How To Set Up Campaign Level Conversion Tracking in Google Ads

How we feel about this update

Favorable! Google announced the arrival of campaign level conversion tracking at Google Marketing Live earlier this year, and while it may not sound exciting, it’s a tool that is going to prove enormously valuable for marketers that have campaigns with separate goals. 

It’s nice to be able to be able to talk about an update that isn’t causing any worry or annoyance… lately, Google has been making several changes that represent an overall move towards automation, and we’re not sure how we feel about them yet. The reason we’re not gung-ho about most of the changes is because while we understand that machine learning is powerful, we don’t always think that Google has advertisers’ best interest at heart. Always remember that Google makes money when you spend money. Every time Google announces a change that promises to improve performance but that takes control away from the advertiser, we’re skeptical. 

But this isn’t one of those changes – this update actually gives you more control over your campaigns and overall account performance. We’re going to explain what campaign level conversion tracking is, whether or not it will be useful for you, what you should expect before implementing it, and how to set it up in your account!

What campaign level conversion tracking does and how it can help you

Imagine that you are hosting a conference for a particular industry. You envision seeing hundreds of people attend this conference; your main objective is to fill physical seats. Your sub objective is to have people complete their registration online.

You begin pushing ads on social media, you publish blogs and testimonials from people that have attended in previous years, you hire celebrities and industry pros to endorse the conference with their followers, you run TV and radio commercials, and you run paid search ads directly to your optimized registration page.

Now, all of these things may help boost interest for your event, but getting a visitor to your registration page is the most important action that’s going to influence registration completion. That’s the most valuable thing to track. If you track every other event-related action as a conversion, you won’t get an accurate portrayal of performance; because you are not exclusively tracking the conversion action that is most relevant for your sub objective, you won’t know how to improve your registration page/paid search ads.

Campaign level conversion tracking is your way to choose only the most relevant conversion action types to track.  

Previously, conversion tracking settings were applied at the account level, across every campaign. You could still segment by conversion type within campaigns, but all of your conversions were added up in the “Conversions” column (so, to go back to our conference example, you were essentially still counting every event-related action you took as a conversion, even if the campaign goals were different). 

Now, you can adjust your bidding to optimize for specific conversions at the campaign level, whether manually or with Smart Bidding. You no longer have to set up separate accounts if you have campaigns with different goals. We’ve talked at length about the importance of solid conversion tracking, and this update gives you a more granular look at what’s working and what’s not working when it comes to your conversion rates. If most of your campaigns have the same goals (form submissions or phone calls), then campaign level conversion tracking may not be particularly useful to you, and Google recommends that you just use Target ROAS. But for advertisers who are running different campaigns in the same account – like an Ecommerce owner who is simultaneously running lead gen campaigns and sales campaigns – this may be your new best friend.

Fast facts – other things you should know about campaign level conversion tracking 

  • You can still see all of the conversion actions you want to include at the account level at the “All conversions” column 
  • You can optimize for more than one conversion action at the campaign level with conversion action sets
  • This feature is currently available for all Search and Display campaigns, but it will also be available for video in late 2019
  • If you’re using smart bidding, the algorithm will need about a week for a “learning period” to adjust to the new campaign level goals
  • Because you’re recording fewer conversions, your CPA may initially increase and your conversion rate may initially decrease, but this should regulate as the algorithm learns the new setting; until it does, adjust and perhaps increase your bids to maintain performance. 
  • While the algorithm learns, you need to maintain volume for your selected conversion
  • “You should test that”- just because this update seems great doesn’t mean that you can get lazy and make assumptions. Run a controlled AB test or experiment in order to see if the change is right for your business before implementing it in every campaign.

How to set up campaign level conversion tracking in your account

Step 1: Navigate to the settings tab in your campaign and expand additional settings to find conversions

Step 2: Choose which conversion actions you’d like to track for this campaign. 

Have more questions about campaign level conversion tracking or conversion tracking in general? Want to learn more about other campaign level settings and granular tools you can use to optimize your Google or Bing Ads accounts?  We’d love to share our knowledge with you – leave a comment or get in touch with us! Empirical360 specializes in paid search marketing. We’re Google Partners, and we have the skills and experience necessary to grow your business and increase your revenue. Contact us today! 




Shea Antonucci - Author

Director of Content Marketing

Shea is an expert content writer and is a classic literary nerd! She loves writing highly engaging content and has a knack for making it convert!