AdWords Conversion Tracking

A Complete Guide(Video included)

AdWords Conversion Tracking: A Complete Guide
April 28, 2019 MadMarTech

AdWords Conversion tracking is a must for all the Google ads campaigns. In this digital era, where you can measure every click, you must be able to measure and attribute the conversions to your campaigns. Within the next 10 minutes, I will walk you through the entire process of setting up the conversion tracking for Google Ads using Google Tag Manager.

This is one of the simplest methods to set up conversion tracking without using any data layers. However, you would not get any dynamic conversion values from your eCommerce store. Let’s get started

Getting Conversion Code from AdWords (Google Ads)

This is the cardinal step to pass data between Google Adwords and Google Tag Manager. You can accomplish this using Google Analytics as well, however now we will see how to do it via GTM. Let’s get started:

On the top right corner, click on the “Tools” button and choose “Conversions” that is grouped under the measurement section. This will take you to an interface with all conversion actions. Click on the “plus” button and choose the website as you would like to track all the purchases on your eCommerce site. Here are the further steps:


In the category, choose “Purchase” option and give it a conversion name. Here we are tracking all the purchases happening through AdWords, hence I will name it as “GAds-Purchase”. Now coming to the value part, choose the last option. If you would like to have a conversion value, then you need to set up a data layer. Contact your DevOps team to set it up for you.

Regarding the count part, if you would like to count 2 conversions for 2 different purchases, then choose “every”. In our case, it is “every” as we are selling a physical product. But in case of a free eBook, for example, you would choose “once”. This is because it does not matter if your book was downloaded twice or thrice within the same session duration.

The conversion window is by default 30 days, but you could choose up to 90 days or also create custom days less than 90. This means that if a user clicks on your ad and he/she purchases your product within the first 30 days(chosen conversion window) the conversion will be attributed to AdWords.

View through conversion is by default 1 day, this means that even if the user has not clicked your ad but has viewed the ad. And he ends up purchasing the product within the same day, then the conversion is still counted and attributed to Adwords.

Attribution model: By default, this is the last click. This means that when a purchase happens, full credit is given to the last click. There are multiple attribution models like first click, linear, time decay, etc. You can find more details here


In this step, Google Ads asks you about tag deployment. As you can see, there are multiple ways of getting this done, but now we are going to do this via tag manager. Hence click on “Use Google Tag Manager” button and a window slide down with all the relevant instructions.
Keep the tab as it is, while we move to step 2

Conversion Linker Tag Setup for Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Disclaimer: You can omit this step if you have linked Google Ads and Google Analytics.

Before we dwell into how to deploy this tag, let us understand why we need to deploy this tag. In 2017, Apple announced that it has deployed “Intelligent tracking prevention”.  It would block all the 3rd party cookies that are used to track across multiple domains.

As Google measures conversions via 3rd party cookie, Google ads tracking will be blocked as well. This means that we cannot measure the conversions properly. Hence Google found a way around this by using conversion linker tag. By deploying the conversion tag on all pages, it stores the data as a first party data.

To setup “Conversion Linker” Add a new tag by clicking on the “tags” and “New” button on the upper right corner. Choose conversion linker tag and leave all the other settings in the tag in its default state. Add trigger as “page view” and choose all pages.

Google Ads Conversion Tracking Tag Set up

Now it is time to create our primary tag. Add new tag from the workspace and choose “Google Ads Conversion Tracking” type from the featured tracking templates. Now go to the Google Ads/AdWords interface and copy the Conversion ID and conversion label. Paste it under the relevant tab in the tag configuration. Keep the rest of the values under its default status.

If you would like to pass the conversion value, then you need to talk to your developer team to set up a data layer. This would pass the dynamic transaction value of the purchased product. Refer to this documentation for more information.

Configuration of Trigger for Tracking Conversions

Now that you have set up the tag, you need to assign the right trigger to it as well. In the workspace, click on “trigger” and create a new trigger. You would like the tag to fire whenever a user makes a purchase. This means that you would choose a page view on the “Thank You” page or in our case, “Order Received” page.

Therefore, we are going to choose page view as a trigger and this trigger is fired on page views on Page URL contains “order-received”. Save the trigger using an appropriate name and we can now head towards the preview and testing phase.

Preview and Publish the Conversion Tag

It is very important to test your tag before actually publishing it. If you are using an adblocker, please make sure it is paused when you are testing this. Go over to the preview and debug mode and refresh the testing page. Click on your test product and add them to cart to purchase it. Once you have been redirected to the “order-received” page you will see that the conversion tag has been fired. Our tag implementation is successful! You can now publish this tag. Do not forget to give this version a name and also write a little description so that your team members are aware of the changes as well.

Testing with Google Tag Assistant

If you have read my other posts, I always doublecheck my tag implementation using Google Tag Assistant plugin. Even though I would always recommend you to do this, I would not in this case. Can you guess why?

Well, it is because the tag would not fire until I click on one of the Google Ads Ad from my campaigns. Hence there is no point endlessly looking for my conversion tag on the order received page using tag assistant.

Now you know how powerful tag manager is and it can help you analyze your marketing efforts and optimize on your KPIs. I use the tag manager on a daily basis to optimize my site. What kind of tracking do you do with Google Tag Manager? Let me know in the comment below!

P.S, If you would like to know how to track scroll depth using GTM, here is a detailed video post.