Google Analytics Conversion Tracking: Calculating the Cost of Transactions

Today we are reviewing a deeply crucial topic — Calculating the Cost of Transactions in Google Analytics. Why is this so important?

Well, we all agree that every progressive business model of today requires conducting marketing activities in one way or the other. Say you are advertising your product on Facebook, Instagram or Google AdWords. You launch a number of different campaigns, but does it make sense to use those ad platforms if you don’t know how much a transaction there really costs you?

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Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts and understand how profitable it is to carry out advertising activities on the said ad platforms specifically for you?

To help you keep all of your ad tracking transaction costs in one convenient place — Gooogle Analytics — we created this Google Analytics Conversion Tracking article. It offers tips on how to carry out conversion tracking on Facebook, Bing and Google AdWords conversion tracking.

Google Ads Conversion tracking

Good news! Google Ads (previously AdWords) conversion tracking in Google Analytics is a quite pleasant, peaceful journey. They come from the same Google family, meaning that the process of setup conversion tracking from AdWords to Google Analytics will have little to no bumps on the road at all.

To begin AdWords conversion tracking you’ll need to set up AdWords pixel on your website. You can do this in two ways:

1) By placing the AdWords pixel (conversion tracking code) in your website’s code

Both are viable options, although we’ll be honest: it is much easier to do so by simply placing the AdWords pixel in the website’s code. But using Google Tag Manager or hiring a specialist to do so for you might not be easier, but will definitely be safer — during your solo setup you may encounter some pit stones if choosing to customize your tags which, according to Google Analytics itself:

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But if you are feeling brave and suspect Google Analytics transaction tracking in AdWords for you will not require any special preferences, here’s all you’ll have to do:

a) Get Conversion ID of your Google Ads account

b) Place your Google Ads Conversion ID in this code below instead of the “AW-CONVERSION_ID”.

<script async
src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=AW-CONVERSION_ID"></script>

<script>

window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];

function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}

gtag('js', new Date());

gtag('config', 'AW-CONVERSION_ID');

</script>

c) Copy this code and place it on every single page of your website right in between the <head></head> tags.

2) By using Google Tag Manager

Setting up your Google Analytics transaction tracking for Google Ads using Google Tag Manager is a bit longer, and a more complex procedure.

a) Get Conversion ID and Conversion label of your Google Ads account, which you can find in the event snippet for your conversion action.

b) For your convenience, the Google data giant has created a special instructions sheet on how to set up Google Ads conversion tracking using Google Tag Manager, which you can access by clicking the above link.

c) Whale Recommends
To make sure proper conversion tracking persists in all browsers, add a Conversion linker tag and set it up to activate on all of your website’s pages.

d) Click Next > Done.

e) If you’re tracking clicks on your website as conversions, you’ll need to complete additional setup steps in Google Tag Manager.

3) By using Magic

Just kidding. Although what we are about to tell you is sort of magic — there is an alternative to the described above methods of sending conversion tracking info to Google Analytics from Google AdWords, without using any pixels or Google Tag Manager.

So how does this mystery third option work? Well, the moment users click, view or in any way interact with your ads, Google Ads automatically tracks and saves cookies with data about the said interaction. Follow the steps below, and the GCLID, also known as Google Click Identifier, will automatically be tracked from the Google Analytics cookie, meaning all the Google Ads conversion tracking info will be tracked and sent to Google Analytics.

All you have to do is:

a) Turn on auto-tagging function in all your Google Ads accounts.

b) If you use any click-trackers in your tracking URLs, or server-side redirects on your site, make sure they pass on the GCLID (“Google click identifier”) to your landing pages.

c) Don’t fire your tags from within an iFrame (example: within another tracking tag like Floodlight).

d) Don’t manually remove the JavaScript code from the conversion tracking tag for a “pixel-only” implementation.

e) Link your active Google Analytics property to the Google Ads account that owns your website conversion actions.

This way, your Google Ads conversions will be automatically tracked and sent to Google Analytics. Magic, isn’t it?

If you used the magical third option that sends all the info from Google Ads to Google Analytics automatically, you can skip this step. If you chose option one or two, you will have to send the collected in Google AdWords conversion tracking info to Google Analytics manually.

