Complete Guide to Tracking & Importing Offline Conversions

Table of Contents:

What is Offline Conversion Tracking?

If you’re an advertiser focused on generating leads, an ad usually doesn’t lead directly to an online sale. Instead, it starts a customer down a path that ultimately leads to a sale in the offline world, such as at your office or over the phone. 

With offline conversion tracking, you can measure any desirable offline action, that happens after a customer submitted a lead form or called your business, and then import these offline conversions to Google Ads.

Why Implement Offline Conversion Tracking

  • Get a better sense of which keywords and targeting approaches, such as geography or time of day, are driving the most cost-effective sales.
  • You can use this data to optimize and fuel your Smart Bidding campaigns.
  • Most importantly, offline conversion tracking will allow you to better understand the return on investment of your Google Ads marketing efforts and to optimize for outcomes that matter the most to your business.

Before jumping into how Google Ads offline conversion tracking works, it’s important to note that you can measure

Types of Offline Conversions

Conversions resulting from an ad click.

For example, when a customer first clicks on your ad, submits a form and then converts. And

conversions resulting from phone calls.

For example, when a customer calls your business and then converts during or after the call. We’ll go through both of these options.

Benefits

Provide a comprehensive look at which keywords and targeting criteria (for example, geography or time of day) drive the most cost-effective conversions. 

Use the power of machine learning and Google Ads automated bid strategies to optimize for offline conversions.

Types of offline conversion Import

Google Ads offers 2 options to see how your Google Ads campaigns drive offline sales and leads:

Google Ads Conversion Import

Google Ads Conversion Import allows you to import conversions that you track in any other system into Google Ads. It’s the broadest option and applies to many different ways of tracking offline conversions. And it allows you to import conversions that started with an ad click or with a call from your ad.

Google Ads Conversion Import for Salesforce

Google Ads Conversion Import for Salesforce® allows you to automatically see when sales events that you track in Salesforce started with a click on an ad. It’s the best option if you use Salesforce’s Sales Cloud® to track your sales data.

How Offline Conversion Data Works

Here’s how offline conversion tracking works when measuring conversions resulting from clicks: When a potential customer clicks on an ad, Google generates a unique ID, called a Google Click ID or “GCLID”, for each click.

You’ll first have to implement a snippet of code on your website to capture this ID. Then, when the potential customer submits a lead form on your website, you’ll include the GCLID along with the other information in the form.

From there, the lead information, for example, email address and name, is passed onto and stored in a CRM, or spreadsheet, along with the GCLID. Your sales team then completes the sale or deal offline. Once complete, you upload the data to Google Ads through a spreadsheet or through a file transfer from your CRM.

If you’re using Salesforce as your CRM, there is an integration that allows you to connect Salesforce to Google Ads directly, making the offline conversion tracking process very easy to set up. For conversions that start with a phone call, you’ll need a Google forwarding number to import call conversions.

Conversions that originate from calls can be measured when the call came from a click on a mobile ad or from a manually dialed number in a desktop ad. By adding a piece of code on your website, you can also measure calls that originate from your website after an ad click.

In the case of calls, instead of tracking the GCLID, you’ll keep track of the caller’s number and the time of the call. Once a call results in a conversion, you’ll upload the conversion data, along with the caller’s number and the time of the call into Google Ads.

This will allow Google to link your uploaded offline conversion back to the relevant ad and campaign.

How to Implement Offline Conversion Tracking?

Hyperlinked here is documentation on setting up OCT. From a high level, here are the general steps for setting up OCT.

  1. Have auto-tagging enabled (all set with this)
  2. Create a Conversion Action with the action of import
  3. Create a gclid field on your form and CRM
  4. Copy and Paste JavaScript Code (part 2, step 2) on all your webpage
  5. Sync your SalesForce to Google Ads & tie your milestones to your conversion actions

After creating the gclid field in your web form, be sure the ID attribute is set to “gclid_field”. 


If your webform auto-assigns an ID attribute and it’s not modifiable, you’ll want to copy the value of that ID and paste it into our script (script image attached). 


Your script can also be stored in Google Tag Manager. This makes it easier to store the script on all your web pages. Attached are instructions (GTM_CLID.png). 


You’ll also have to create two gclid fields in your SalesForce page. Attached are the instructions (gclidSalesForce.png)


To make sure that the gclid is being captured and stored in your webform and crm, you can add “/?gclid=test123” to the end of your URL parameter. If your crm captures “test123” as the gclid value after you submit the form, you should be all set. I recommend doing several tests with different values or landing pages in this scenario.https://example.com/sign-up/?gclid=test123. 


Finally, you’ll also want to create a SF sync connection to Google Ads and tie your milestones to your conversion actions for scheduled imports. Documentation can be found here

Offline Conversion Data Best Practices

  • Import offline conversion data frequently. Google recommends doing this daily. 
  • Remember to wait at least two weeks or a full conversion cycle from click to conversion import, before turning on automated bidding.

Offline Conversion Import FAQ

What is Gclid?


Gclid stands for Google Click Identifier, is a unique tracking parameter that Google uses to transfer information between your Google Ads account and your Google Analytics or CRM.

What is Offline conversion data?

In short – If you are a B2B and receive a conversion via Google Ads. The conversion does not mean, you won a deal but initiated a prospect Journey. Once the lead is processed by the Sales team either the conversion is Qualified or Disqualified. 

Sending this offline data from CRM to Google Ads is importing offline conversion data. This enables Google Ads AI and ML to learn more about the target audience and the type of leads that convert.

One Response

  1. firtukloimutrzas April 7, 2020

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