How to set up Google AdWords conversion tracking for sales or affiliate revenue

If you are using AdWords to sell your own products or someone else’s as an affiliate, you need to set up Google AdWords conversion tracking. When having your own website, it is actually very easy to add a piece of code to your pages. When you sell your products through a website like Udemy, a third-party integration page should allow you to do that.

How to set up Google AdWords conversion tracking for sales or affiliate revenue

When you are promoting products as an affiliate, it is challenging to have Google AdWords conversion tracking set up because you do not have access to the website. Hopefully, Google AdWords has an option called third-party tracking that you can set up at the ad, ad group or campaign level.

Preparing for Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

You might have noticed if you haven’t setup Google AdWords conversion tracking already, that there are no options for conversions in your default AdWords report.

Preparing for Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

What you have to do first is go to “Tools” and set up Conversions before you actually get this available in your reports.

Preparing for Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Once it is up there you can always customize your columns like this below to make sure that you have got your conversion data showing.

Preparing for Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Look at the Conversions tab and then you can do all kinds of good things to get even deeper into conversions.

Preparing for Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

You want to stick with “cost per conversion,” which is the main one.

So, what do you need to do before you even set up your Google AdWords conversion tracking? What you need to do is be ready to set up your conversion tracking in your website. They make it pretty easy for my Udemy courses. There is a custom interface that I use to set up my Google AdWords conversion tracking. All I have to do is actually pull a couple of things out of the conversion tracking code, and put it into my Udemy course. That’s very easy.

Preparing for Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

If you are using another website, what you need to do is be on your “Thank you” page. If you are using WordPress, go to the page where people land on after they have completed an order.

Preparing for Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Then get into the text area of the page to show its codes and you can just copy and paste the conversion tracking code there.

Preparing for Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

If you use some other type of web hosting or web set up what you have got to be able to do is get a hold of the “Thank you” page, the page that shows right when the purchase has been completed. If you can’t get a hold of that page, then you can’t set up Google AdWords conversion tracking.

I don’t have a “Thank you” page on my website because everything is done through Udemy. It is important to see that you have got to be able to get the code on the “Thank you” or “Success” page.

If you are doing affiliate marketing, this can be tough because they won’t allow you to actually put the conversion code on the order page because it is through another party.

You can do things like put it straight on the landing page, or you can put it on an option where you click on it, and then the conversion tracking code comes up on the next page.

The problem with doing it that way is that you can optimize for your clicks at least and you can see where you are getting genuine clicks, but it is no substitute for being able to track actual payments.

What you have got to do getting started is get your actual conversion code page ready to go first. On Udemy or on WordPress this is easy, but if you have got some other set up, figure out a way where you can actually get your Google AdWords conversion tracking code on a page.

If you are doing an email sign up this is really easy, all you have to do is put it on the “Thank you” page, and then your conversion tracking code is triggered. Get it in the position where you can add it and then I will show you exactly what to do to add it in Google AdWords.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Now that you have prepared for conversion tracking set up, let’s go ahead and grab that code.

You click on “Tools,” then go to Conversions.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

This is where you make the magic happen. You can see that I have already got a lot of Google AdWords conversion tracking set up on my previous Udemy courses.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

It will show “Unverified” until I have gone through and actually tracked conversions through Google AdWords.

If you look at these ads below you will see that this is what it looks like when it is running correctly. It will show “Reporting”.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

When you are just getting it set up like I’m showing you how to do, “Unverified” is how it will look.

Click “+ Conversion” to get started.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Then you pick exactly what kind of conversion you want to track. I’m going to show you how to do website conversions because that’s the basic type of conversion which you are most likely to want to track.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

You may also select app downloads or phone calls and you can easily go through and do a similar process with one of these.

I select “Website” and then what I need to do is cross reference this with my Udemy course.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

I grab the name of my course and I put it in the “name” section.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Then I click “Done.”

Now I set a value for how much a conversion is worth to my business.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

I’m going to use $99 coupon codes for Google AdWords.

I click “Done.”

I count “All conversions” and then I select the category “Purchase/Sale.”

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

The last option is definitely one to leave “ON.”

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Google can figure out much more about what get you a conversion than they will actually show you. So you want Google to be able to do everything they can do to get you conversions.

Finally, I click “Save and continue.”

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

On the next window Google has the code for me to place on the conversion page.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

If you are collecting email addresses, this goes on the “Thank you” page after someone has submitted their email. If you have an online store, this goes on the “Thank you for purchasing” page.

These are the two main scenario you are likely to have, in any other situation you want to put the code on the page that shows immediately after your desired action has been taken.

If you can’t get access to that page because you are doing something like affiliate marketing, then you can put it on the page right before they take the key action for you.

What you do then is copy all of the code and paste it directly into your landing page on the “Text” tab in your WordPress website, Lead Pages or similar template.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Then, you can easily verify that the code is on the page when you right click and select “View page source.”

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

It will open a new window with all the code on the page, use the keyboard shortcut “Control + F” and search for “conversion.”

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

You can see that I have got my Google AdWords code right on this page. So if anyone visited this page as a result of the ad campaign, this would trigger a conversion back to Google.

If you have your own page with your own code, it is real easy to make sure the code is installed. If you want to modify or remove the code, go back to the “Text” tab of your editor, look for “Google code for retargeting conversion page,” to locate the Google code, and then take that off. It is that easy to put the code on and remove it that way.

