Google released a new feature called Conversion Goals in Google Ads on Nov. 1 which aims to make tracking conversions easier for marketers. Marketers can access Conversion Goals from the settings in Google Ad Manager to enhance campaign optimization for smart bidding. The feature tracks conversion actions customers take on an app or website page, such as clicking a button to make a purchase, initiate a phone call, or start an online subscription.
How Conversion Goals Work in Google Ads
To implement Conversion Goals, analysts choose a standard or custom conversion goal tier. The standard tier automatically groups a set of goals as the account default. Account-default goals set conversion goal bids and optimization targets for all account campaigns automatically. The goals are based on their conversion category type. The types include standard conversion objectives such as “Purchases” or “Submit lead forms.” When you create a new ad campaign, all goals are selected for optimization by default.
The custom tier involves setting a series of conversions. Marketers can set any combination of primary and secondary conversion actions. The Google page on conversion goals offers an example. A marketer can create a custom goal with a primary conversion action from the “Purchase” goal and a secondary conversion action from the “Submit Lead Form” goal.
Conversion goals can help with workflow consistency, which is critical as more advertising teams coordinate remote work across a number of solutions. For starters, the grouping of conversion actions is arranged with semantic meanings in mind, so the description of conversion goals actions is relevant to business objectives.
Another benefit is a broad application of improved campaign performance. Account-default goals review valuable conversion opportunities across all your campaigns, which provides more data to better inform smart bidding and yield better performance.
And finally, marketers gain the benefit of time, with a simpler method of managing conversion goals for each campaign.
Related Article: How Conversion Rate Optimization Improves Online Sales
Diagnostics for Detecting Fluctuations in Campaign Bidding
The new feature also helps marketers better prepare for daily budget fluctuations. According to Google, conversion values can fluctuate due to delayed changes in conversion value reading as well as technical issues with the conversion tag.
Anticipating fluctuations is critical to keeping marketing budgets on track. As we covered in the post on return on ad spend, marketers should include a buffer on top of the daily budget when implementing a target ROAS campaign. So potential budget performance with digital ad campaigns should be considered alongside conversion goal planning.
Google Ads issues explanations cards on conversion value fluctuations alongside reporting for target ROAS and maximum conversion value. The card displays the amount and percentage of conversion value change, as well as the metrics impacted by the fluctuation. To access it, navigate to the campaign or ad groups page, then hover over the values in the data table that are colored in blue with a dotted line.
Google is also introducing a tag assistant, a tool in Google Ad accounts that verifies tracking tag issues in real-time. It allows marketers to diagnose any issues with conversion actions and establish if there is an error, such as unverified conversion actions, inactive tags or lack of recent conversions.
To use the tag assistant, marketers must first check if the conversion action table shows a status of “unverified” or “tag inactive” in the tracking status column. To see that status, marketers must click the tools icon in the upper right corner of the ad account. In the drop-down menu under “Measurement,” click “Conversions.” The conversions summary table includes a “Tracking status” column which displays the “Unverified” or “tag inactive” statuses.
To access the tag assistant itself, click “Troubleshoot” in the “Actions” column, then click “Get Started” to open the Tag Assistant window.
Changing Optimization to Match a Changing Digital Ad Landscape
Google Ad conversions goals is just another sign of Google’s ongoing updates to features across its key marketing platforms. Decisions about conversions have traditionally been the purview of report planning in Google Analytics. Analysts usually set conversions to help highlight which traffic sources are contributing to the desired customer actions. By introducing a similar decision-making process in campaign ad accounts, marketers learn which campaign bids are contributing too.
This revision makes sense. As I mentioned in my post about conversion rate optimization, understanding if specific traffic sources lead to the intended customer audience is a key step in optimization. Marketers usually see this as optimizing search traffic through SEO and refining ad campaigns. But with so much ad management being automated through machine learning these days — like the Smart Bidding in Google Ads — marketers needed ways to incorporate the predictive recommendation into their campaign refinement choices.
Google will gradually roll out conversion goals over the next few weeks and will be visible when marketers create new campaigns. Current optimization and bidding settings will not be changed.
Pierre DeBois is the founder of Zimana, a small business digital analytics consultancy. He reviews data from web analytics and social media dashboard solutions, then provides recommendations and web development action that improves marketing strategy and business profitability.