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

However, even if the settings, keywords and ads are carefully set in the Google Ads account, advertisers sometimes observe the following: The advertising budget is spent, but the hoped-for conversions take a long time or come in too irregularly.

Especially with a lower number of 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 bidding strategies can be learned. If there is too little data in the form of clicks and conversions, this cannot always work optimally. The account then performs below the actual possibilities. An audit of the conversion tracking setup can therefore be very useful.

The following approaches help to identify possible causes:

Can micro conversions provide the necessary data?

Google Ads accounts that have to get by with few clicks per day don’t always work optimally. Bidding strategies such as target CPA, target ROAS or maximize conversions require data. They are set in a learning phase and also need continuous signals in the long term in order to be able to achieve goals.

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

  • clicking on a phone number
  • viewing the contact section
  • intensive engagement with the product or service pages
  • adding a product to the shopping cart
  • and much more.

So if you add such actions under conversions, you are no longer measuring just the „hard closes“. However, you give the learning algorithm more valuable signals. Thus, the bidding strategy has more clues about which users are really valuable. Especially when traffic is low, this can be crucial in helping the account promote conversion actions in a targeted way. A well-implemented micro conversion concept then also ensures that the actual leads or sales increase.

Are conversions on the website measured correctly?

From ad click to conversion, there is a cohesive, completion-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) must exist on truly 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 store after successful payment.

In the ECommerce area, the specific shopping cart values are captured and sent with the conversion. For this, setting up ECommerce tracking is essential. A suitable tool is Google Analytics.

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

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

Other technical aspects that can influence the conversion rate of the website are listed here:

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

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

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

Is the cookie banner embedded correctly?

Website operators need a cookie banner that complies with data protection laws, and not just since the BGH ruling in May 2020. This means that users can decide when visiting the website whether they allow marketing cookies and thus conversion tracking, for example. As long as Google Ads still sets and requires cookies (in the direction of 2022, „FloC“ will probably enable tracking without cookies), a certain proportion of visitors will not be measurable.

This is referred to as an opt-out share: this includes all website sessions where the cookies required for conversion tracking were rejected via the banner. Certain browsers or plugins increase this percentage by automatically blocking cookies independently of the banner.

The Google Ads account therefore never receives 100% of the actual conversions. Rather, the users who can be measured through their consent form the data basis. If their share is too low, this has a negative impact on performance. A powerful cookie banner (for example, as a plugin on WordPress sites) also gives a percentage for opt-in and opt-out. For Google Ads, an opt-in percentage around or above 70% is a good guideline.

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

  • Is the banner technically correct and set up in compliance with data protection? Opt-in and opt-out must function according to the individual selection.
  • Does the banner allow a quick and easy acceptance of all cookies?
  • Does the banner not annoy visitors? Complicated cookie banners with too much text tend to encourage opt-out or even early exit from the website.

Is Google Consent Mode an option?

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

Consent Mode enables measurement of almost all conversions, taking into account consent decisions. Even if cookies are rejected, valuable conversions can still be measured in Google Ads. One can decisively improve the data quality this way. In principle, Consent Mode sheds light on the black box of users who have rejected or blocked marketing cookies.

The data protection decisions of the individual persons are nevertheless taken into account. Inferences, such as device types or the exact search entries are not measured, but the conversions that are so important for advertisers are.

Consequently, Consent Mode can raise the quality of the data. Here, too, accounts with few clicks and conversions can break through the crucial threshold of necessary signals that a smart bidding strategy requires.

Since the integration of the Consent Mode is complex, it is recommended to hire a tracking specialist or an agency.


Google Ads bidding strategies need sufficient data and signals to learn optimally and ensure conversions. In addition to the content work on the account and landing pages, conversion tracking is also an effective lever. A stable and sensible setup will help you achieve the decisive percentages.