How do you know if your Google Ads spend is working effectively? The answer is to track your leads and sales back to the source campaigns, ads and keywords that bought in the lead or sale. If you don’t get any leads or sales you know your campaign isn’t working.
On the face of it tracking leads and sales sounds quite simple, but it can be very challenging to implement in some situations. Generally tracking of sales leads and sales themselves can be done quite effectively with Google Analytics and/or Google Ads conversion tracking particularly if all your sales are generated online. (With recent privacy laws there are even challenges here as some users may refuse to accept cookies removing the ability to track visitors effectively over time.)
But there are some circumstances that make things even more challenging. For example, what if your Google Ads campaign generates leads not direct sales? Sales are the measure of true performance not leads. You can track the leads easily, but it is much harder to track sales especially for businesses with long sales pipes where sales happen offline. E.g. After face to face meetings that can happen weeks or months later. CRM software can help in these sitautions.
Ideally you also need to tell Google Ads about that follow up sales conversion as that conversion event is the ultimate measure of performance. You can tell Google about your conversions manually. Manual sales tracking can be a lot of work because even if you can track sales you also need to have a system to attribute those sales to a particular Google Ads campaign via the original leads unique identifier.
In more complex situations it’s historically been a case of balancing the effort (and cost) required to track leads and sales against the value of that information and the effect on the performance of the Google Ads campaign. If everything is working ok in your business and sales are being generated from the leads, why bother to track sales? It’s happy days! Also it’s a question of balancing priorities and historically implementing complex tracking systems is just too much like hard work.
However, as Google moves further towards AI based automated optimisation of Google Ads, conversion event information could become more critical to the long term success of your business and campaigns. In the future, Google Ads AI will only work effectively if your conversion tracking tracks every lead. If your competitors are tracking all their conversions and you are not, Google may see your business performance as poorer and may start to throttle your campaigns relative to the competition.
This raises a deeper and more ethical question. Do you want Google to know that much about your business performance? We suspect that the privacy concerns of individual people will be overshadowed in the future by business privacy concerns. As a business owner do you really want to reveal how well (or not) your business is performing, to Google?
Do you want help with tracking conversions and improving the performance of your Google Ads campaigns? Get in touch today.