Google Ads provides a great route to market for many companies. It’s an incredibly powerful advertising platform that not only get you clicks quickly, but also provide you with a tonne of important data that can help you work out where your enquiries or sales are coming from. However, it cannot tell you how much these leads are worth to your business if they were converted into sales offline – ie, not directly through your website or another digital platform.
In this instance, the sales data is not available, so Google Ads can only tell you how many leads you generated, not how much they were actually worth to your bottom line. This means that, if you frequently close sales away from the web but you want to optimise your campaign to make sure you’re driving maximum revenue, you need to take extra steps to work out which keywords, days of the week, times of the day and viewing devices are typically leading to the best return on investment (ROI) – and use this information as the basis for your approach.
You could add all your offline sales data into a spreadsheet and compare it with your online data to monitor common trends manually. But this is an unnecessarily time-consuming way of tracking these metrics.
The best thing to do is to feed all your Google Ads leads into an external customer relationship management (CRM) system, then import the value of each sale that was closed offline back into Google’s platform when you convert the lead into a paying customer. After all, you’re already paying to use your CRM to track, analyse and report on your crucial company data - so why not use it to help you find out which paid search campaigns are delivering the best returns, too?
The easiest and quickest way to set up basic offline conversion tracking with any customer relationship management platform is to make sure you’re assigning a Google Click Identifier (GCLID) to each lead.
This GCLID will identify how the user found you, which ad they viewed, and all kinds of other vital data that you can mine for marketing purposes.
You can use a range of other tracking parameters – better known as Urchin Tracking Modules, or simply UTMs – within your ad URLs to help you better understand which of your paid search marketing initiatives are driving the best return. For example, the utm_source parameter will capture data about where the lead came from, while the utm_medium parameter will tell you which type of link was used to access the content.
GCLIDs build on basic UTMs by making it possible to collect performance statistics from every user journey that’s come about as a result of your campaign.
As long as you’ve enabled auto-tagging in your Google Ads account, Google will assign a GCLID tracking code to every URL. This will enable you to record, analyse and report on the following data:
(If you want to, you can use an alternative tracking provider, but we would only advise doing this if you’re comfortable with the process; if you want to add more specific UTMs to your URL string; or if your website throws up a load of errors when you enable this setting).
It’s worth noting that your GCLIDs are also used to share this important click information between Ads, Analytics and Search Console.
The data stored within these unique identifiers is key to better understanding where your best leads are coming from.
Without them, you won’t be able to find out how your customers came to you – and you won’t be able to determine which campaigns are generating the best results in terms of spend vs gain. However, GCLIDs don’t work outside of the web. If you close a sale offline, you’ll have no way of knowing how much this sale has generated for you in financial terms – unless you collect this kind of feedback comprehensively and consistently using a third party tool, like a CRM.
As we mentioned earlier, Google Ads won’t automatically track your offline sales data. But you can assign a monetary value to each lead that you’ve closed via an offline source within your CRM, then import this real-life worth back into Google’s platform. Doing so will enable you to compare this financial information with the other metrics outlined with your GCLIDs – and, crucially, build a better idea of what’s working, and what’s not.
You may find that a particular set of search terms are driving the best quality leads, in which case, you can adjust your keyword targeting strategy to reflect this. You might discover that leads are more likely to convert if the user completed the action at a particular time of day, or on a certain day of the week – and with this knowledge, you can confidently change your bidding strategy to achieve a higher take-up based on these obvious trends. Managing your leads effectively is all about gathering the data you need from as many sources as necessary, then using it to make better informed decisions!
Want to learn how to implement the best lead handling processes? The Google Ads managers at Multi Layer Media can make sure you’re tracking the correct campaign data and using it effectively. Contact us today to discuss the many benefits of merging Google Ads data with your CRM system, and explore ways of optimising your processes for a healthier ROI!
Not generating enough leads from your Google Ads campaign, full stop? Let us help. Our experienced PPC managers can carry out a FREE account audit and help you spot areas that can be improved.