In some more rare cases “Every” may be more suitable, when every conversion likely adds value for your nonprofit.

  5. Click Conversion window. Select how long to track conversions after an ad interaction from the drop-down. 90 days is recommended in many cases when that matches the time needed to convert a visitor to a supporter or service user of your nonprofit.

  6. Click View-through conversion window. Select how long to track view-through conversions from the drop-down. 30 days is recommended to capture longer conversion cycles, like for volunteer signups.

  7. Click Include in “Conversions.” Select “Yes” to include data for this important conversion action in your "Conversions" reporting column and use it to influence your Smart Bidding strategy.

  8. Click Attribution model and select an appropriate model. We recommend “Time decay.”

  9. Click Save for each section and Done at the bottom of the window.

Option 2) Use Google Ads conversion tracking for your website

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account. Sign in with the same username that you used to create your Ad Grants account in Part 1.

  2. In the upper right corner, click the tool icon , and under "Measurement," click Conversions.

  3. Click the plus button .

  4. Select Website.

  5. Next to “Conversion name,” enter a name for the conversion you’d like to track, such as “newsletter sign up.” This will help you recognize this conversion action later in conversion reports.

  6. Next to “Category,” select Lead, Signup or Other from the dropdown. Don’t select Purchase/Sale unless you are tracking a valid monetary value for that action.

  7. Next to “Value,” select how to track the value of each conversion.

    • It’s fine to select “Don't use a value.”

    • Alternatively, select “Use the same value for each conversion” if you want to use conversion values that are the same if you are tracking several conversion actions. You can capture separate values that way, say for phone calls and sign-ups. Seeing the separate values allows for useful comparisons between two different conversion actions. If you value calls at $5 and sign-ups at $20, this means you value your sign-ups four times more than calls. Other examples of actions that visitors take that could be valuable to your nonprofit: form submits, request for information on pet adoption, car donation leads, callback requests or looking up your nonprofit’s location.

    • If you wish to use the selection “Use different values for each conversion” if the total amount could be different each time the same conversion happens, then refer to section 1 “Track a monetary transaction” to setup a monetary action accurately.

  8. Next to “Count,” select “One,” which is usually the best for signups and leads, when only one conversion per ad click likely adds value for your organization. In some more rare cases “Every” may be more suitable, when every conversion likely adds value for your nonprofit.

  9. Click Conversion window. Select how long to track conversions after an ad interaction from the drop-down. 90 days is recommended in many cases when that matches the time needed to convert a visitor to a supporter or service user of your nonprofit.

  10. Click View-through conversion window. Select how long to track view-through conversions from the drop-down. 30 days is recommended to capture longer conversion cycles, like for volunteer signups.

  11. Click Include in “Conversions.” Select “Yes” to include data for this important conversion action in your "Conversions" reporting column and use it to influence your Smart Bidding strategy.

  12. Click Attribution model and select an appropriate model. We recommend “Time decay.”

  13. Click Create and continue.

You’ll now see a screen that shows you’ve created your conversion action. Follow the instructions in Step 2 to set up your tag. The tag must be implemented for conversion tracking to be deemed complete and your account eligible to be activated.

Track engagement with your website content

If you aren't yet measuring conversions, Smart Goals with Google Analytics is an easy way to use your best sessions as conversions. Smart Goals use machine learning to examine dozens of signals about your website sessions to determine which of those are most likely to result in conversions. Each session is assigned a score, with the "best" sessions being translated into Smart Goals. Some examples of the signals included in the Smart Goals model are Session duration, Pages per session, Location, Device and Browser.

To determine the best sessions, Smart Goals establishes a threshold by selecting approximately the top 5% of the traffic to your site coming from Google Ads. Once that threshold is set, Smart Goals applies it to all your website sessions.

Instructions:

  1. Enable a Smart Goal.

  2. After enabling a Smart Goal in Analytics, import it into Google Ads.

Note

To measure engagement with your online content, Smart Goals are recommended. However, if you wish to track a view of a key page that isn’t a confirmation page, ensure that you’re tracking a page that indicates the user has completed an action, and not a frequently visited page or the homepage. For instructions, follow steps under “Track a new sign-up, service user, lead, form submitted, or key document download.”

For example, if you don’t have a “Contact us” form on your site or you are unable to use Event Tracking to track a click of a “Contact Us” button, you may track a visit to the “Contact us” page that contains contact information as a conversion.

The Google Analytics goals “Pages/Screens per session” and “Duration” aren’t permitted. If you wish to use these, exclude them from “Conversions.”

Track hotline or support line phone calls

Track when someone calls you from a phone number in your ads or from a phone number on your website, or when they click your phone number on your mobile website. Learn more about phone call conversion tracking.

Instructions:

Ad Grants Requirement

Minimum 30 seconds call length

Track when a customer installs your app or completes an in-app action

Track when someone installs your app or completes an in-app action, such as a donation or signup, after clicking on your ad. Learn more about mobile app conversion tracking.

Instructions:

Tip: Track multiple kinds of conversions

Do you want to track multiple kinds of conversions from the list above? Just set up a different conversion action for each type of conversion you want to track. For example, you can set up one conversion action to track donations on your website, and another to track calls from your ads.

If you’re tracking multiple conversion actions, e.g. if you’re importing goals from Analytics and have also created Google Ads conversions, ensure that they’re not counting the same action. Use the “Include in ‘Conversions’” setting to choose which conversions to include in your “Conversions” reporting column. Learn more.

Prefer automated campaign management?

Switch to Smart campaigns for quick and easy set-up, minimal ongoing management, and automated performance insights. You'll save time and your account will not be subject to Ad Grants’ performance and conversion tracking requirements. Follow the Google Ad Grants enrollment guide to setup your account.

If your conversion action has the status ""No recent conversions", "Unverified" or "Tag inactive"

If you have been receiving enough clicks and it seems unlikely that someone hasn't completed the action, then check your conversion tracking tag. If you have no conversions because there is not enough traffic from your ads then add another goal that is slightly higher up the conversion funnel and indicates that a user is interested in converting. For example, add a newsletter signup.  
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