Why and How to Use Cross-Account Conversion Tracking in Google Ads

May 14, 2019
Enterprise accounts: Why and how to use cross-account conversion tracking in Google Ads

As we run Google Ads to answer search intent, the best way to know if ads are useful to our prospects and customers is to track whether they take important actions on our website. Conversion tracking is simple to set up with Google. Any important action can be recorded through a Google Ads code snippet firing from the “conversion” URL, or through an event tag recording an action like a click to view a demo video, or a newsletter signup. A call from ad call extensions is also an important action we want prospects or customers to take, calling our website number is another one. All of these are rather straightforward and quick to implement.

Why we need better tracking

Using Google Ads script or Google Analytics goal setup is all it takes to record all those important actions. Google Analytics goals can (and should) easily be imported into the advertiser’s account allowing to optimize the account for what is important.

Connecting performance with ads is one of the best Google Ads features: Important to know. Simple to implement. But what happens when an advertiser has more than one advertising account and analytics account each tracking performance?

For instance, what happens when an educational institution has pre-college, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing ed website properties, each running their own advertising accounts and analytics tracking?

What if in this scenario advertising clicks start on the pre-college ads and convert on the undergraduate action? Searchers might also click on continuing ed ads but convert on the graduate account. If and when these accounts are not connected in any way, one account might pay for the click that converts on another account without ever knowing what’s happening. There are other business applications for this, not just educational institutions. For example, a national chain of retailers or regional dental chain would also be examples of this conversion mess. The way to make sense of an enterprise account like that is cross-account, preferably MCC-level, tracking.

Setting up important conversion actions tracking on the MCC level allows you to track conversions across accounts. That’s the most basic application of MCC tracking. A less obvious but equally important benefit is being able to make sense of a large enterprise account at a birds eye view with ease of access and understanding.

Enterprise Applications

Enterprise level management is often times complicated not by the complexity of tracking performance but by the amount of performance data that needs to be consolidated between business units and departments. Approaching tracking at enterprise level is the key to simplifying data quality and performance control. Not to mention fewer code snippets, faster site loading and many more smaller benefits.

How to instrument:
Use the following cross-account conversion tracking implementation instructions from Google. https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/3030657?hl=en to simplify data and make sense of complex large investments easily. Have questions? Reach out to the four15digital team below!

An important setting to keep in mind when cross-account conversions are being set up, is to use multiple touch attribution models to allow fractional conversion credit amongst the accounts contributing to each other’s conversions. We’ve written plenty about attribution and conversion. See links below!

Read more about Conversion Tracking from Four15:

How google ads counts conversions from YouTube

Google Analytics Goals as Conversions in Google Ads

Understanding TrueView for Action Conversion Attribution

Google’s Pay for Conversions Option: What You Need to Know