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Five top practices for using Google Ads to track offline conversions

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30 Nov 2022

As you know, priority changes to a Google Ads account will send the algorithms into a learning process and create fluctuation as it re-learns. And Offline conversion tracking (OCT) is a must-have in each account. When setting up for the first time, swapping out web-based campaigns to optimize goals for the CRM-based goals is quite difficult.

In this article, EverRanks will provide you with top 5 best practices to avoid the risk.

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1. Give your conversions values

To maximize the potential of OCT, each action must be assigned a value.

If you are unable to use actual and dynamic CRM values, Google has a calculator that can assist with estimations.

The values don’t need to be precise for the algorithms to benefit from the provided direction.

The assigned values inform machine learning about the value of each conversion. As a result, the system can bid appropriately using value-based bidding strategies.

In case, you aren’t ready for target return on ad spend (tROAS) or Maximize conversion value, establishing values from the beginning can help for a smooth launch when you are ready.

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2. Optimize for each funnel stage

After all steps of your marketing funnel feed into Google Ads with their equivalent values, start to optimize campaigns for the entire funnel stages. This will create more conversion data for your campaigns and boost the learning process.

People who accept risks may change the optimization in accounts all at once. Go on and rip the bandage off:

  • If you stomach the performance fluctuations
  • If an account is brand new
  • If conversion volume is discouraging

To reduce volatility in the account, you should establish an experiment for each major bidding change. Experiments should be run for at least two weeks before determining the winning experiment, but this process may occur longer if your budget is small or the conversion lag is long. 

The key success metric of this experiment should be an increase in backend conversions.

3. Aim for the lowest conversion point feasible when optimizing

Once the full-funnel approach is successful, you can begin optimizing for one conversion event at a time. Treat each campaign differently and modify the campaigns ready to move down the funnel.

To remove performance fluctuations, establish an experiment that can optimize to the lowest point in the funnel, Google needs at least 15 conversions in the past 30 days. 

Using the Google Ads interface to create custom columns allows you to easily sort and visualize your data. Analyze each campaign separately.

For example, the top two campaigns have sufficient MQL volume to optimize solely for MQLs rather than the entire funnel.

After achieving the full-funnel approach, you begin optimizing for a single conversion event.

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Aim for the lowest conversion point feasible when optimizing
Aim for the lowest conversion point feasible when optimizing (Source: Internet)

Keep in mind that not all keywords are generated equivalently. The top-of-funnel keywords will create pipeline slower than non-brand or brand terms with high intent.

Individual campaign optimization goals and bidding strategies should suit the funnel stage and what works best.

The UI does not allow you to set OCT goals as individual conversion events but rather as a whole conversion category. So, it would be best to create custom goals when optimizing toward a single point in the funnel.

For example, if your OCT conversion is “sales,” you should create a custom objective for “sales.” According to Google, “[…] using custom goals in campaigns might make your bid strategy work less efficiently,” but if your account is well-established and has enough data, custom goals should benefit you.

How to choose and save the selected goals for your campaign’s performance
How to choose and save the selected goals for your campaign’s performance (Source: Internet)

4. Continue to focus on lower-funnel results

Time passes and data collects, you can continue to push different limits and optimize for lower points in the funnel.

Each bidding strategy could be tested along with this tactic, but the experiment only changes one variable at a time.

For instance, the control campaign is based on target cost-per-action (tCPA) and is optimized for MQLs. The test campaign should continue to use tCPA but need to be optimized for the next stage of the funnel (Meeting Scheduled). After determining a winner, test another variable in a separate 

Finding the ideal balance of optimization objectives and bidding tactics can take many months, depending on the size of the account. It can be concerning to observe little to no performance gain after the first two weeks, however it is advised to repeat experiments for three complete cycles before selecting a winner.

This indicates that you should run the experiment for at least six weeks before giving up if it takes a MQL an average of two weeks to become a “Meeting Scheduled”. To see how long each conversion takes, visit Google’s path metrics report.

You should focus on lower-funnel results
You should focus on lower-funnel results (Source: Internet)

5. Try out value-based bidding

When a user searches for the keywords you’re bidding on, these intelligent bidding strategies alter bids automatically to anticipate the value of a prospective conversion.

Particularly if you’re afraid of messing up the system, you should test these bidding tactics in an experiment.

In spite of the risks related to performance fluctuations, the benefits should outbalance the volatility 

EverRanks hope you enjoyed this article. Five best practices is a useful source to mitigate the risk when setting up Offline conversion tracking (OCT) for the first time. If you have any questions about this problem, please fell free to contact us at EverRanks.

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