Here’s how to do it using one of the options:

  1. Use the updated Google Ads conversion tracking tag or
  2. Go to your Google Tag Manager > New Tag > Tag Configuration > Conversion Linker > Triggering > All Pages

Facebook Conversion Tracking

Now that we set up our Google Ads conversion tracking with Google Analytics, let’s move on to Facebook conversion tracking. The process is quite similar to that of Google AdWords, consisting of setting up a pixel on a website and sending the costs to Google Analytics afterwards.

Conversion tracking on Facebook starts with setting up a Facebook pixel. As pointed out previously, you can achieve so in two ways:

1) By placing the Facebook Pixel in your website’s code

To complete this task manually, go to your Facebook page > Events Manager > Pixels > Create a pixel

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Source

Go to your website’s code > find the <head> </head> tags > paste your Facebook Pixel’s code between them on every page of your website.

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After placing the code on your website, paste its URL in the Facebook Pixel section of your Facebook page and click Send Test Traffic. If the status says “Active”, your Facebook pixel has been set up successfully.

2) By using Google Tag Manager

To set up conversion tracking on Facebook go to your Google Tag Manager account > Add a new tag > Custom HTML Tag > Create a tag name.

Then go to Events Manager > Details > Set Up > Manually Install the Code Yourself > Copy the entire pixel base code.

Return to Google Tag Manager > Configure Tag > paste the Facebook Pixel code > Advanced Settings > Tag firing options > Once per page > Fire On > All Pages.

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Source

In this step, we will learn how to send Facebook conversion tracking cost to Google Analytics, and as always, there are two options:

1) By sending Data Manually

Lucky for us, Google Analytics is really nice about importing transaction cost data from sources outside of Google Suite. It provides a clear step-by-step formula, which after completion will give you an ability to track your conversion costs across any ad channels, including Facebook:

To start:

  1. Implement custom campaign URLs.
  2. Create a data set to hold the data.
  3. Generate the upload data as a CSV file.
  4. Upload the click and cost data CSV file.
  5. Report on your data.

Each of these steps contains links that provide a detailed description and troubleshooting help for implementing Google Analytics conversion tracking on Facebook.

2) By using 3rd Party Services

If the first two steps sound too effort or time-consuming, you are at the right place my friend, as we are about to present an alternative option that allows connecting your Facebook conversions to Google Analytics automatically.

To achieve that easy-breezy Google Analytics to Facebook conversion tracking, you will need a connector — a third party provider which (usually for a fee) enables importing your transaction costs from various ad sources to Google Analytics automatically.

OWOX, for example, is one of them and offers a free plan which allows importing conversion tracking data from two sources, like Facebook and Bing, at no cost whatsoever. You’re welcome 😉

Bing Conversion Tracking

The final round! Now that we resolved the topic of AdWords conversion tracking and conversion tracking on Facebook, let’s move on to calculating the cost of transactions in Bing.

Taking its origins from the Microsoft corporation, Bing has developed a Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag, placing which on your website allows Microsoft Advertising to collect transaction costs, track conversion goals and even target audiences.

All you have to do to set up your Bing Pixel conversion tracking is follow these steps below:

Go to Bing Ads account > Campaigns › Conversion Tracking > Get started > Create UET tag > enter a tags name > copy the generated tag code.

Go to your website’s code > find the <head> </head> tags > paste your Bing’s Pixel’s code between them on every page of your website.

1) By sending Data Manually

If you have already sent Facebook conversion tracking data from the previous section, this step will be quite the same, so just follow the below procedure:

  1. Implement custom campaign URLs.
  2. Create a data set to hold the data.
  3. Generate the upload data as a CSV file.
  4. Upload the click and cost data CSV file.
  5. Report on your data.

2) By using 3rd Party Services

If you don’t mind spending a little extra money but do mind spending your and developer’s time on Bing setup and transaction cost data import, use the second option — connectors.

OWOX, for instance, is among them and offers a free plan that lets you import conversion tracking data from up to two sources, like Facebook and Bing, at no cost to your wallet at all. Enjoy 🙂

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve learned about Google Analytics conversion tracking and how to calculate the cost of transactions.

It is important to track conversions not only in the ad system like Facebook or Bing itself, but also to track your conversions and expenses in Google Analytics or another analytics tracking system. This will help you combine costs with user behaviour and break down into more detailed segments based on your business’s needs, wants, sales goals and future aspirations.

Originally published at https://insightwhale.com on November 9, 2019.

Written by

Fully remote team of professionals providing Digital Analytics, Conversion Rate Optimization and Business Intelligence services for clients around the world.

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