Welcome to the help center for Search Ads 360, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the Search Ads 360 product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

Set up Floodlight tags, activities, and groups

About creating Floodlight activities

Floodlight is a system Search Ads 360 and Campaign Manager 360 use to track and report conversions. A Floodlight activity is a specific conversion you want to track, such as the completion of a purchase or a visit to a page on your site. A tag is automatically generated for each activity, and your web team installs the tag onto your site. When a visitor lands on the conversion page, the tag reports a conversion.

Options for creating Floodlight activities and installing tags

You can create Floodlight activities from Search Ads 360 or from Campaign Manager 360. The activities you create are visible in both your Search Ads 360 advertiser and the associated Campaign Manager 360 advertiser.

When you create an activity, you choose one of the following formats for the activity's tag:

Instead of installing tags directly on your site, you can add and update the tags in Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager then outputs properly formatted tags on your site as needed. Learn how to create a Floodlight activity in Search Ads 360 and use Google Tag Manager to add the tag to your site.

Best practice: include only relevant Floodlight activities

If your advertiser uses Floodlight activities to track conversions from display ads as well as search ads, some of the activities in your advertiser may only be relevant for display advertising. To reduce reporting lag time during heavy volumes, it's recommended that you use Floodlight instructions to include only Floodlight activities that are relevant to Search Ads 360. Floodlight instructions only affect reporting in Search Ads 360, so your Report Builder reports will not be affected.

Automated exclusion of non-relevant Floodlight activities

To prevent long lag times in reporting conversions during periods of heavy volume, Search Ads 360 may automatically create Floodlight instructions to exclude Action Floodlight activities that meet both of the following criteria:

  • Report a very high number of conversions
  • Not used in a bid strategy, Floodlight column, or formula column

Transaction activities will still be included, as well as Action activities that appear in a bid strategy, Floodlight column, or formula column.

To see the list of automatically excluded activities, view your advertiser's Floodlight instructions. The Changed by column for an automatically excluded activity specifies System.

As with all excluded activities, Search Ads 360 will not record conversions for these activities as long as the activities remain excluded. However, the excluded activities are available for reporting in Campaign Manager 360's Report Builder.

If you plan to start using an activity that Search Ads 360 automatically excluded, you can remove the Floodlight instruction that was created or change the instruction's Inclusion status from Exclude to Include. To ensure timely reporting of Floodlight conversions, we recommend you keep these activities excluded unless you plan to use them in Search Ads 360 reports or bid strategies. 

Before you create a Floodlight activity in Search Ads 360

Before you can create Floodlight activities in Search Ads 360, you need to create at least one Floodlight activity group. Search Ads 360 uses Floodlight activity groups to organize Floodlight activities by type and by purpose, in the same way that you use ad groups to organize ads and biddable items. Learn more about Floodlight activities and groups.

Special permissions required

To create or edit Floodlight activity groups and Floodlight activities in Search Ads 360, your Google account needs all of the following permissions:

Shared Floodlight configurations

If your advertiser is part of a shared Floodlight configuration, you can only create Floodlight activities from the parent advertiser. All of the child advertisers will have access to the Floodlight activities created in the parent.

  • In Search Ads 360, sign into the advertiser that is associated with the parent Campaign Manager 360 advertiser and create Floodlight groups and activities from there. You'll need agency manager or advertiser manager permissions for this Search Ads 360 advertiser.
  • In Campaign Manager 360 your account needs full Floodlight access and API access for the Campaign Manager 360 parent advertiser.


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