This tag both tracks conversions and allows retargeting. When you go to “Advanced tag settings,” you can actually go down to the actual event if you have a click conversion tracking code, and track a click if you select the option “Click.”

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

If you have something like affiliate marketing you are doing, this might be a way to go, because if you can’t put an actual conversion code on the page, you can at least track people that click. I just want a “Page Load” because that’s my confirmation.

What I actually want to do is put this code on my Google AdWords tracking on Udemy and this will help you understand the parts of this Google AdWords conversion tracking code.

You will notice that it has “Conversion ID” and then 3 different labels. Udemy is giving me the option to put three different conversion tracking codes on my page.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

The “Conversion ID” will be the same on all of your Google AdWords tracking, the only thing that’s different is the individual label.

What you can see in the actual code is a variable “Conversion ID,” then a language, format and color variable, and then the “Conversion label.”

So what I want to do is copy the “Conversion ID.”

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Then, I will go through into the Udemy interface and paste that in.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Any tracking you are using that has third-party integration for AdWords is liable to look either like this one or you may have to put the code directly in. Understanding the code is helpful for getting these things right. The “ID” and the “Conversion label” are the main parts of this code. I just grabbed the ID, and what I have to do now is copy the actual “Conversion label.”

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Then I paste the conversion label in the success page label section right there and I hit “Save.”

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Now I have got the “Conversion tracking ID” and the “Conversion label” in place. The code is now installed on my Udemy page.

The problem if you are using third-party tracking is that you may need the actual code to be triggered before you can go in and confirm that the code is on that page.

You have then to click “Done” in the AdWords interface.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

A “Congratulations” pop-up will show up and you will have to click “Done” again.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

The new conversion code is now showing in the list.

Complete your Google AdWords conversion tracking setup

Now I couldn’t test this without going through and actually buying my own course in AdWords.

So I will actually do that to make sure my code is running, once I have got my ads set up because it is absolutely critical to make sure your code is running correctly when you have got it set up.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

Here is a feature I love with Google AdWords for doing affiliate ads, it is called “third-party tracking.” What Google AdWords allows you to do if you want to do affiliate ads is to put in a third-party tracking URL system for everything you do.

I will show you how I’m using that now. I’m using the Udemy affiliate program to make sales on Udemy courses while I’m actually promoting my own courses.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

The reason is that when people are going to my course from Google, they don’t have any loyalty to me and while they are likely to buy my course, they are also likely to just buy someone else’s course.

So what I do is put third-party tracking on and you can put it at any level. Now you can put third-party tracking at the ad level. If I edit this ad here, it is under “Ad URL options (advanced)” and this is where you can put your tracking template.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

You can put it on at the ad level, but the problem is that you have to go through and manually enter it in or copy it over on every single ad.

So if you make a lot of different ads, then it is a pain and if you want to change something up you have to change it on the ad. The beauty of using third-party tracking is that it does not put that ad into approval again.

You can also do it at the ad group level. You can change that ad group URL options if you select an ad group, then go to Edit and click on “Change URL options.”

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

That will change the URL for the entire ad group.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

Now the way I have mine set up is for the entire campaign.

I click on the Campaign Settings and then at the bottom I have “Campaign URL options (advanced).”

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

When I click “Edit,” you can see that I have the Udemy affiliate link set up in a specific format so that it goes through. This is added on to the entire campaign.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

This is what the beginning of the Udemy affiliate tracking looks like for me, and then there is this little Google term at the end, after the “=” sign: {Ipurl}, which tells Google the format my URL is in, in the affiliate tracking.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

When I show you this in action in an ad, you can see that the actual ad itself shows a udemy.com URL, but Google actually sends people to this URL through the tracking URL.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

When I go back to the campaign’s settings, what Google does is use the URL I gave in the ad with the tracking URL to build a Click URL.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

I can test the tracking URL.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

This is how the link actually looks like that Google sends people to. It puts in all of the actual URL in the right format and it sends people to the Click URL, and then the final URL people end up seeing is the one I put in the ad.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

After you test this on Google, it should say, “Landing page found,” so you can verify that you put the tracking URL in correctly.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

When you do that at the campaign level, then you don’t have to do it on all the individual ads. Then, if for some reason you stop being an affiliate, you just delete the tracking URL.

If you change affiliate programs, that’s the same thing. You can edit the tracking URL at the campaign level so you wouldn’t have to remake all of your ads.

This third-party tracking is really sweet also if you are using some other tracking system to track all of your Google ads so that you can see where all the Google ad clicks are going. Then if you change third-party tracking, you don’t have to do anything except fix that little detail in Google.

You can even add custom parameters to help tract more effectively, and you can even do that on the ad group level or on the individual ad to help you track which actual ad got the click.

The easy way to do affiliate ads with third-party tracking at campaign level

There are a lot of features you can use in third-party tracking that can help you out if you are using a third-party software to track all of your AdWords traffic or if you are an affiliate. This took me a while to learn how to use successfully.

I hope this is useful for you if you are interested in doing any third-party tracking or affiliate tracking in your AdWords account.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and I invite you to learn more about AdWords advertising with me in my book:

The Complete Google AdWords and YouTube Advertising Book

The Complete Google AdWords and YouTube Advertising Book: Beginner to Advanced

Available both in Kindle and Paperback format.