To ensure that Google makes great decisions, it is essential to provide it with great data. A typical customer journey only shows what happens to online leads, as displayed below.
However, the offline journey is often missed after a lead is captured, with later stages overlooked. If offline tracking is not implemented, Google Ads will only know if the ads have generated leads and phone calls. It will not be able to determine the quality of these leads, which results in (1) incomplete measurement data and (2) Google’s inability to optimise towards leads more likely to convert.
Through several key strategies, we can show you how to ensure your offline tracking is properly applied to help boost your lead quality.
1. Creating Events In Google Ads To Track Value
To feed offline data into Google Ads, you need to create events (offline activities), allowing you to track value. If we continue with the example of a loan, there are three stages to which value may be applied.
- Referred to credit: When opportunity is moved here, send the GCID back to Google to register a conversion with a value of £0.
- Approved by credit: When opportunity is moved here, the loan is qualified and GCID is sent back to Google to register a conversion with a value of £0.
- Funded loan: When opportunity is moved here, send the GCID back to Google Ads with the monetary value, for example £22k.
Over time, you should move from bidding to generate calls, or people submitting forms online, to offline events instead. Google will start optimising towards generating better quality leads, and lead quality will therefore improve.
2. Tracking Within Lead Forms
Everytime a click happens, Google creates a piece of code that is unique to that specific click, advert, and keyword that triggered it. It is stored in the URL once someone visits the website, and is known as a GCID. This can be effectively used to determine the efficacy of certain keywords, and determine the audiences that are more likely to convert. It can be achieved in 4 steps:
- The ad is clicked and the website visited, creating the GCID.
- Once the form is submitted, you can store the GCID in your CRM system with the other usual form fields.
- Import the GCID back into Google Ads, and it will register a conversion next to the advert clicked and keyword triggered.
An even better alternative is to give Google this data via GA4 for cross-channel purposes. This can be achieved in 4 similar steps:
- Every user has a client ID, similar to GCID, but individual to each user. This is stored inside the Google Analytics tag.
- Developers can include this ID to identify the user that has clicked on the ad, visited the website, and filled out a lead form.
- Once the form is submitted, this is then stored inside the CRM system, with the name, email and client ID.
- You then import the client ID back into GA4, and send into Google Ads for a cross-channel view
3. Improving Lead Quality With Floodlight Conversion Adjustments
If you are a larger advertiser with substantial search budgets, you would benefit from using Campaign Manager 360 and Search Ads 360, which can give you more functionality. Lead quality can be improved through the use of floodlights, which are ways of tracking conversions. This is done in the following steps:
- Floodlights are applied to the fields within your form. For example, particular answers are associated with better or worse quality leads. Percentages can be applied also.
- Floodlights can then be used to track micro-conversion value.
- This is then fed back into Google Ads to indicate its value to Google.
4. Improving Call Conversion Lead Quality
A strategy that is often missed by many lead gen companies, tracking call conversions is a useful way to improve performance and boost lead quality. It requires a similar journey to the forms, and involves the following steps:
- The ad is clicked on.
- A forwarding number is added to the website, which is a dynamic number that changes every time someone visits your page from a Google advert. Google can associate that phone number with the advert and the keyword that was triggered.
- The incoming phone number is recorded.
- This is then fed back into a spreadsheet with this number, the event and the value. You can then import the phone numbers back into Google Ads. It will register a conversion next to the advert and keyword.
5. Field Dependent Conversions
A quick way to improve lead quality is through registering a conversion if a particular field is filled out within a lead form. For example, if the user clicks a certain field, they can be redirected to a page where a conversion is registered. This shows Google if the lead is good quality before it goes offline, and means you do not need to establish a CRM system.
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