How to Report on Conversion Tracking in AdWords

report on conversion tracking adwords

If you work in the paid advertising industry, reporting on conversion tracking should be like lacing your skates before a hockey game (sorry for the Canadian-ism), it’s prep work for the later goal. Reporting is instilled into advertisers’ DNA as a way to confirm whether or not orders are being placed or contact forms are submitted to justify the ROI, but somewhere along the way things have gone backwards.

Reports should help marketers see where to make improvements to generate better results, they should not stand alone as the results themselves. PPC Reports are not elementary report cards, there is no maximum grade that should justify a celebration, campaigns can constantly be improved and reports should always be the means to provide insight into what improvements should be made.

In this article, we’re going to list five simple steps that you should follow to report on conversion tracking with Google Adwords. Once reports are set up, you will be able to translate both positive and negative report data into more conversions.

How does Conversion Tracking work

For a conversion to take place, a tracking pixel is typically placed on the “Thank You” page which shows that someone successfully completed a goal on your website. Depending on your business, this can vary. If you are a B2B company, it’ll likely be a contact form being filled out. If eCommerce is your specialty, the conversion pixel will fire off when an order is placed. Phone calls, app downloads and sign-ups are also great examples of conversions.

In Google AdWords, if you’d like to know which of your keywords lead to the most clicks and conversions, the Conversion Tracking tool can help you. So let’s get started so you can stop just lacing your skates and start scoring goals!

Step 1: Determine Conversion Type to Report On

Have a brainstorming session with your colleagues to determine what the most important step someone can take while on your website. For our company, The Media Captain, a contact form being filled out is the most important. This means that we have obtained a lead and it has the potential to turn into new business. Figure out what the most important goal is for your business and your first step is to report on that data! You can even add values for how much a lead, conversion or purchase is worth.

Step 2: Create a “Thank You” Page

Conversion Tracking works by adding a single snippet of HTML and JavaScript code to your webpage (without slowing it down, of course). Specifically, this snippet is placed on the page your customers see after they complete a conversion, the “Thank you” page. If you have development skills, this will be simple to implement. If not, the project should take your developer no more than an hour to complete. It is crucial for the user to land on a “Thank You” page after a goal has been completed and to properly set up this tracking code, otherwise no leads can be recorded.

Step 3: Insert the Code onto Your Site

Within AdWords, if you were to click on “Tools” and then “Conversions” on the drop down, you will then be able to generate the HTML and JavaScript code to add to your webpage. You can then name your conversions, select the source and the code will be generated. Again, if you have development skills, paste the code between the <body></body> tags of the page you’d like to track. If not, AdWords has an option where you can send the code to your developer.

adwords conversion tracking

Step 4: Confirm Tracking Code

A good step to take is to call AdWords customer support to make sure that on your “Thank You” page, the code snippet is properly installed and is working perfectly. Another good tool to download is Tag Assistance by Google.  If you were to add this to your Chrome toolbar, this will also detect if there are any issues with your tag.

Step 5: Start Reporting

Whether you want to report using your own mechanism or would like more detailed reporting from third party vendors like Acquisio, if you follow the steps above, you’ll be able to start reporting on one of the most crucial elements of online advertising, conversion tracking. This will provide valuable insight to your business and eventually, those reports can be your springboard to real success.

Each day, one of our e-commerce clients is able to see the revenue that came in from each product and the return on investment from the different advertising campaigns. Another client, an attorney, can tell which keywords resulted in the most contact forms and phone calls from his site and he uses this information to direct more traffic to successful ads to generate more conversions.

Remember, this first step is setting up your reports, but there’s a lot that goes on between lacing your skates and scoring goals. Take those reports, analyze them and learn from them. Practice makes perfect and each report is a practice shot towards the goalie’s net.

Strive for goals, but there is nothing wrong with starting slow your rookie season in the league.

Jason Parks

Jason Parks

Jason Parks is the President and Founder of The Media Captain and Cleveland Marketing King, two digital marketing and development agencies based in Ohio. He's a VIP Contributor for and has been featured in the New York Times, Yahoo News and Search Engine Watch on digital-marketing topics. Jason's agencies have helped hundreds of businesses increase their online exposure.

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