Is Google Ads Essential to Track Conversions?

Knowing the conversion data is important for any website, but is Google Ads the only way to do it?

Video Transcript:

Bryan: A few years back, I was employed at a digital marketing firm, but it was more on ads like Google Ads. I’m not really totally engaged with that particular aspect of the business because I’m a developer. But my employer told me that it’s better to do AdWords than the usual SEO because Google AdWords gives you a better view of things as far as conversions are concerned. But I didn’t really ask for any details about that. Do you have any thoughts on that particular aspect?

David: Well, I’d say the short answer is no. With Google Analytics, you could know as much, if not more, information about your site than just the Ad Words interface can give you. You absolutely need to make sure you know conversion data when you’re running an AdWords campaign. Always. Because you’re paying per click. You need to make sure those clicks convert into customers if you’re paying for it, right? And there’s a Pixel you add after the conversions to make sure that Google knows this visitor was a conversion. Okay, great. Well, with Google Analytics, you can set up that same conversion, and not only will Google Ads know it, because you can tell Google Ads to consider the Google Analytics conversion for Google Ads’ sake, but then you can say, “Oh, well, what other things generated a conversion besides Google Ads? Did Facebook create conversions? Did Bing organic create conversions? Did Twitter or email campaigns generate conversions? So, I can see how if you are someone who is just so focused on Google Ads, you would never leave the Google Ads interface. And you would think, well, the others can’t track it. But that’s the advantage of installing Google Analytics. And especially Google Analytics conversion tracking. To know not just how Google Ads converts but how all your marketing channels convert. I mean, you can even set it up, so your offline conversions are tracked in Google Analytics. It’s not hard. The important thing they’re saying is, yeah, absolutely, make sure you can always track your conversions. Never do any digital marketing without that. But it’s false to suggest that Google Ads is the only platform that can do that. That’s wrong.

Bryan: Yeah. So basically, it’s just a matter of how you use Google Analytics, right?

David: Yeah.

Bryan: I think one of the biggest challenges is that Google Analytics is so robust that it would take a long time to master all of its aspects. At least, that’s how I see it. Like you have goal tracking, and there are many different aspects or sections. So yeah, I think it would take time to master.

David: Well, so there’s a lot of information in Google Analytics, but not all of it’s useful to everybody.

Bryan: Yeah, yeah.

David: With Google Analytics, it’s important to know what’s useful for your marketing campaign. And what’s designed for other platforms. So, if your website is about generating leads or sales, it’s really easy to get to that information. Where people get distracted is there’s a lot of other information in Google Analytics that isn’t necessarily useful for that goal. If, however, your website makes money by serving advertisements to people, well then, you’re going to want to look at things like time on site and average pages viewed. That stuff is really valuable if you’re selling ads. Because that means more people saw more ads. But it’s not as useful for a lead-generating site where sometimes people view more pages because it’s good, and sometimes they view more pages because they can’t find your darn contact form, and they’re frustrated. So, that’s why understanding and approaching Google Analytics in light of what your business’s goals are from your website is important. That helps you say that section is not as important as that. Now, the advantage of Google Analytics 4 is, frankly, that it is a lot less data. Google Analytics Universal was overwhelming to people because they have all these reports, and you can just spend hours on the data, which is fun but distracting. Google Analytics 4 is built to only show you a minimal amount of information, but if you want to, you can always create additional reports using the Explore Tab or Google Data Studio and come up with anything that you need. That’s useful. But it is paired down for the purpose of not being as intimidating as Universal Analytics was. That’s a good question. And I think it’s important for people to know you can track analytics using Google Analytics conversions on every marketing channel you use.

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