Published On: September 29, 20237 min readCategories: SEM
3 Reasons Your Google Ads Are Not Tracking Conversion Tracking Accurately
In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, growth begins with precise measurement. It’s like setting sail on a ship—your Google Ads campaigns—with a clear map, knowing where you’re heading and how to get there. Accurate Google ads conversion tracking is the compass that guides you through this vast digital ocean. But what happens when your compass is broken
In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll explore the critical importance of accurate google ads conversion tracking. We’ll also dissect real-world scenarios where businesses suffered from inaccurate tracking and unveil how rectifying these issues led to substantial growth. We’ll cover everything from ghost revenue to miscounted newsletter sign-ups and leveraging machine learning for success. So, let’s embark on this voyage to understand why precise measurement is the cornerstone of digital marketing growth.
Google ads are not tracking conversions accurately
The Significance of Accurate Measurement
In the vast ocean of digital marketing, Google Ads is your ship. It carries your messages to potential customers and brings back valuable cargo in the form of conversions. However, navigating this ocean without accurate measurement is akin to sailing blindly, hoping to reach your destination.
Accurate measurement in Google Ads Campaigns involves tracking conversionsand revenue with precision. It’s the lighthouse that guides your ship safely through turbulent waters. Let’s dive into how inaccurate conversion tracking can damage your business’s bottom line.
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Evading Double-Counted Conversions and Revenue Values in Google Ads Campaigns
An Audit Reveals Hidden Costs
Imagine you’re a financial analyst examining a company’s balance sheet, and you notice a substantial amount of “Ghost Revenue.” It’s income that appears impressive on paper but doesn’t exist in reality. Similarly, businesses often suffer from inflated revenue metrics due to inaccurately tracked conversions.
The Initial Glance
A new client approached us for a Google Ads account audit, and the initial performance seemed stellar with a 14.2x Return on Ad Spend (RoAS). However, upon closer inspection, we uncovered a startling revelation.
The Double-Counted Conversions
The Google Ads account was erroneously tracking and counting purchases from both Universal Analytics (UA360) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This double-counting led to a significant over-inflation of total revenue metrics. In fact, these duplicated conversions accounted for a whopping $1.44 million in “Ghost Revenue.”
The Cleanup Operation
We collaborated with our client to rectify this issue through a conversion action clean-up. Although the converted RoAS now reported a more modest 5.3x, the crucial insight was that the account was optimizing towards genuine conversion value.
With accurate data in place, Google’s machine learning systems could now generate outputs that mirrored actual revenue. This example illustrates how inaccurate tracking can lead to misguided optimization efforts and skewed results.
Google Ads Campaigns – Correctly Associating Revenue Values to Lead Form Submissions
When Automation Goes Awry
Imagine you’ve hired a diligent worker to fix something but gave them vague instructions, leading to unintended consequences. In Google Ads, failing to define conversion tracking correctly can result in similar chaos.
The Paid Media Audit
Another client sought our expertise to conduct a Paid Media audit after the site was facing revenue tracking discrepancies. During the Google Ads account audit, we stumbled upon a campaign dedicated to generating Newsletter Sign-Ups.
The Dynamic Revenue Trap
The campaign was counting a dynamic revenue value for every conversion and tracking every interaction as a conversion. While machine learning systems excel at following instructions, they can’t discern the intent behind those instructions.
This setup led to a slew of problems:
Triplicated newsletter sign-ups.
Inflated revenue metrics.
Spam sign-ups originating from click farms.
We immediately worked with the client to the code and implement a static revenue value for the campaign, ensuring that Google Ads counted only one conversion per user. Additionally, we reduced the click-through conversion window from a generous 90 days down to just one day.
Leveraging Machine Learning for Growth
The Power of Precise Inputs
Imagine you have a highly efficient assistant who can execute tasks based on your precise instructions. Google Ads’ machine learning systems operate in a similar manner—they thrive on accurate input.
