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Get More Qualified Leads with Google’s Offline Conversion Tracking


Paid Media / August 06, 2020

One of the biggest B2B Lead Generation challenges when it comes to digital marketing is ensuring that the conversions you’re generating from your campaigns are actually qualified leads. With advertising platforms shifting more and more towards AI-enhanced bidding strategies that leverage conversion signals to optimize campaigns, if you have a high rate of false positives, you’ll actually be training your ad campaigns to return a higher proportion of low-quality leads.

I want to repeat that because it’s so important:

It is usually easier (and less expensive) to generate an unqualified conversion instead of a qualified lead.

Because of that, if you are leveraging an automated bidding strategy like Target CPA or Maximize Conversions on Google Ads, you might actually be teaching the system to look for low-quality leads. The system might even ignore qualified leads if it thinks they are too expensive to convert versus lower quality leads.

This is especially true for the types of services that target businesses, but also have a counterpart that targets a different audience, like job seekers and employers, retailers and wholesalers, or manufacturers and distributors.

How Do You Separate High Quality Leads From Low-Quality Traffic?

Knowing this, how can a company get qualified leads from their digital marketing campaigns without wasting money on everything else? In the past, this took a lot of data mining, guessing and testing, refining, and manual work to weed out bad keywords and traffic in order to find more quality leads. In other words, you needed to invest significant time, money, and energy to build out efficient lead generation campaigns.

Even with all that effort, the end result is still somewhat imperfect, there are just too many variables for humans to track that inevitably make us miss opportunities or over-invest in areas that underperform.

Luckily, Google Ads now has a new solution that should help solve exactly this issue: Offline Conversion Tracking.

What is Google Ads Offline Conversion Tracking?

Offline Conversion Tracking from Google Ads gives advertisers a way to follow up with Google when someone who turns into a closed deal or takes another action that you deem valuable. It essentially lets you tell Google Ads that the lead you received is qualified, or has become a sale, or has taken another action that you’d like to track.

There are just four steps to capturing and recording these new Offline Conversions:

1: Build the conversion in Google Ads

Start by creating the conversion in Google Ads. This is the same process as any other conversion you would build, but when choosing your conversion source, you’ll choose Import and either “Other data sources or CRMs” or, “Salesforce” if you are using this CRM.

2: Create a Hidden Field in your form to capture GCLID

When you capture contact details via lead form, you’ll need to adapt your forms to include a hidden field that captures the GCLID data and stores it properly in your CRM. This is the unique identifier that google uses to associate a click to an ad, so it knows exactly which search triggered your conversion.

3: Select an action in your CRM to trigger your conversion

Depending on the conversion goal, for example, having a new prospect turn into a qualified lead, you’ll need a corresponding change in your CRM record for action that will trigger a conversion. In Hubspot for example, you might use the Lifecycle Stage property and decide that when that property becomes “Marketing Qualified Lead” you will count it as a conversion.

4: Pass the data back to Google Ads

Now that you have a conversion event in your CRM with the GCLID attached so Google Ads can identify the ad your converter was served, you need to pass the data back to Google Ads so they can record it. Salesforce has a built-in integration to automate this process, and many other CRMs can be connected via a tool like Zapier for to automate the transfer as well. If you’re not comfortable with that method, you can also simply record your data in a formatted spreadsheet and upload it manually. Keep in mind, Google can only record this type of conversion within 90 days of the original click.

For a full explanation on how to get set up, see this article from Google Support: Set up offline conversion tracking. Keep in mind that different CRMs will need to use different techniques to capture, store, and pass back GCLID data.

How Does Offline Conversion Tracking Help You Get Qualified Leads?

When you start sending this information back to Google Ads, you can also set this type of conversion as your Goal in some or all of your campaigns. That means no more optimizing for lead form completions that can come largely from spam traffic with a bit of quality leads mixed in. 

Instead, you can actually make getting true Qualified Leads the driver for your campaigns success, focusing the power of Google’s algorithms on achieving an action that has the most value for your company.

Once your company is generating a steady stream of qualified leads, your problem will suddenly go from generating sales to maximizing your sales team’s efficiency. That’s where lead scoring comes in. For more information about how to score and prioritize your leads, watch this video from Bloom’s Director of Growth, Mike Walton:

Need help setting up your lead generation campaigns on Google Ads or optimizing your existing campaigns? Get a proposal here.

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