Ads are great! They help you bridge the gap between your products and services and clients needs. Used right they can help your business grow exponentially in a short period of time. 

Once you start advertising you will start to see a dazzling myriad of metrics increase (impressions, clicks, views, etc.), but how to keep an eye on the underlying business objectives?

Here conversions come in! Conversions are basically anything that makes business sense for you, can be measured and tracked online. They help you better understand how your advertising efforts impact the business numbers.

They are a great feature of any advertising platform and no marketing activity should be conducted without them!

What are conversions

Conversions are small snippets of code that once added to your website will allow you to track specific user actions. What users actions you ask?

Well, conversions can be anything: sales, leads, form submits, newsletter registrations, time spent on page, you name it.

If you are a more analytical person it might be way more easy to think of conversions as indicators of your advertising campaign efficiency. In other words if you generate a lot of conversions it means good things are happening (if only the conversion numbers are soaring but nothing is happening business-wise always make sure everything was implemented properly!)

What types of conversions are out there?

Conversions can be classified in multiple categories. Some of them are “official”, in the sense that Google Ads will give you the option of choosing from four main conversion categories: Website, App, Phone calls and Import.

image showing the four google ads conversion types availiable

Other “unofficial” categorizations can split goals between sales related goals and lead based goals. 

One categorization method I truly think it’s important and can have a great impact is prioritizing goals by importance. Thus you can have: Primary, Secondary and even Tertiary conversions (for all the hardcore analytical persons out there).

Keeping a pyramid-like structure for your conversions can also help. Try setting as few primary goals as possible, more secondary and even more tertiary goals. If, for example, your main conversion is to generate user sign-ups, one of your secondary conversions might be to generate newsletter registrations (because you might have deducted that people who register for the newsletter tend to also sign-up).

How to create conversions that really matter for your business

The secret of setting up conversions that really matter always starts with the business fundamentals. How does your business make money?

  • You could be an ecommerce website, thus your first and main goal will be sales
  • Do you own a dental clinic? Appointments are the right type of conversion to track. 
  • Are you having a publication? A specific amount of time spent on the website by each user might be the one for you.
  • Are you a plumber? People might call you, this is a great place to start!

Start with what makes your business to run

Make sure to track everything that is key for your business’s wellbeing. Start with the key conversion (which will be the primary one) and then add secondary and tertiary goals.

Now that you’ve decided what you want to track you will be good to go, but how many conversions do you actually need? 1… 2… 10? I mean, it’s good to have 10 conversions, right? 

Well… it can or cannot be right, if you sold 10 new latest gen flagship phones for 10$ you are on top of your game. But what if you’ve spent 1,000$ for the same result? Is that just as good? What if you spend 10,000$? Ok.. I will stop here, you get the point.

Make use of KPIs

Being specific matters! Especially when it comes to conversions, having well defined goals should be your top priority! 

Here enter the game: KPIs (or key performance indicators). As the name says they are indicators of your performance (in our case of the Google Ads marketing efforts). 

Defining the right KPIs can be tricky but they are definitely worth the effort. Once set the KPIs will show you if you are on track to reach your goals, or if you’ve went off the route. 

Setting KPIs it’s a whole domain by itself and it’s where marketing meets business management and finances. Defining them it’s out of the scope of this article but I will give you a simple example.

  • We need to generate 150 leads per month, in the next 3 months with an average cost of 30$ / lead.
  • We need to generate as many sales as possible, in the next 6 months, while keeping the ROAS over 500%.
  • We need to generate 30 sales in the next 2 weeks with a total budget of 3,000$.

All the examples above have some common feature, that you might want to emulate:

  • They are precise
  • They are based in a time-frame
  • They make references to the available budget

KPIs come in different shapes and sizes and are different from business to business. The key takeaway from here is that you should use KPIs to track your online performance!

How to create and implement Google Ads conversions using GTM


  • Google Ads account

  • Google Tag Manager account

The process contains two phases, the first in which you create the actual conversion in Google Ads, and the second where you take information from the first step in order to finalize the implementation in Google Tag Manager.

We will delve in both parts below and if it’s the first time you are doing this don’t worry, the video and the steps below will guide you through the whole process. 

Being that there are so many types of goals I decided to go through the setup of a lead based conversion. The scenario is this: you have a website where people can register for an appointment. After they submit the form they will be taken to the /success page. Keep this in mind because we will use this information below.

The steps

  1. Log into your Google Ads account by accessing to 
  2. Navigate to Tools & Setting -> Conversions (under Measurement)
  3. If you have a brand new account click “+CONVERSIONS” button. If not, simply click the blue “+” button
  4. You will be presented with four main options, we will go with “Website”
  5. You will now have to set some options in the first step “Create an action”
    1. Under category we will select “Book appointment” (you can select something else to fit your needs or simply select “Other” if none fits)
    2. For conversion name I would recommend you to create and follow a naming convention
    3. Under Value we will select “Don’t use a value for this conversion action (not recommended)”
    4. For Count we will use “One” because we are interested to register unique registrations. 
    5. We won’t touch conversion window options and will keep Include in ‘Conversions’ checked
    6. For attribution model we will select “Time decay”
  6. Click “Create and continue” button
  7. In the second step “Set up the tag” select “Install the tag using Google Tag Manager” and copy the Conversion ID and Conversion label
  8. Click “Next” to finnish the conversion setup process
  9. Open GTM, navigate to Tags and click New
  10. Give your tag a name (follow your naming convention). I will name mine “G Ads – Book appointment”
  11. Click “Tag Configuration” and select “Google Ads Conversion Tracking”
  12. Paste the Conversion ID and Conversion label (copied from Google Ads) in the appropriate fields
  13. For triggering select “All pages” and click “Save”
  14. In order to deploy your implementation click “Submit” and then “Publish”

Your conversion code is now live on your website. Congratulations and much luck generating loads of conversions!

If you want help with setting up conversions for your website or generating them via online campaigns I can help you. I had the chance to manage thousands of accounts and generate results for both product and service based companies.

Let’s talk!

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