June 11, 2021
Reading time
3 min

Google Ads Conversion Tracking - A guarantee for success measurement and campaign evaluation

With classical search campaigns, i.e. mostly keyword-based, we bring targeted and relevant traffic to your own hotel website. Whether through brand keywords, i.e. the brand name of the hotel or hotel chain, or so-called generic keywords without a concrete brand reference such as "hotel + city" or, for example, "wellness hotel + region". When a user clicks on a Google Ads campaign, he or she is redirected either to the start page or to a special landing page, where he or she can carry out an action (conversion) as quickly and easily as possible. Clicking is quick, costs are incurred immediately. In order to be able to measure the success of the campaign, we implement a booking tracking system using Google Tag Manager, which not only shows the pure quantity of bookings made, but also their turnover. We call the ratio of costs and turnover, i.e. the cost ratio, CPR (cost-per-reservation). If we have achieved a turnover of 5000€ with a budget of 500€, the CPR is 10%.

In order to be able to evaluate campaigns better than just click + booking = success, Google provides us with useful setting options:

1. Attribution modelling - is the proportional attribution of conversions to multiple campaigns as soon as more than 1 click is required for a tracked action.

Example: A user first clicks on an ad of a generic campaign, does not perform any action (e.g. booking) and leaves the website again. In another search, the user clicks on a brand ad and books. The user has therefore carried out 2 clicks on different campaigns and generated 1 conversion in the Google Ads account. By means of attribution, 0.5 conversions are assigned to the brand campaign and 0.5 to the generic campaign, and the revenue is also divided. If even more clicks are involved for 1 conversion, the distribution is corresponding. Therefore, it can happen in our campaign reporting that decimal conversions are shown as bookings, although there can of course be no 0.5 booking.

Decimal conversions in the reporting

2. Cookie lifetime - is the lifetime of how long a Google Ads cookie remains active with a user. By default, we set the cookie lifetime to 30 days. The basic prerequisite is the acceptance of cookies on the website.

Example: A user clicks on an ad on Monday, performs no action and leaves the website. Without clicking on an ad again, the user returns to the website on Friday and performs an action. In the meantime, the user has not deleted his cookies. The physical action therefore takes place later than the ad click, but the conversion is assigned to the click and appears in the account on Monday.

But what happens to all the paid clicks that don't lead to a direct booking?

They also bring you added value! In addition to direct bookings, we can also measure other actions on your website and off it. These include, among others:

  1. Contact forms (contact, conferences)
  2. Newsletter subscriptions
  3. Downloads (menus, vouchers)
  4. Button clicks on third-party services (table reservations)
  5. Voucher sales
  6. Own online shops
  7. Telephone calls

All these actions can either bring you direct sales or assist you in doing so. We can create each of these actions in the Google Ads account and decide whether or not to include them in campaign reporting.

Including actions in the Google Ads account

If we include further conversions in the reporting, these are displayed in addition to bookings and can either visualise more direct turnover or simply show the quantity of the action carried out. We can decide for ourselves whether we assign a turnover to conversions or not. A registration for the newsletter may lead to less turnover than completed enquiry forms for meeting rooms. Based on your and our experience, we can jointly determine an average value for these conversions and statically assign this to the conversion. If, on average, every 4th form for conferences (conversion rate = 25%) results in a transaction that brings you 2000€ in revenue, we will deposit a static revenue of 500€ per conversion. The same procedure applies to call conversions, for example.

Conversion overview

We can basically measure calls in two ways:

  1. Click on a phone number within the Google ad
  2. Click on a phone number on the website

Both lead to bookings sooner or later and should definitely be tracked. For calls via ad, the hotel's phone number is attached to the ad via call extension and can be called immediately, especially on mobile devices.

Phone number ad

Google converts your phone number into a unique Google forwarding number to make it measurable. We define the duration of a call as a real call within the call conversion. By default, we choose a call length between 30 and 60 seconds.

Unlike calls via ads, we have to set up calls by clicking on a phone number on the website in Google Tag Manager. It is important that the phone number is not only displayed as text on the website, but is actually clickable and linked to a call function.

Lastly, let's take a look at possible third-party services, because we can also generate sales there using Google Ads campaigns, no matter whether it's an online shop, a voucher shop or a reservation platform. For all conversions on third-party websites, we need access or the implementation of the Google Tag Manager in these. If this is not the case, we can at least measure the clicks on the website to the third-party providers (button clicks, click-outs) and, as with calls, store a static turnover value, provided we do not receive a shopping basket as a value.

In our Myhotelshop reporting, we find all conversions created in the Google Ads account in the Conversion Insights Report. You can access this report via the pencil symbol on the respective Google Ads placement.

Conversion insights

Here you can see 4 types of conversions, whereby we only include the bookings in the campaign reporting. We measure the two call conversions and the contact form each with a fixed turnover, but leave them out of the campaign reporting in order not to influence the real total turnover and the associated CPR.

As you can see, we can do much more than just measure direct bookings. We advise each hotel individually on which conversion can be useful and what is technically possible to track. Please feel free to contact us if we have not already done so!