Are you advertising your ecommerce store with Google Ads but feel that you aren't getting the most out of it?

Well, read on here as we are about to go through what conversion tracking is with Google Ads and why it is so important.

We will also take you through a step-by-step on how to get it all set up on Shopify!

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What is conversion tracking?

Google Ads has something called conversion tracking which will record your sales as well as all of the data that comes with it.

This means that once you plug it in, Google ads are then able to record data on all conversions such as location, device, keywords used, time converted, and much more.

Why is conversion tracking important?

The natural progression in Google Ads is to start your campaign with manual CPC (cost per click) bidding per keyword until you have enough conversion data to hand over the reins to Google Ad's AI. (More information about keyword research here)

Google Ads will use this data gathered to determine your 'Target CPA' (Cost per action) based on the last 30 days of data.

As you can see below, in my case, this is £6.01 per conversion. Take note that this is by no means a guarantee by Google and results typically do vary:

Google Ads target CPA
Google Ads - Target CPA

Google Ads suggest 50 conversions in the last 30 days will gather sufficient data for the AI to lean into.

However, the general consensus is this is not enough and you should try to aim for 100 conversions before handing over control to the automated bidding strategy.

Be careful not to hand this control over prematurely, as it is possible that the AI may just run away with your ad spend budget.

Each time a would-be customer will perform a search, Google will look at all of the person's data and create a formula to calculate the likelihood of their visit resulting in a conversion.

The larger the likelihood of a conversion, the more Google will bid on your behalf for that bid, whilst attempting to stay within their suggested target CPA.

This then will push you as high up the search rankings as your budget will permit, in turn increasing the likelihood of this high potential visitor to come to your store instead of a competitor.

How to set up conversion tracking on Shopify?

There are quite a few ways to set up Google Ads conversion tracking on your store, luckily Shopify makes this a great deal easier.

The simplest method is linking your Google Ads account with your Google Analytics account. You can follow me below:

1. Setting up Google Analytics

To set up an account with Google Analytics, you firstly need a Gmail account. Head on over to Google Analytics and they will have you sign in with your Gmail account.

If you want more information about setting up your Google Analytics account correctly, then check out our step-by-step beginner's guide here.

We are not going to go into the ins and outs of Google Ads in this article as it is an incredibly broad subject.

Google will take you through the setup, once completed you will be given a code which you will input into your Shopify platform to link the analytics to your store.

To do this, you need to go to your Shopify account and head on over to Online Store then Preferences. Once you scroll down you will find a field similar to below:

Google Analytics enabled on Shopify

Input your code in there, check 'Use Enhanced Ecommerce' and click the save button.

2. Linking with Google Analytics

To connect your Google Analytics account with your Google Ads, you need to go to your Google Ads platform, go to Settings then select Linked Accounts.

You should see your Google Analytics account listed similar to below:

Linking google analytics on Google Ads platform

You then need to simply click Link where you see your account listed.

As stated in the image above, it is important to initially have the same Gmail login between the two platforms, otherwise, access will need to be granted.

The next step is to link it from your analytics side. So head on over to the Admin section in your Google Analytics platform.

In the Property section, you should see an option called Google Ads Linking, select this option then select the button named New Link Group.

Google Analytics Link Google Ads

As shown above, you have two steps here. Select your linked Google Ads account in the first step and then select the view which you wish to use.

In this case, we used the standard view initially provided by Google Analytics however this can be amended at your convenience.

3. Setting your conversion goal

Goals may vary depending on your business needs, in this case, we want all of our sales to be the conversion goal. This goal needs to be defined in Google Analytics.

To do this, in the Google Analytics admin section, which you were just in, select Goals within the View Section. You will then need to select the New Goal button, it will pull up three steps with the first one looking similar to below:

Google Analytics Conversion Goal 1

The first step here is defining what the goal is, we selected Checkout complete here and then moved on to the next step.

Google Analytics Conversion Goal 2

The second step is to tell Google Analytics what parameter will consider the goal to be complete, in this case, it is the 'Thank you' page, which a customer will see when an order has been placed:

Google Analytics Conversion Goal 3

The final step in defining your conversion goal is to enter the page which the customer will be on once the goal is completed.

This may vary between platforms however, on Shopify, the page should be the same as above. Once this is set, select Save and now your conversion goal is setup.

4. Enabling conversion tracking

To finally activate conversion tracking, you need to go back into your Google Ads platform and within your Tools & Settings tab, select Conversions within the Measurement section.

You then need to select the blue plus icon to create a new conversion tracker.

The next page should look similar to below, here we are going to select 'Import data from:' as this will allow us to pull the data from Google Analytics:

Google Ads Platform, import Google Analytics

It will then show your conversion goal which you just created in Google Analytics, select your goal, and then 'Import and continue'.

You will then be taken to a setup wizard, it will look similar to below. For Category, select Purchases and then set the name of your conversion, in this case, we have named it 'Purchases'.

Google Ads Platform, conversion tracking setup.

Then where they ask for the value of the conversion, select 'Use different values for each conversion', leave the default value at 1. Shopify will ensure this value is fed into Google Analytics, so don't worry.

You want to count every conversion rather than one customer making two separate purchases because every conversion is important to track.

The Click-through conversion window is how long you want Goole Ads to record a conversion after a customer has clicked on your ad, as a customer will not always purchase on their first visit, this has been set at 30 days.

The View-through conversion window is how long you want Goole Ads to record a conversion after a customer has viewed your ad but not interacted with it, we have set this to one week for this.

For Include in "Conversions" select Yes, then finally for the Attribution model, we have selected 'Last click'. This means that we are giving credit to the last time a customer has clicked on the ad.

Finally, select 'Create and continue', Google Ads conversion tracking is now setup.

5. Letting the AI do the work

As mentioned earlier, you need 50 sales minimum to be able to allow Google Ads AI successfully manage your CPC bidding.

We however would encourage you to allow a larger number of sales before doing this, just to ensure the data is solid and to prevent the AI from spending your budget unnecessarily.

The AI will get smarter as more sales trickle in and your cost per conversion should in theory get reduce over time as the AI learns more about your customers.


Now that you have Google Ads conversion tracking setup, you will also have access to incredibly useful information on which keywords, countries, and devices used to yield the best results.

The AI works best when left alone to do its thing. It may be difficult at first to give complete trust with your advertising budget when you see it bidding double for a click than what you would normally allow.

In this case, remember that Google Ads is doing this for a reason. If you see this as an unusually high bid, it is because the potential customer is checking all the right boxes based on previous data. Therefore, the likelihood of conversion is much higher than normal.

This is really worth trying out if you are generating enough sales to justify doing so.

Google Ads takes the heavy lifting out of you having to manually change the CPC bidding based on numerous factors and leans into what is working automatically. This helps you focus on what is more important to you, managing your store.

If you're interested in learning more about Google Ads, then check out this article, which goes over how to reduce click fraud.

And if you're not yet convinced if you should use Google Ads or not, then check out these 12 reasons why it's great! Or check out these 15 great Google Ad examples!

Want to learn more about Google Ads?

Ready to move your Google Ads skills to the next level? Check out the articles below:

Plus, don't forget to check out our in-depth beginner's guide here!

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