Conversions for some advertisers start online and finish offline. For example, a consumer initiates research online for a purchase, clicks on an ad, and then telephones a call center to complete the purchase. Or a consumer with a smartphone taps a “call now” button in an ad and purchases an item over the telephone.
For these conversions, Search Ads 360 will automatically have data about the online portion. If you want to provide data about the offline portion—to enhance your reports, for use in automated rules, or for optimization in a bid strategy—you can use a call-tracking service that analyzes call-center traffic, attributes calls to search advertising, and automatically uploads conversions, or you can upload conversions yourself.
All of the following call-tracking service providers can automatically upload conversion data to Search Ads 360:
To start uploading data from these services, contact the service provider.
Options for uploading offline conversions yourself
If you use a call-tracking service that doesn’t integrate with Search Ads 360, you can use any of these techniques to upload offline conversions:
- Upload from a bulksheet:
Enter data about conversions into a spreadsheet, and then upload the spreadsheet to Search Ads 360.
Offline conversions for social and auto track engines can only be uploaded from the Search Ads 360 Conversions API.
- Upload from the Search Ads 360 API:
If you have a computer system that maintains conversion data, you can write a program that uses the Search Ads 360 API (application programming interface) to automatically upload conversions. To use the API, you’ll need to work with a computer programmer who understands REST or other standard programming languages.
Upload from the Campaign Manager API:
If you use Campaign Manager for display campaigns and Search Ads 360 for search campaigns, you can upload conversions from the Campaign Manager API instead of the Search Ads 360 API. This is the preferred solution if you use Campaign Manager and can identify conversions by encrypted user ID, mobile device ID, or Google click ID. It's important that you use either the Campaign Manager API or the Search Ads 360 API, but not both: conversions that you upload from both APIs are not deduplicated and may cause data discrepancies.
To upload conversions from any source (bulksheets, Search Ads 360 API, or Campaign Manager API), you need edit access to the advertiser in which you're uploading conversions.
In a shared Floodlight configuration, you need edit access to each child advertiser that you want to upload conversions into. You don't need access to the parent advertiser, nor do you need access to child advertisers that you're not uploading conversions into.
If you use click IDs to attribute conversions, make sure you have edit access to the advertiser that generated the click ID. If you specify a click ID from an advertiser you don't have edit access to, the upload will not succeed.
The details in this section apply only to conversions uploaded from Search Ads 360 bulksheets or the Search Ads 360 API. They do not apply to conversions uploaded from the Campaign Manager API.
When a user interacts with an ad, then visits a Floodlight-enabled webpage, Floodlight uses lookback windows to decide whether to include the interaction for a Floodlight activity. For example, if a user clicks one of your ads, then visits your Floodlight-enabled website 15 days later, but your lookback window for clicks is only 10 days, no activity is recorded. (You set up lookback windows in your Campaign Manager advertiser.)
However, if you attribute offline conversions to clicks or visits, the default last click attribution model ignores the Floodlight lookback window. That is, the last click model will attribute a conversion to a click or visit no matter how much time passes between the click and the conversion. Continuing the example above, if you upload a conversion for a click that occurred 15 days ago, Floodlight will count the conversion even if your lookback window is set to 10 days. To prevent unintended attributions, the best practice is to upload conversions as soon as they are available and avoid uploading conversions for clicks that occurred outside your lookback window. If you're storing click IDs in a web log, each entry in the web log will often include a timestamp. Use this timestamp to filter out clicks that occurred outside the lookback window.
Search Ads 360 does apply the lookback window in attribution models other than the default last click.
Uploaded conversions ignore Floodlight instructions
Floodight instructions transform the raw data recorded by a Floodlight activity, such as changing the currency of a recorded transaction. Search Ads 360 does not apply Floodlight instructions to uploaded conversions.
Uploading custom Floodlight variables from bulksheets not supported
Attribution models: only some offline conversions are included
If you specify a conversion timestamp of today or yesterday for a conversion, metrics for the conversion will show up on the campaign management UI within an hour of the upload. If you specify a conversion timestamp that's older than yesterday, metrics may be updated anywhere from 8 to 24 hours.
Can I upload historical conversions?
It depends. Historical conversions are subject to a few restraints:
- Conversions attributed to keywords, ads, product groups, or visits are forced into the last-click attribution model no matter when they're uploaded, whereas those attributed to Google click IDs (GCLIDs) are forced into this attribution model after 60 days.
- You can't upload conversions attributed to GCLIDs if either of the following is true:
- The conversion timestamp is older than 90 days.
- The GCLID is older than 90 days.
- You can't edit conversions by referencing a GCLID older than 90 days. However, you can edit conversions dating as far back as 2 years by referencing the conversion and criterion IDs.
- You can't upload conversions where the conversion timestamp is older than 2 years.
- You can't upload conversion timestamps older than 14 days for the purposes of auction-time bidding.
Will Campaign Manager reports contain the uploaded conversions?
No. Search Ads 360 does not send conversions that you upload from bulksheets or the Search Ads 360 API—neither conversions that you add nor conversions that you edit—to Campaign Manager. Reports that you create in Campaign Manager Report Builder and data transfer files do not show conversions uploaded from the Search Ads 360 API or bulksheets.
Ready to get started?
- Learn about best practices for uploading offline conversions.
- Set up Floodlight activities for tracking offline conversions.
- If you're using the Search Ads 360 API to upload conversions, or if you want to attribute conversions to Google click IDs:
- Activate the conversion API for your advertiser.
Work with your webmaster to start storing the click ID.
You'll need to store the value of the gclid parameter that Search Ads 360 adds to your landing page URLs each time a customer clicks an ad and visits your site. For example, set up your web logs to store this data. The value is case-sensitive, so make sure your web logs and tracking software do not change the case of the click ID.
You can also find click IDs in the Visit external click ID or Conversion external click ID columns of the Conversions and Visits report.
- Use bulksheets, the Search Ads 360 API, or the Campaign Manager API to upload offline conversions.