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Google Ads Conversion Tracking API Integration – How To Set Up

Send Purchases attributed by Able to Google Ads API. Google Ads will display any Purchases tracked by Able that can be attributed to ad clicks as conversions with value in its reports.

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Send purchases, leads and other conversions to Google Ads API

Sending conversions to Google Ads API used to add conversion value to Google Ads’ reports, allowing to report on ROI, as well as using performance-based targeting and optimization capabilities. This guide will focus on using server-to-server API integration to send conversions to Google Ads API.

There are two main benefits to using server-to-server Google Ads API integration to track conversions, compared to using browser JavaScript tags, server-side GTM, or relying on enhanced conversions alone:

  1. Even when purchases happen entirely online, it's not uncommon to see 15-25% of sales that come from ads remain unattributed to the campaigns. This happens because of users using multiple devices, ad-blocking plugins, and the general lack of reliability of client-side tracking.
  2. Often, purchases happen offline entirely. For example, when a first payment for a subscription is successfully processed by a payment service provider such as Stripe, or when a sale is closed in a CRM.
Able Customer Data Platform follows best practices recommended by Google Ads, sending conversions attributed to GCLID identifiers when available, and using for WBRAID/GBRAID parameters for IOS traffic without GCLIDs. When neither is known, Able sends customer's email and phone to use Google Ads enhanced conversions as a fallback.

This ensures that Google Ads API always has the best available data to precisely attribute conversions in its reports.

Google Ads Setup

The first step to start using a server-to-server integration is to configure Google Ads. The Part 1 of the ‘Set up offline conversion tracking‘ guide in Google Ads Help covers two necessary steps to begin: enabling auto-tagging and setting up a Conversion Action – a hint telling Google Ads how to process your conversions.

Google refers to all conversions that aren’t tracked by its JS tracking code as ‘offline’. They may not actually happen offline, such as in a store, and would more often be a result of online user activity.

When creating a Conversion Action, verify that the Primary action is chosen if this Conversion Action should be used for bidding, and Secondary otherwise. Read more about using different conversion actions in Google Ads in our blog Verify that this setting is configured correctly in all Conversion Actions that are set up.

Once Google Ads setup is complete, conversions are ready to be sent to Google Ads. While it can be done with a direct Google Ads API integration, the rest of this guide will assume you’re using Able to track sales and attribute them to ad clicks.

Google Ads Customer Data Terms - Optional

Able CDP normally bypasses the need to use Enhanced Conversions by attributing each conversion so the click and sends gclid, gbraid or wbraid parameter as appropriate.

If you'd using Google Tag Enhanced Conversions and would like to send Enhanced Conversions for leads not processed by Able, the Google Ads account must have accepted Customer Data Terms. This only needs to be done once per account and the Data Terms will be valid for all conversions automatically.

Open Tools - Conversions - Settings - Enhanced conversions. Skip to the next step if the section isn't available in your account. Check that Enhanced conversions is selected for the Google Ads API:

Note: Google Ads API allows to send hashed customer personal data to Google when a conversion occurs without having to do so at a time of the website visit occurs. It is then compared to hashed data of Google accounts, allowing Google to establish which customer has made a purchase event if the click id isn't recorded and the lead wasn't tracked by Google tag. In Able CDP this would typically be used as a fallback mechanism as Able attributes almost all conversions to precise click ids, reducing the need to rely on enhanced conversion data for matching. See the article about Enhanced conversions for web in the Google Ads API on Google Ads website for more details on how they work compared to Google Tag and GTM enhanced conversions.

It's important that Customer Data Terms are accepted when "Enhanced conversions" are selected for Google Ads to be able to accept conversions sent without a click id:

Connect Able to Google Ads

In Able Dashboard, press "Add Service Integration" and select "Google Ads".

The ‘Sign In With Google’ button below will grant Able access to your Google Ads API, allowing to send purchase conversions to Google Ads.

Make sure that access to AdWords/Google Ads is granted by checking the corresponding checkbox when connecting:

After connecting, a new Credential will appear in the list.

Press the "Sign In" button to proceed:

Send Able events as Google Ads Conversion Actions

In Able Dashboard, press "Add Service Integration" and select "Google Ads".

Select the new Google Ads credential, and choose ‘Purchase’ event type. Able will display a list of Google Ads Customers your Google account has access to manage. Choose the one that has the Conversion Action that has been created in Google Ads Manager in the first step.

Press ‘Save’ button to save settings. Able Customer Data Platform will start sending all purchases it attributed to Google Ads clicks to Google Ads API.

Create compatible conversion action in Google Ads

To do so, open Tools - Conversions in Google Ads. Click New Conversion Action - Import - Other data sources or CRMs - Track conversions from clicks. Enter desired conversion and attribution parameters and create conversion.

More from our blog

References

  1. Set up offline conversion imports using Google Click ID (GCLID), Google Ads, accessed 26 April 2024
  2. Offline conversion imports FAQs, Google Ads, accessed 26 April 2024

This page has been written by the Able CDP Customer Success Team, formed of digital marketing practitioners and seasoned marketing data experts.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us using the contact form.