The Four-Phase Project
Over the past year, we collaborated with a long-time client to enhance their conversion tracking significantly. This project unfolded in four phases:
Planning: We meticulously planned every step, ensuring a seamless transition.
Implementation & Testing: Precision was key as we implemented and rigorously tested the new tracking methods.
Tuning the Conversion Weighting Model: We fine-tuned the system, making it more responsive to actual user behavior.
Scaling & Continued Growth: As we perfected the model, we scaled up the efforts.
Phenomenal Growth Results
During phase four, the results were nothing short of spectacular. We managed to increase the average weekly total conversion volume from 525 to over 1,700—a 224% growth rate. Between March and August, we witnessed astonishing growth in various key metrics:
New Leads: +301%
Qualified Leads: +295%
Contacted Leads: +385%
Quoted Leads: +275%
Closed Won Leads: +164%
Phone Calls >5 Mins: +83%
And the best part? Total Ad Spend only increased by a mere 43%. This exceptional growth was achieved by harnessing first-party data and machine learning in a synergistic manner.
Google Ads Campaigns: Other Risks
Plenty of Other Examples Arise As Well
Inaccurate tracking in the digital marketing realm is not limited to the scenarios mentioned earlier. Here are a few more instances where tracking can go awry:
1. More on Under-Inflating: Not Considering Lifetime Value and Repeat Purchases
Focusing solely on initial Google ads conversion tracking can lead to under-inflating your valuations. It’s crucial to consider the lifetime value of customers and repeat customer purchases, as they contribute significantly to your revenue. Failure to track these metrics accurately can result in missed opportunities and undervaluation of your campaigns.
2. More on Accuracy: GA4 / GTM Not Being Set Up Correctly and Under-Reporting Users
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Google Tag Manager (GTM) are powerful tools, but they require precise configuration. Incorrect setup can lead to under-reporting of users, causing you to miss crucial data points. It’s essential to ensure that GA4 and GTM are correctly implemented to accurately capture user interactions and behavior on your website.
3. Fully Leveraging Your User’s Online Journey in Paid Media (Advanced Ecommerce Data)
Paid media campaigns can benefit greatly from advanced ecommerce data tracking. By understanding the complete online journey of your users—from initial click to final conversion—you can optimize your campaigns effectively. Failure to leverage this data can result in missed opportunities for better targeting and higher ROI.
Accurate measurement is the cornerstone of growth in the digital landscape. Inaccurate conversion tracking can lead to inflated metrics, misguided optimization, and missed opportunities. We’ve explored real-world cases where businesses suffered due to imprecise tracking and how rectifying these issues led to remarkable growth.
By leveraging the power of machine learning, businesses can optimize their campaigns based on real conversion value, ultimately leading to a healthier bottom line. So, remember, in the world of digital marketing, growth starts with accurate measurement.
Now, remove that blindfold and navigate your digital marketing voyage with precision, armed with the knowledge that accurate tracking is your compass to success.
How often should I review my Google Ads conversion tracking setup?
It’s advisable to review your conversion tracking setup regularly, at least once a month, to catch discrepancies and ensure accurate data.
Can machine learning help optimize my Google Ads campaigns?
Yes, machine learning can significantly improve campaign optimization by providing insights based on accurate data, leading to better results and efficiency.
What is the significance of a static revenue value in conversion tracking?
Using a static revenue value ensures that each conversion is counted accurately, avoiding the inflation of metrics caused by dynamic values.
How can I make the most of first-party data for campaign optimization?
A4: Leveraging first-party data involves collecting and analyzing user data from your website or platform to make data-driven decisions and improve campaign performance.
What steps can I take to ensure my machine learning systems are optimizing towards real conversion value?
To optimize towards real conversion value, ensure that your conversion tracking setup is accurate, and that you’re providing clear instructions to your machine learning systems. Regularly review and refine your tracking methods to align with your business goals.