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Improve Your Adwords Leads With Offline Tracking

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Improve Your Adwords Leads With Offline Tracking

Offline tracking is one of the most powerful yet underused tools in an AdWords marketer’s arsenal. After auditing hundreds of AdWords accounts as part of my role at Clicteq, some with multi-million-pound budgets, I’ve only ever seen one marketer utilizing this feature.

What Is Offline Tracking and How Does It Help You Generate More Profit?

Put simply; offline tracking allows you to effectively integrate your CRM system with AdWords, so you can track and bid based on which leads convert into sales.

What most advertisers do is track leads and then calculate the average cost per lead and then the average conversion rate based on the number of sales they generate.

But what this fails to take into account is that different leads convert better than others and that some leads generate more revenue and profit than others.

Take this example:

explanation of how offline tracking allows you to generate more profit

If you were only tracking leads you would only get half the picture. You would see that you have generated 39 leads, 3 sales and £104,000 in revenue, but would not know which keywords actually generated the leads.

Worst still you would see that the keyword PPC management is generating the most leads and start distributing more budget towards that keyword, where actually it is the keyword “Enterprise PPC Agency” that is generating by far the most revenue.

By using offline tracking and linking your CRM with AdWords you can start seeing the full customer journey. So you will be able to see that even though the keyword “PPC Management” is generating a lot of leads, the revenue per lead is just £500 compared to the keyword “Enterprise PPC Agency”, where the revenue per lead is £13,140.

You will see that the leads that are being generated from the keyword “PPC services” are not generating any revenue of profit and that you should stop bidding on this keyword.

Finally, you would see that the keyword “enterprise PPC agency” is generating the highest converting leads and the largest amount of revenue so you can distribute more budget to this keyword.

By integrating your CRM system with your AdWords account you will be able to reduce wasted spend because you can stop buying leads that don’t convert into revenue and start buying more of the leads that generate the largest revenue and profit per lead.

How Offline Tracking Works

When a user clicks on your advert Google will automatically add a Google click ID (gclid) to the end of the URL which will look something like this.

This relates to a specific advert and keyword combination that was responsible for the click. On your website, you will need to add a piece of code that will add what is know as a “hidden form field” into your contact form.

At the moment you might have fields to collect the name, the email address, and the phone number of a visitor on your contact form. The code will add an additional field called Google click ID to your contact form which will not be visible to users browsing your website.

A piece of code on your website will then enter the Google click ID into this hidden form automatically, and when a user submits their contact details it will be submitted with the rest of the contact information. So in your CRM system, you should start seeing something like this.

Name: John Smith


Telephone: 0800 907 8275

Google click Id: CIqb48_N084CFcGdGwodh-oC9w

Once your sales team has followed up with the lead and closed the sale, you then upload this piece of code back into AdWords for the closed leads only, along with the value of the deal.

Google will then match the code to the adverts and keywords that triggered the click and then attribute a conversion to them along with the conversion value.

How to Setup Offline Tracking

Setting up offline tracking is relatively straightforward. There are three sections which you will need to complete to do this, which I have broken down into step by step actions you can take

Section 1. Enable Auto Tagging

Step 1. First, go to account settings by clicking the small gray cog in the top right-hand corner of your account and then from the drop down selecting “account settings” as shown in the screenshot below.

Enable auto tagging by selecting account settings

Step 2. Navigate to the preferences tab down the left-hand side menu as shown below. Ensure that auto-tagging is enabled. If it is not, click edit and then enable.

Enable auto taggin by choosing the preferences tab

Section 2. Create a Conversion Action

  1. Select tools along the top menu of your AdWords account, and then select conversions from the drop down, as shown below.
    enable offline tracking by going to the conversion tab
  2. Click the red +conversion button and then select import as shown in the screenshot below.
    To enable offline tracking choose the import option
  3. From the popup select the option, track “conversions from clicks”.
  4. Name the conversion action and then make a note of this, as you will require this in a later stage when you are importing your conversions from your CRM.
  5. Enter the value of the conversion if it is fixed, or select that it changes and you will be able to import the value of the contract from your CRM.
  6. Set the conversion window to 90 days to give you the best chance of tracking all the offline conversions.
  7. Set the conversion category to purchase/sale.
  8. Click save and continue.

Section 3. Add Code to Your Website

For this stage, we generally suggest that you consult a web developer to help you add the code to your website. Your web developer will need to complete steps 1-3 of the “enable your website and leads tracking system” in Google’s documentation.

Once your web developer has done this you should see something that looks like this when a lead comes through into your CRM system.

Name: John Smith


Telephone: 0800 907 8275

Google click Id: CIqb48_N084CFcGdGwodh-oC9w

Once you have followed up the lead and closed a sale you need to re-upload the Google Click ID back into AdWords, but only for the closed leads. AdWords will then attribute a conversion to the keyword and advert that generated this lead, so you can start optimizing your accounts to generate more sales as opposed to leads.

Uploading Offline Conversions Back into Adwords

Once a lead has converted into a sale, you need to let Google know by uploading the Google click ID back into AdWords.

Preparing the Data to Import

To do this you will need to download Google’s template spreadsheet which you can do here.

Once you have done this you need to enter your Google Click ID’s for the converted sales and a few other details into the spreadsheet.

  1. On row 5 of the spreadsheet enter the time zone for your account. For example <insert_TZ> would become <+0000> for UK users and <-0500> for users in New York.
  2. Enter the Google click ID for each conversion in the first column, the name of the conversion action you created earlier in column B, The date of the conversion in column C and the conversion value in column D.
  3. Once you have entered all of your conversions, save the document and then move onto the second stage, importing the data.

Importing the Data

Step 1. Click on Tools in the top menu and then select conversions from the drop down as shown below.

To navigate to the offline tracking import area select Conversions

Step 2. On the menu down the left-hand side of the page, select uploads, as shown in the screenshot below.

Then select uploads from the left hand side menu

Step 3. Click “choose file” and then select the file which you have just created in the “preparing the data to import” section of this guide. Once you have done this click “import and preview”. Then once your happy click “upload and apply”

Finally choose a file and select upload


If you are an AdWords marketer and you are still not using offline tracking to link your AdWords account and CRM system, take action today and ensure that you have this feature set up.

By tracking the full customer journey, you are going to significantly reduce wasted spend and start buying more of the leads that generate the largest amount of revenue and profit for your business.


Image Credits

Featured Image: belchonok/ Modified by Wesley Parker of Clicteq Limited. Used with permission.
Screen captures taken by Wesley Parker August 21st 2016.

CategoryPaid Search

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Wesley Parker

Founder at Clicteq

Wesley is founder and CEO at Clicteq. He has over 5 years experience managing paid search campaigns for companies from ... [Read full bio]

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