In a perfect world, a company places an ad, a user clicks on it, goes to the website, and buys the product right away. However, sometimes the user clicks on the ad but doesn't make a purchase on the website. Instead, they go to an offline store and make the purchase there. Tracking offline conversions in Google Ads can greatly help marketers and business owners see:
- The entire customer journey from ad click to offline store purchase, even after the user has closed the website page.
- Understand which ad campaigns and channels bring leads and customers. Identify which campaigns and channels are not effective and should be discontinued.
- Use accurate data to set up targeted advertising and attract new customers.
Learn how to set up offline conversions in Google Ads in this article.
How offline conversion tracking works
To ensure that Google Ads registers offline purchases made after clicking on an ad, the purchase data must be transmitted. Matching the user's online and offline actions requires a unique identifier, the GClientID, which is automatically assigned by the analytics system.
A user can be identified using their UserID, which is assigned to them on the site or with the help of cookies.
Algorithms collect data on visits using enabled geolocation, data on WiFi networks, and IP addresses of devices used by the user. Google then correlates ad clicks with offline actions.
How to set up offline conversions
To import data on offline events, assign a unique ID to each lead. Companies often assign an ID and transmit it automatically, such as when a user fills out a form. It's crucial to have automatic site tagging enabled, which, along with Google Ads and Google Analytics, will help you understand whether clicks on ads lead to targeted actions. Additionally, it's important to note that no more than three months should pass from the time a user clicks on an ad to purchase. Google Ads does not include information about offline conversions in its conversion statistics.
How to create an offline conversion
Go to Google Ads → Tools & Settings → Conversions.
Click the Create action-conversion button → Import.
Choose the conversions you want to import. Click Other data sources or customer interaction management systems → Track conversions by clicks or calls.
Fill in the settings in the new window that opens:
Note the name - use the same name for offline conversions in the table.
Once the conversions are complete, you need to add a hidden field for GCLID on each page where users fill out forms. This will automatically assign unique IDs to site visitors and send the data to your server. You may need the help of a developer or site administrator to add a field. You can also use the Google Task Manager.
The <input> tag should be inserted between the <form> tags, and the code itself
should be inserted before the </body> tag.
How to set up the transfer of offline conversions
There are two ways to import conversions: manually or automatically. Albato's no-code platform allows you to link any app in just 5-10 minutes and automatically transfer conversions to your CRM or Google Sheets.
To set up a manual import, choose a template that matches the type of conversion you want to import. You can find it in your Google Ads account under Goals → Conversion → Uploads.
Click the See the templates button.
Download the template you want to use.
Google has a few recommendations to help you properly transfer offline conversions:
- Don't transfer users' personal information in the file.
- Don't add your own columns to the file.
- Do not delete the Google Click ID column, as the import will not work without it.
- Do not use quotation marks in the Time Zone column.
Fill in the columns:
- Google Click ID - Google Click ID.
- Conversion Name - Conversion Name. It must match the name you entered when you created the conversion action.
- Conversion Time - Conversion Time. If it is important to specify the time zone for offline conversions, any of the last options from the list of acceptable formats will suit.
IMPORTANT: Remember to set the TimeZone value in the parameters row and/or in your Conversion Time column.
- Conversion Value (optional field) - conversion value.
- Conversion Currency (optional field) - the currency that is specified in the Conversion Value column. This field comes in handy if you can have the conversion value in different currencies.
Upload a file with conversion data to the management account at least 4-6 hours after creating the file.
In the Conversions section where you downloaded the template, navigate to the Uploads menu. Click on Select source and choose the source.
Upload the file from your computer. Check the amount of data transferred and any transfer errors.
Configure automatic import and set a schedule by selecting the source and uploading the file or granting access to it.
Optimize offline conversions in Google Ads
Using offline conversions data can enhance the effectiveness of your ads. Import data daily and analyze conversions to adjust ads and bids, optimize keywords, and improve user experience after a click.
To make informed decisions based on complete data, consider all channels through which companies interact with customers. Setting up and tracking offline conversions in Google Ads can assist with this.