Timing Conversions in Google Ads

Why the Timing of Conversions Matter in Google Ads

Today I want to talk about the timing conversions in Google Ads. So what do I mean by that? In default, when you create a conversion goal inside of Google Ads, the default is to give credit for that conversion action if it happens within 30 days of clicking on an ad. So it will give itself credit inside of Google ads. As always, you should think carefully before going with this default setting in Google Ads.


The Problem with the Default

The problem with the 30-day default window is that if you have a longer sales cycle, you might be missing the credit for a conversion action. It’s important to understand that a credit is given for the impression prior to the click that led to the conversion. So if you’re looking at a 14-day window, but the click or impression prior to the click happened 15 days ago then you might not see the conversion that just happened. I know, that can be quite confusing, and that’s why sometimes conversions are missed.

So this is the help document that is showing the time of the impression preceding the click that leads to the conversion. That’s when that conversion takes place. This plays into looking at your reports, and this also plays into choosing the conversion window.

Look at Conversion Actions in Google Ads

Go inside of Google Ads by Tools > Conversions.

Here you can take a look at all the different types of conversions that are taking place. Here we can see the source of our conversions. In this example, most of these are pulled from Google Analytics which is our preferred method over here at Elevated Marketing Solutions. There’s also one that represents calls from the ad. So that’s a call that takes place prior to you even clicking through the ad, and this will reside only inside of Google Ads.

Adjust the Timing of the Conversion Window

So if we have a long sales cycle, what we should move out the timing as far as it can go, let’s say, 90 days; if that’s how long a conversion action takes.

Also set view-through conversions: A view-through conversion is when someone sees an impression of an ad being shown, whether or not that is in search or in the display network. Usually, it’s more important in the display network because somebody might view a display ad and not take any action but later take action –  so a view-through conversion will give that credit.

Why the Timing of the Conversion Matters

So back to the timeframe here. Let’s say we have a long sales cycle, say, 90 days. The timing will give full credit if somebody clicks, and (up to 90 days later) decides to take one of your conversions and actually proceed through. The conversion timing matters when it comes to the reporting of your data.

So you’ll want to make sure that when you are analyzing whether or not something is effective that you poll back to 90 days or whatever your conversion window is.

Reporting the Data

Going back to our example, if somebody sees an ad and then decides to click on day 60 but doesn’t actually make the conversion action until day 89, it’s going to go back and give credit at day 60. So if we were looking at a 30-day window, that would be fine. Let’s pull that back to day one, and then somebody doesn’t make a conversion for 89 days, it’s going to go all the way back to that day one and give that conversion credit at that time.


I know this can be confusing, however, it makes a big difference when you’re going through your accounts. When you first look into an existing Google Ads account, take a look at the conversion actions. Where are they pulling from?  Pay attention to timing conversions in Google ads as it becomes important particularly when you have a long sales cycle. This contributes to the accuracy when reporting on data.

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