The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Tracking

Sébastien Godin

Account Manager

Ever heard about the 80/20 rule - Also known as the Pareto Principle?

This principle can be used in many different situations, and basically explains how 20% of your products will bring you 80% of your revenue, or 20% of your advertising efforts will drive 80% of your sales and vice-versa.

The magic of Online Advertising comes from the fact that you can track down sales and conversions to the individual keywords and ads, which is pretty hard when advertising on a billboard.

Being able to know which of your efforts brings the 80% of revenue is the key to improving your campaigns’ performance.

Let’s say you are a shoe reseller and start advertising on Google’s Search Network. You go after 2 main keywords: “Ladies Shoes” and “Women Shoes”.

After a few weeks you notice that the “Ladies Shoes” keyword brought 8 sales and the “Women Shoes” keyword only brought 2, with the same ad spend.

Smart as you are, you will reinvest the majority of your budget into the “Ladies Shoes” keyword since it is driving the most sales and gets you a higher return on ad spend (ROAS).

But what if you don’t know...?

This is why the first thing you should be doing before starting to advertise online is to Track Conversions.

In this article, we will show you a step-by-step on how to track conversions inside the main advertising platforms;

Google Adwords & Facebook Ads, as well as on Google Analytics.

You will also need to create a Google Tag Manager account, which helps marketers/business owners track website behaviors without having to know too much of coding.

This will drastically improve your campaigns performance by giving you the business intelligence you need to take the best decisions.

So without further ado…

...Let’s jump into Conversion Tracking.

GTM: GA Event Tracking

Before starting, we recommend always activating the Built-in variables inside of Google Tag Manager
Click on Variables on the left menu > CONFIGURE > Select all the necessary, at least all click-related variables for today’s exercise.

Then, we are going to create a “Click listener” to be able to capture the information that the website is communicating with Google Tag Manager.
Go to the Triggers on the left menu > click NEW > select “Click - All Elements” > fire the trigger on “All Clicks”. Name the trigger “click listener” and save. You can do the same for Form Submissions if you want to track any.

Now that you have your click listener setup, you’re good to go. Open the Preview Mode of GTM and head back to your website. You will see that when you click on the screen, an event called will appear in the GTM preview console. You will be able to capture the required information from there.

Setup a Universal Tracking Tag

  1. Tags > New > Universal Analytics

  1. Track Type: Event → Populate Category, Action, Label

  1. Create trigger - Select Click > All Elements

  1. Find a unique HTML identifier by inspecting the website’s code:

In this case: Click Classes = menu_link store_link w-nav-link

  1. Create a trigger with the same information pulled from the website’s HTML

  1. You can also pull the information from your GTM preview console by selecting the right click event that happened when you clicked the button you want to track, and looking at the “Click Classes” value.

GA: Create GA Goal from Event

  1. Admin > Goals (View settings) → Custom Goal

  1. Name Goal - Select Event

  1. Enter the same information you did on GTM

GTM: Setup an Adwords Conversion

First, Open GTM > Create a new tag > Select tag type: Adwords Conversion Tracking

Then, you will need to go in the “Conversions” section of your Adwords account.

Once in the conversions section, click on  +CONVERSION , and select Website. Enter the requested information and save your conversion. Google will give you a HTML code to use, with a conversion_id and a conversion_label. Copy those 2 and enter them in the right text box of your Adwords Conversion Tracking Tag inside GTM.

Select the trigger you just created, save your tag, and you’re done!
Congratulations, you just implemented your first Adwords conversion tracking!

GTM: Setup AdWords Remarketing

Now we’re going to set up the tag for Adwords Remarketing. This will allow you to show ads to users who previously visited your website.

First, create a new tag and select the tag type “Adwords Remarketing”

Then go to your Adwords account and select Shared Library > Audiences

Once you are in the audiences section, you will find at the top right the button “Tag details”. Click on it to open the window, select Setup > View Adwords remarketing tag and instruction and find your conversion ID in the HTML code just below.

Copy this ID to your GTM remarketing tag,

Select the pageview trigger “All Pages” and save.

You are now ready to create your audiences and start remarketing to users who visited your website. Pro tip: Use the Tag Assistant (Chrome Extension) by Google to check if your tag are implemented correctly.

Facebook: Create Facebook Pixel

In order to track conversions on Facebook, you will first need to create and place a Facebook Pixel on your website. Go to your Ad account, open the menu and select the “Pixels” section.

Then, click  Create a Pixel , name it and save.

Install the Pixel

Once your pixel is created, find the “Setup” button and click on “Manually install the code yourself”

Copy the code

Open your GTM > Create a new tag > select tag type “Custom HTML”

Paste the code you copied from Facebook

Select the pageview trigger “All Pages” and save. You are now ready to start remarketing to your users on their Facebook news feed.

Track conversions with your pixel

Facebook has 2 different types of conversion; standard events and custom conversions. Standard are easier to implement, so we are going to show you an example for the standard event “View Content”. After the copying the pixel base code (what we just did before), you will reach a second page where you can find the codes for the standard events. Just open the one you want to setup and it will open a window with the code to add. Copy this code and create a GTM tag.

Your GTM tag will only include the code that you copied or can include the whole pixel code with the fbq('track', 'PageView') changed for fbq('track', 'ViewContent') . Create the right trigger and save your tag. If you want to create a custom conversion (in order to name it the way you want), change the ViewContent for anything else. Do not use any spaces.

Create your Custom Conversion

The second step to create your custom conversion is done inside of your ad account section called “Custom Conversions” (same place you found the Pixels section).

You will then click on “Create Custom Conversion” and see a window open like the one on the right of the screenshot below.

You will then change the Website Event from “All URL Traffic” to the custom event name you created in your GTM account.

* If the event does not appear, it is because the Pixel did not catch anybody do the action on your website yet. You can either wait, or do the action yourself to speed up the process.

Once your custom event appears, select it, use the category “Other” and click create.

You will now start recording your first Facebook conversion!

Pro tip: Use the Facebook Pixel Helper (Chrome Extension) to check if your tag are implemented correctly.

This is all you need to start tracking conversions effectively. We are going to cover more techniques in another article for those who want to track more advanced conversions, such as sales with a variable revenue.

I hope you enjoyed the read. Please let us know if you are having trouble after trying these steps for your own accounts.

We are also giving away for FREE our own internal checklist that we use to make sure all the tracking is implemented before going live.

Don’t forget, tracking is THE key to improving your campaign performance!

Get Your Free Conversion Tracking Checklist

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