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Google AdWords recently released an update to their conversion tracking tag. The new tag consists of two pieces – a global site tag and an event snippet. At this time, the updated tags are only available in the new AdWords UI.
If these two parts sound familiar, it’s because they are – this is similar to how Google Analytics has tracked events and actions across websites for the past few years. In fact, if you already have Google Analytics implemented, the global site tag from GA can be adapted to work with the new AdWords tracking.
In the new UI, all conversion actions can be found under the ‘Tools, Billing and Settings’ menu at the top, denoted by a small wrench. To get to the tags, click ‘Measurement’ then ‘Conversions. To create a new conversion action, click the blue ‘+’ button. The global site tag will be the same for all conversion actions, so you can click into any action to get that. Snippets will differ by conversion actions and can either be triggered by a page load or a click.
The global site tag goes across all pages of the website, in the <head> section of HTML pages just like the GA tag does. Also similar to GA, you only need one of these tags across the whole website – so even if you need to track multiple conversion events, you only need to place this piece of code once.
Event snippets are small pieces of code that can be placed anywhere a conversion action needs to be tracked. Each conversion action will need its own event snippet, just like how different conversion actions currently require their own pixels.
These snippets tell Google which action in the AdWords interface deserves a conversion and can pass along the same data, like order value, back to AdWords. Conversion actions can still count order IDs as well, though this is not standard and will require a special ‘transaction_id’: field to be added to the pixel.
Google has tried to make implementation through Tag Manager very easy. After creating a new event snippet, just grab the Conversion ID and Conversion Label. Those will be implemented in GTM, alongside variables like Value or Order ID.
While Google has not announced plans to deprecate the older AdWords tags immediately, it is a good idea for developers to familiarize themselves with the new tagging system. As the new UI fully rolls out, it is likely that all new conversion actions will default to the new style. Planning the transition now will ease possible resource strain down the line.