Your 3-Step Checklist to Gaining Clarity in Google Ads

This month our marketing agency dives into the concept of clarity, the driving force behind strategic decision making in marketing and in your business overall. With so many trends, changes and best practices in the marketing industry, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of optimization. 

While optimization is great, it’s important to take a step back and consider whether or not your efforts are going towards the right metrics, and the right goals for your business.

True clarity comes from a focus on the source of a problem, not the symptoms.

If you’ve followed our blog posts in the past, you’ll notice that while we provide PPC advertising tips and SEO insights, we often circle back to the benefits of a cohesive and consistent marketing strategy. All paid, owned and earned platforms must contribute to this top-level strategy.

In the case of PPC marketing, clarity boils down to the accurate tracking of sales. Some businesses refer to this transaction as a “goal” or “lead” or “conversion” – ultimately, this is the guiding metric for all of your paid digital campaigns.

If you’ve ever been unclear about your conversion metrics (what’s a lead? Is it the same as a goal completion?) – this next section is for you!

1. Setting Up Goals via Google Analytics

Using Google Tag Manager or various other tools, your webmaster will be able to track events that occur on your website, using event “tags.” You can then add these events as a “Goal” so that you can see which platforms, channels and posts are contributing to the most goal completions.

In our experience, we recommend tracking the following two goals at the very least:

  1. Form submissions on the website
  2. Phone calls placed via a website link

Once your goal is set up, you’ll have to test it by making an actual submission on your site. Take notice of what happens, and what gets tracked as you do so. Some common pitfalls of poor conversion tracking include:

  1. Duplicate actions – are you tracking the same goal twice?
  2. Broken setup – is your goal not tracking at all?
  3. Inaccurate setup – is your goal tracking the right thing?

Making sure you have the right goals that are consistently tracking the right events, is crucial to gaining clarity from your marketing campaigns. If you have any questions on how to set up events or goals in Google Analytics – give our marketing agency a call and we can schedule an appointment on how we can help address your business’ core marketing issues.

2. Conversions vs All Conversions vs Phone Calls in Google Ads

Once your goals are set up in Google Analytics, you’ll want to import them into your Google Ads campaign. This is done by linking your Google Ads account with Google Analytics, and allowing site metrics to be imported (ask our marketing agency if you have any questions).

Once your goals are imported, you’ll be able to see which ads are driving the most leads and sales, in order to gain clarity on where your marketing spend should take place.

This is where it gets a bit tricky.

On the Google Ads interface, you’ll see the choice of 3 separate columns: Conversions, All Conversions, and Phone Calls. What do they all mean?

1. “Conversions” is comprised of all the events that matter to you – and that you only want to track once. These are your leads, sales, and booking confirmation metrics.

2. “All Conversions” include cross-device conversions, and all valuable conversion actions that are not included in the “conversions” tab. For any businesses with a Location Extension, Google may also add the following 3 conversions to the column:

  • Clicks to call: Clicks on the “Call” button on your Google business listing after an ad interaction
  • Local actions – Directions: Clicks on the “Get directions” button your Google business after an ad interaction.
  • Local actions – Website visits: Clicks on the website link on your Google business after an ad interaction.

You may also notice 3 other conversions automatically added by Google to the All Conversions tab – “Local actions – Other”, “Local actions – Orders”, or “Local actions – Menu”. These goals are generally provided only if you run a restaurant-style business.

At the time of writing there is no way to change the name of the above conversions nor is there a way to filter them out of the column data.

The “All Conversions” column allows you to track additional information that may be helpful, but does not necessarily relate to a sale. For example, if you are interested in the number of visits to a Contact Us page, this can be added to the All Conversions column for tracking purposes without artificially inflating your metrics in the Conversions column.

3. The “Phone Calls” column gives you the flexibility to choose how you want to see your data, by reporting on all the calls that your ads have generated via the Call Extension. This data is collected whether or not you’ve added this goal manually to your Conversions column.

Since many of your conversions will happen on your website (via form submission or phone call), the Phone Calls column tracks conversions that never make it through to your site. This metric tracks all the leads generated through clicks to the phone number on your ad itself, bypassing the need to visit your website.

This gives you options on how you want to track your leads, since this data is collected independently of your goals.

You can either set up “Conversions” column as “every single lead generated through this campaign” OR “every lead generated only on the website.”

And there you have it – the 3 most common “conversion” columns in Google Ads, demystified for your ease of understanding. There are so many exciting and insightful ways to view and understand your data!

3. Success comes from clarity

With accurate conversion metrics, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of how your business is performing by channel, time period, campaign, and much more. At the end of the day, clarity is understanding what matters to your business. 

“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” – Steve Maraboli

Since Cucumber Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency, we’re able to build clarity into all of your digital marketing campaigns. Your website, social media feeds, content, newsletter, and more will be created by our team in beautiful BC to send a clear and solitary message. 

Did this article provide a fresh perspective? 

Did this article strike a chord with what’s going on in your organization? Do give us a shout at 604.559.7509 and set up a discovery meeting. We would love to see if we can help.

Or, stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver⏤we always have chocolate!