Conversions are an incredibly important part of all online marketing, as they are used to measure the success of campaigns. They allow us to see the results driven by marketing spend and how we calculate the return on investment. For that reason, they are something I have written about a lot in the past and something important to cover in my 101 series.
What is a conversion?
Conversion tracking is a free tool that shows you what happens after a customer interacts with your ads — whether they purchased a product, signed up for your newsletter, called your business or downloaded your app. When a customer completes an action that you’ve defined as valuable, these customer actions are called conversions.
Setting up conversion tracking
Back in 2019, I wrote about how to set up conversion tracking and not a lot has changed since then, so head over to my previous post if you want to know the intricacies of set up.
Conversion tracking is not just for Google Ads. Whichever online ad platform you are using, whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc, they all have their own ways of tracking and reporting conversions. I also wrote about Facebook conversion tracking not too long ago.
A couple of things that have evolved, however, are attribution and enhanced conversions.
What is attribution?
Attribution is the act of assigning credit for conversions to different ads, clicks, and factors along a user’s path to completing a conversion.
Now, the recommended and default attribution model is called ‘data-driven’, whereas previously it was always set to last click.
In Google Ads the different attribution models, are as follows:
Previously, data-driven attribution wasn’t available for a lot of advertisers, as they had to see at least 300 conversion actions and 3,000 ad interactions within 30 days.
However it is now available for a lot (if not all) of our clients that do not see 300 conversions in a 30 day period. It would therefore seem that Google has now abolished these prerequisites.
When using Meta, for Facebook and Instagram ads, the attribution settings are as follows:
- 1-day click
- 7-day click
- 1-day click or 1-day view
- 7-day click or 1-day view (default)
The default setting is “7-day click or 1-day view” which is why you may notice that the conversion total recorded in Meta differs to your Google Analytics total. This is because Facebook attributes conversions to an ad even if it’s only been viewed, it doesn’t have to be clicked on.
Another thing that has changed since my 2019 post is the launch of enhanced conversions. Again, this is something I have already written about back in March of this year. See my full post here: https://browsermedia.agency/blog/enhanced-conversions-in-google-ads/
This is a feature that is still evolving and something that Google has developed to appease users’ demand for more transparency. Also as third-party cookies continue to disappear, the observable conversions we can track will decrease. As the future of conversion tracking is changing, we’ll have to plug the gaps in our data using modelling.
This means that Google now recommends that we no longer use tools like Google Analytics to track conversions, but instead we should be implementing Google Ads conversion code to track conversions, so we can use this enhanced feature.
Google is relying on people being signed-in to their Google account when viewing ads on Google, YouTube and beyond. It will then be able to match the email address, for example, that they submit to complete the conversion, with their Google user data.
If you want to know more about how to set up enhanced conversions see my previous post.
Similarly, Meta has its conversion API, its way of bridging the gap in conversion recording: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/2041148702652965?id=818859032317965
Using conversion based bid strategies
Once conversions are set up, enhanced or not, there are bid strategies available to optimise your budget to get more of them.
Whether using Google or Meta or any of the other paid ad platforms, there are options to ask them to optimise your campaigns to generate as many conversions as it can:
For eCommerce sites, where sales and revenue are tracked, there are bid strategies that will set bids to try and generate as much revenue as possible.
Should you set a CPA target or opt for maximise conversions?
When setting a cost per acquisition (CPA) target you are telling the system the price you’d like to pay per conversion and so it can bid accordingly to try and get that cost per conversion for you. However, if you do not care so much about how much you pay per conversion and just want as many as possible for your budget, you can opt to ‘maximise conversions’.
When opting for a Target CPA you may find that the system does not spend your entire daily budget, as if your target is too ambitious, the platform may have to hold back showing your ads in order to meet your target.
This means that there are two questions you should ask yourself when trying to choose between these two strategies:
- Which is more important: number of conversions or achieving a specific CPA?
- Could you compromise and increase your CPA target to try and achieve a few more conversions for your budget?
If you really can’t decide between the two you could always set up an experiment and let the data make your decision for you: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6167141?hl=en-GB
If your business wants to know more about conversions, and how to get more of them, contact us today.