GTM

How To Configure Google Ads Server Side Conversion Tracking With Shopify

See how to enable Google Ads server side conversion tracking using Shopify and Elevar. Increase tracked conversions by up to 25% in 10 minutes.

In our world of tracking, the year of 2021 has been dominated by Facebook Conversion API, iOS14, and the chaos with attribution changes.

Google has flown a bit under the radar in terms of massive changes to their tracking.

They’ve quietly rolled out improvements to consent management, tested alternatives to cookies like Floc, and have started testing their own attribution reporting API.

Facebook has felt the most significant impact to tracking and attribution, but Google Ads conversion tracking has also experienced it’s own degradation of accurate conversion tracking.

Why?

The same reasons we’ve outlined in previous articles how ad blockers, browsers blocking trackers by default, Safari ITP, etc are negatively impacting client (i.e. browser) tracking.

To put it differently:

Without server side conversion tracking, you’re likely under-reporting conversions to Google Ads by 5-25%.

There is good news though!

You can now send server side conversions to Google Ads using a combination of:

  • Elevar Data Layer
  • GTM Web & Server Side Container Features
  • Elevar Pre-Built Containers

Here are a few examples of customers that we’ve been testing Google Ads server side conversion tracking with.

Customer # 1: 25% Increase in Tracked Conversions

In the example below, “Test Purchase” is our server side conversion event compared to the pre-existing Shopify thank you page conversion event.

google-ads-server-side-1

Customer # 2: 16% Increase in Tracked Conversions

In the example below, you’re looking at 30 days after going live with the Purchase (GTM Server) conversion running in parallel to the pre-existing purchase conversion set up in the GTM web container.

This view is looking at the previous 7 days.

google-ads-server-side-2

These are both significant increases in tracked conversions.

The steps below is how Elevar customers can get set up in less than 10 minutes (if you aren’t an Elevar customer today learn more about us here).

Step 1: Create New Google Ads Conversion

Inside of Google Ads, create a new conversion to run in parallel with your existing conversion.

The reason we suggest this is:

  1. Your existing conversion has history associated to it and is “dialed in” in terms of performance
  2. Whenever we’re making a big change we like to run the change in parallel (if possible) so our customers can make an informed decision and not have the what if the old way was better thoughts

When creating this new conversion be sure to set the “Include in Conversions” to No so you don’t duplicate reporting:

google-ads-server-side-2 create-new-conversion

Step 2: Verify Data Layer Version

Inside of your Elevar dashboard, navigate to Data Layer and confirm you are on at least version 2.16 or higher:

elevar-dl-version

Step 3: Import Pre-Built Container to GTM Web Container

Inside your Elevar account navigate to Pre-Built Tags and download Google Ads Server Side Data container:

googleads-to-ssocontainer

After importing to your Web Container then you need to update/verify two variables:

  1. If you already have GA4 tags with a base configuration tag then you will need to use a separate GA4 base container ID (or use a dummy ID). Using two base GA4 tags in parallel will cause issues.
  2. Your Server Side Container URL

You can find your server side container URL here:

ssl-url

Step 4: Import Pre-Built Container to GTM Server Container

Now move to your server side container for GTM and download this Pre-Built Container:

google-ads-ss-contianer-data

Then navigate to your GTM server side container and import & merge with your existing container.

After importing you’ll need to update your Conversion ID and Conversion Label from your Google Ads conversion you created in Step 1.

Grab these values:

conversion id and label

And enter them here:

google-ads-ss-converison

That’s it!

Step 5: Publish and Compare Results

Once you’re done you’ll need to publish both containers.

If you want to verify that your Server Side container works then you can place this into Preview Mode and then verify the tag is firing.

Here’s the tag:

google-ads-server-container

And here is how you can view the variables associated to the conversion:

google-ads-purchase-variables

Have any questions? Let us know in the chat.

Get Exclusive Elevar Insights directly to your inbox.

Get free analytics tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.

Shopify Tagging Experts

Learn how Elevar helps Shopify brands scale with expert server side tagging.

Learn More

Brad Redding

Brad, Founder of Elevar, has lived in eCommerce for nearly 15 years. Today Elevar helps thousands of eCommerce brands like Rothys, Vuori, Cuts Clothing, and Vessi maximize the value of their onsite data collection. He specializes in data analytics and conversion optimization to help brands exceed their business goals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles