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Conversion Tracking FAQ

This article includes answers to common questions about conversion tracking. Each section includes possible solutions to issues and more information about using the tool. Read more below.  

Booking

1. Why am I not seeing check-in date or length of stay data in my conversions?

Check that the hct_date_format variable is set up properly. Do not replace $$date_format$$ with "YYYY-MM-DD", as that is not valid strftime(3) notation. Instead, use "%Y-%m-%d."

2. If a user clicks an ad for Hotel #1, but then books Hotel #2, will that show up as a conversion for Hotel #1 or Hotel #2?

The conversion will show up for Hotel #1 in the performance report, but the booking report will show a booking for Hotel #2.

3. If a user clicks an ad and doesn't book right away, but instead comes back and books later, does a conversion still get recorded?

It depends. A conversion is recorded as long as a user has clicked an ad within the lookback window (the number of days a conversion will be tracked after the ad is clicked). The default value for the lookback window is 30 days, and the most recently clicked ad is associated with the conversion. You can configure the lookback window between 1 and 30 days. For more information, contact your TAM (Technical Account Manager).

Performance reports

1. In the performance report, how do I interpret the conversion fields when there's more than 1 conversion? For example, conversions=2 and booked_length_of_stay=7. Does that mean each conversion had a booked length of stay 7?

No. The performance report is organized by click data. If there were two conversions from all the same click data (same hotel, same clicked length of stay, etc.), but one conversion had a booked length of stay 3, and another a booked length of stay 4, then this field would display booked length of stay as 7.

If we have 3 clicks and 2 conversions with all the same click data, but one conversion was for check-in date 2015-04-15 and the other is for 2015-04-17, Google has no way of knowing how to split the clicks into two rows. We no longer know the exact click that led to each conversion, so we don't display the booked hotel ID or check-in date in the performance report (we do display these in the booking report).

2. What timezone are the daily reports in?

The data in the reports is based on Pacific Central Time.

3. How long does it take for us to see conversion metrics?

After 9am PT, you should be able to see your conversions for the previous day.

4. Why do some conversions in the Performance Report have a slot of Z?

Any conversions with a "Slot Z" are considered unjoined conversions. This means that the conversions happened outside of a 24-hour window and Google's legacy pipeline was unable to join the conversion to the click. Unjoined conversions will be fixed in the future as the legacy pipeline is replaced with a real-time solution to join conversions and clicks.

Conversion tools

1. Can I do this on my own (without the tool)?

If you decide not to use the Conversion Tracking tool, you may be able to install the Google Hotel Ads Conversion Tracking snippet on your own.

Google will provide you with your "partner ID" to use in the snippet (it's provided automatically in the tool), which validates your installation after the development work is complete.

The following questions will help you determine whether you will need additional assistance from the Hotel Ads support team:

  1. Do you use a tag manager? If so, which one do you use (Floodlight, Atlas, etc.)?
  2. Will you be able to alter the JavaScript of your booking confirmation page, whether inside or outside of a tag container?
  3. Can you populate Google’s variables with the information available on your booking confirmation page?
    1. How much of the requested information is available? All of Google’s variables are optional, but the more information is provided, the more valuable Google’s conversion tracking reports will be.
    2. How does your available information map to the variables that Google is requesting?
    3. Is any of your information calculated differently depending on region (such as base_price/total_price or date_format)?
      1. If yes, can you dynamically differentiate in your JavaScript to distinguish and pass the right values into the appropriate variables?
    4. If you use an <img> version of the snippet, one of the variables should be populated with a random number to prevent the user’s browser from supplying cached information. Do you have the ability to generate a random number and populate this variable?

If possible, you should use the Conversion Tracking tool in the Hotel Ads Center to set up conversion tracking for each booking site landing page.

2. Can I set up tracking through third party tracking solutions?

Because we support dynamic creation of the deep link URL according to your format, you can paste in static values or custom values to support your tracking mechanism. Tracking can be achieved by the dynamic generation of the PointOfSale URL.

You can choose to embed the appropriate tracking tokens directly in your URLs or allow variable tokens by passing in custom values via your price feed. For more information on the variables in the Points of Sale file, see Points of Sale Files.

3. Which snippet do I use if I also have AdWords?

Use the HTML snippet, as described in Setting up conversion tracking.

Troubleshooting

1. Why am I not seeing any conversion data in the advanced debugging log?

Scroll to the right of the advanced debugging log and check the "Raw HTTP Request" column. This column contains the exact ping request that is being sent to Google and can be used for further debugging.

2. Why do the Hotel Ads Dashboard and the Conversions Tracking Tool report differing number of conversions?

There are many ways to view your conversions in our Hotel Ads Center. Different values depend on how and when the data is gathered and de-duplicated:

  • Hotel Ads Dashboard: The number of conversions reported are based on the click date of the conversion (when the user last clicked through a Hotel Ad). These conversions are de-duplicated for spam, multiple clicks, or refreshes of the booking page. The surest way to de-duplicate is to provide us an encrypted booking reference number.
  • Intelligence > Bookings Report: The number of conversions reported in this CSV file are based on the conversion booking date of the user (the user may have clicked on the ad three days earlier, but didn't book until today). These conversions are de-duplicated for spam, multiple clicks, or refreshes of the booking page. The surest way to de-duplicate is to provide us an encrypted booking reference number.
  • Conversion Tracking Tool: The number of conversions reported in the advanced debugging table of the tool are:
    1. During Setup: All conversion pings are reported for debugging purposes.
    2. Enabled Conversion Tracking: Conversions that are joined with a user click from a hotel ad are reported now.

    If multiple pages are reporting conversions during a booking flow or the user refreshes a confirmation page, these duplicate pings are still reported in the Conversion Tracking Tool. The data will be de-duped before being reported in the Hotel Ads Center or Bookings Report. The Conversion Tracking Tool discards all data for conversions after 30 days.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact Google with the contact form.

 

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