Press "Enter" to skip to content

What is the Best Approach to Setting Up Conversion Tracking?

Today’s question comes from Josh.

He writes: 

“My main question is around conversion tracking. I recently went from working in-house, which had all tracking set up on its own built-in platform, to working for a marketing agency. 

I am baffled by setting up tracking. There just seems to be many options from doing it through Google ads, importing it from Google Analytics, or using Google Tag Manager. I’m really unsure of the best approach, primarily for lead from forms going to a THANK YOU page”. 

Yelling formal man watching news on laptop

This is a great question because I’ve tried all of the types of conversion tracking methods in the past and have now settled on one.

Conversion Tracking – Google Analytics

I’ve tried conversion tracking through Google Analytics by importing of conversions from Google Analytics. Yet, I found that the count was lower.  

Data can be lost in the process of tagging people coming from Google Ads. When those conversions show up in Google Analytics as goals, they import them back into Google ads. These missed conversions may be counted. 

Google Tag Manager

I’ve also gone through Google Tag Manager. This takes the Google Ads codes and installs them through Google Tag Manager. While some Tag Manager gurus may disagree with this, I find the process to be a bit pointless. It may be helpful if you’re managing a client’s account, but once you get the code on their website, you’re free to go ahead and install other codes if needed.

I’ve also come across cases where the codes just weren’t firing. We tried to install codes through Google Tag Manager and just couldn’t get things working correctly. The results are the same whether the codes are installed through Tag manager or directly onto the site.

Generate Code from Google Ads

Currently, the way I’m tracking conversions is by generating the code from Google Ads and installing it on the website or ‘Thank You’ page.

This eliminates the analytics and Tag Manager middlemen because you can just install the Google Ads code directly on the website. I’ve found that this is also the most accurate and simple way to do it. Just use one code and copy and paste it onto the website.

I’m sure there are varying opinions on this, but this is what I’ve found works best for me and I think you’ll be pretty happy with the results as well. It’s accurate and easy to install, especially if you’re just wanting to track lead forms going to a ‘Thank You’ page.

Thank you, Josh, for that question. If anyone has a question they’d like me to answer, there are three ways to ask a question for the Google Ads Strategy show.

  • Call the voicemail line at 1 (701) 409-4138.
  • Write a letter to 33 S 3rd St., STE D, Grand Forks, ND 58201 (special gifts welcome )
  • Email kyle [at] with subject “Podcast Question”.