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How to set up offline conversions in Google Ads

What Makes a Good Text, Display, or Video Ad?

Google’s push towards conversion modeling, iOS 14.5, which makes accurate conversion tracking optional for customers and other recent updates, means we can no longer rely on “native” conversion tracking as our source of truth.

This Ask PPC is dedicated to all the search markets that correctly see offline conversions as a way forward. A reader asks:

How do I set up offline conversion tracking? Do I need an integration, or can I manually upload a list?

Offline conversion tracking is applicable across B2B, B2C, e-commerce and lead generation campaigns. In this column, we focus on the underlying functions and strategies that run in all verticals.

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What are offline conversions?

Offline conversions are valuable actions that you know have been affected by your ad investment, but which cannot be tracked by traditional conversion tracking.

Tracked actions may include:

Sample for paying customer. Completed registration. Funded trades. Buy in store.

UTMs are the most crucial component of offline conversion tracking. They ensure that leads can be traced back to advertising costs (provided you have configured proper tracking in your CRM / shopping client).

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It is important to be consistent with your UTM structure. For example, you will commit to “cpc” or “ppc” when you label the source / medium.

How to set up offline conversions through existing integrations

Offline conversion tracking has two setup paths:

Import from an existing source. Upload from files or connections.

If you use a popular CRM / ESP (email provider) / shopping platform, the easiest way to upload from HTTPS is:

This allows you to log in to your “source of truth” and link them to Google Ads.

If you choose “Google Sheets”, be sure to download the correct template (link here).

The one who configures the conversions must have minimum access at the “Standard” level, although “Admin” is preferred.

Non-standard offline conversion integrations

Custom integrations do not disqualify brands from offline conversions. However, they require a more technical setup.

While most of the imports are straightforward, the custom work requires work in your third-party tool.

It is important to note that this is the best way to call tracking (through API conversions).

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Once you have set the conversion information as usual, you will see this screen:

From here, go into your tool and configure the conversion.

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Take away

Offline conversions are crucial and much easier to set up than you might think.

More resources:

Do you have a question about PPC? Send via this form, or tweet me @navahf with the #AskPPC tag. See you next month!

Image credits

Featured image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots taken by the author, July 2021

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