Conversion tracking in AdWords is important for many reasons, but one in particular: 

It tells AdWords how your ads are performing, and if they are performing, it means that the visitors that engaged with your ads were interested by what you were trying to sell them. 

Google Ads can then compare your performances against other advertisers and score your ads accordingly:

  1. It increases your ads Quality Score
  2. It decreases your cost per click

As of January 2019, TrackingDesk provides a native integration with Google Ads. If you are interested in the Google Ads integration, please click here or contact us.

The Affiliate Challenge

Attribute the initial click received from your ad to the conversion reported by an affiliate program. In other terms, you need to capture the Google Click Identifier (GCLID) and send it to your affiliate link. 

Given the fact that your visitor will first land on your site, blog or landing page and then click on your call to actions (CTA) to visit the offer link, you need to be able to capture the GCLID and pass it to the affiliate link.
TrackingDesk does that automatically if you follow the Adwords setup guidelines.

Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Google Ads provides a javascript which needs to be set on the website where the conversion happens. Since you cannot set the conversion javascript on the offer thank you page, you need to use what Google Ads calls "offline conversions" import, which requires a manual setup.


The variable that associates conversions to clicks is GCLID. It is appended by AdWords to your final URL when you have the AutoTag feature enabled in your account. 

"Gclid, short for Google Click Identifier, is a unique tracking parameter that Google uses to transfer information between your Google Ads account and your Google Analytics account. A default feature of any Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) account is URL auto-tagging."

TrackingDesk records the GCLID value and associates it with an "event_id" (which is the unique visit identifier generated by TrackingDesk.
You can see those values in your Trackingdesk analytics when grouping the stats by 

  • Click ID
  • Event ID


  1. Before being able to upload conversions to Adwords you must follow the AdWords guidelines here 
  2. In Adwords: Enable Auto Tagging so AdWords  can append the GCLID to your campaign URL.
  3. In Adwords: Create your conversion action to upload conversions from clicks.

Upload conversions

Before you can upload conversions you need to prepare the conversion file (CSV) with the appropriate columns, data, format and values.

  • You can copy the template here.

Prepare the file:

  1. Navigate to your TrackingDesk Analytics
  2. Filter the traffic source (select Google Adwords)
  3. Select the time span you'd like to upload and Apply (if there is an overlap from the previous time you've uploaded conversions, AdWords will not count duplicate conversions).
  4. Open or export the conversion report.
  5. Copy / Paste the values to the appropriate columns in your excel / sheet
  6. Save the file
  • The conversion name set in the file must match the conversion name set in AdWords
  • You can upload multiple conversion types simultaneously
  • You can also use the Google Sheet integration - in this case you need to share the file according to the instructions provided by Google Ads when you select this option
  • You need to wait at least 4 hours after setting up a new conversion type in AdWords, before uploading new conversions. 

Upload the conversions in AdWords

  1. Navigate to the conversion section and click on Upload from the left menu
  2. Source - Upload a file or use Google Sheet
  3. Choose a file and hit preview
  4. Check the results - Errors are flagged
  5. Apply or discard

While this is a tedious workflow, it is absolutely worth it. 

You can also use our Zapier integartion to automate this process.

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