Google Ads
is the ultimate way for most advertisers to get quality traffic quickly and continuously. Paid ads should quickly provide the necessary goals in the form of conversions.

But even if the settings, keywords and ads in the Google Ads account are carefully set, advertisers sometimes observe the following: The advertising budget is spent, but the hoped for conversions are slow or irregular.

Especially with fewer clicks per day, it can be difficult to get conversions on a regular basis. The reason for this is actually simple: the algorithm needs data so that smart bid strategies can learn. If there is too little data in the form of clicks and conversions, this may not always work optimally. The account then performs under the actual possibilities. An audit of the conversion tracking setup can therefore be very useful.

The following approaches will help identify possible causes:

Could micro conversions provide the necessary data?

Google Ads accounts that have to get by with a few clicks per day do not always work optimally. Bid strategies like Target CPA , Target ROAS or Maximize conversions need data. They arise in a learning phase and also need continuous signals in the long term in order to be able to achieve goals.

If you only have a few clicks in a campaign and only a few conversions a day in the account, then micro conversions can help. These are not “hard conversions” like a transaction in an online shop or a lead form sent on a B2B site. Micro conversions are more upstream, valuable website actions such as:

  • the click on a phone number
  • viewing the contact area
  • the intensive preoccupation with the product or service pages
  • adding a product to the shopping cart
  • and much more.

If you add such actions under conversions, you no longer just measure the “hard deals”. However, the learning algorithm is given more valuable signals. In this way, the bid strategy has more clues about which users are really valuable. Especially when there is little traffic, this can make a decisive contribution to ensuring that the account can also advertise the conversion campaigns in a targeted manner. A well implemented micro conversion concept then also ensures that the actual leads or sales increase.

Are conversions on the website measured correctly?

From the ad click to the conversion, there is a coherent, conclusion-oriented and measurable user journey. This means first and foremost: the conversion tracking snippets must be set up correctly and always between the tags. For this, the general website tag (gtag.js) has to exist on every page of the website. In addition, an event snippet must be inserted where the conversion is actually completed. This can be, for example, the thank you page after submitting the contact form or the checkout page of an online shop after successful payment.

In the e-commerce area, the special shopping cart values are recorded and sent with the conversion. For this, setting up ECommerce tracking is indispensable. A suitable tool is Google Analytics.

Since Google Ads will set a first-party cookie for conversion tracking from May 2021, you should still check whether:

  • the site-wide tagging was implemented correctly
  • the automatic tagging has been activated in the Google Ads account settings and possibly in Google Analytics (if the measurement takes place there).

Further technical aspects that can influence the website’s conversion rate are listed here:

  • Is the landing page loading fast enough? This can be quickly tested here for your own site: Google Page Speed .
  • Is the site optimized for mobile devices?
  • Are there any unnecessary 301 redirects between the click and the final landing page?

Is the tracking code for conversion tracking correctly integrated? This can be done, for example, with the Google Tag Manager testing.

Of course, there are also content, design and advertising psychological aspects. They also influence the conversion rate on the landing pages.

Is the cookie banner embedded correctly?

Not just since then Judgment of the BGH in May 2020 website operators require a data protection-compliant cookie banner. This means that when you visit the website, users can decide whether to allow marketing cookies and thus conversion tracking, for example. As long as Google Ads is still setting and using cookies (in the direction of 2022, “FloC” will probably enable tracking even without cookies ), so a certain proportion of the visitors will not be measurable inside.

One speaks of an opt-out part: This includes all website sessions in which the cookies required for conversion tracking were rejected via the banner. Certain browsers or plugins increase this share by automatically blocking cookies regardless of the banner.


So 100% of the actual conversions never arrive in the Google Ads account. Rather, the users, who can be measured by their consent, form the data basis. If their proportion is too low, this has a negative effect on performance. A powerful cookie banner (for example as a plug-in on WordPress sites) also indicates a percentage for the opt-in and opt-out. For Google Ads, an opt-in percentage of 70% or more is a good guideline.

If your own cookie banner does not provide enough data about users and conversions, you should check a few points:

  • Is the banner set up in a technically correct manner and in compliance with data protection regulations? Opt-in and opt-out must work according to the individual selection.
  • Does the banner allow quick and easy acceptance of all cookies?
  • Doesn’t the banner annoy visitors inside? Complicated cookie banners with too much text tend to favor opt-out or even premature exit from the website.

Would Google Consent Mode be an option?

We have already addressed the changing role of cookies in conversion tracking in point 3. But even before all Google Ads accounts say goodbye to cookie-based tracking, there is an interim solution. What is meant is that Google Consent Mode .

The consent mode enables a measurement of almost all conversions, taking into account the consent decisions. Even if the cookies are rejected, valuable conversions can still be measured in Google Ads. You can improve the data quality so decisively. In principle, Consent Mode sheds light on the black box of users who have rejected or blocked the marketing cookies. The data protection decisions of the individual persons are nevertheless taken into account. Conclusions, for example about device types or the exact search entries, are not measured, but conversions, which are so important for advertisers, are.


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Consequently, the consent mode can improve the quality of the data. Here too, with just a few clicks and conversions, accounts can break the critical threshold of the necessary signals that a smart bid strategy requires.

Since the integration of the consent mode is complex, it is advisable to hire a tracking specialist or an agency.


The bid strategies in Google Ads require sufficient data and signals to learn optimally and to ensure conversions. In addition to the content work on the account and landing pages, conversion tracking is also an effective lever. You get the decisive percentages out of a stable and sensible setup.


About the author

Philip Thomisch is Head of SEA at UnitedAds. He coordinates international campaigns and projects in the area of lead generation for clients.

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