Offline Conversions

Although it’s a digital jungle out there, we must acknowledge that some sales happen offline, such as at a store or on the phone. And if offline sales are important to your type of business, then you’ll surely want to track those conversions too. And where there is a will, there is a way with Google.

Need more convincing? Well, when you import offline conversions into your AdWords data, it will give you a more thorough picture of who your customers are and how to best target them—all while spending the least amount of money on your AdWords campaign. Plus, there are many handy features in tracking offline conversions, such as recording a conversion 30 days after the sale (so that returns are excluded), only considering new customers or if counting the conversion if it was someone’s second purchase and so on.

How does offline tracking work?

You may recall a little thing called gclid that is used for identifying every single click that comes to your site from an ad. So with offline tracking, the gclid becomes crucial—you can save it and later relay that information back to AdWords when the person completes the conversion offline. Then, this data is included in the conversion reports, which makes keeping track of all your business super-easy.

As useful as it would be, we’re afraid Google can’t stalk all your customers in real life!

So, there is some legwork required when it comes to tracking your offline conversions, although it’s not hugely complex. First, there are some requirements to keep in mind:

  • You must have auto-tagging enabled (see Chapter 3).
  • You have access to make code changes to your website.
  • You can store the gclid codes with the clients’ information in some sort of a tracking system.
  • Your click-to-conversion period is 90 days or less (after day 90, your conversions won’t show up on AdWords anymore).

Next, you’ll need to manually enter some data into a spreadsheet and import it to AdWords. Here is how you do it:

  1. Download a conversion template in Excel or CSV format from Google.
  2. Add a row for each offline conversion; you will have to collect this data by yourself:
    • Google Click ID, a.k.a. the gclid
    • Conversion name
    • Conversion value
    • Conversion currency
    • Conversion time
  3. Once you’re ready with your spreadsheet, you’ll be ready to import it to AdWords by heading over to Tools and clicking Conversions.
  4. Select the Upload button and choose the spreadsheet you wish to import.

Import the conversions, but do so with caution. Remember that once you import data, there is no way to delete it or amend it—ever!