How to Troubleshoot and Fix Google Ads Tracking Problems

Conversion tracking is a free Google Paid Ads tool that shows you what happens after a customer interacts with your ads -- whether they filled out a contact form, signed up for your newsletter, called your business, or responded to a banner ad. When a customer completes an action you've defined as valuable, these customer actions are called conversions.

Google Ads Tracking can be complicated at times - especially if you run into issues with seemingly no solutions. Fortunately, most of the problems you experience with Google Ads are easy to fix. Below, we look at some of the most common Ads hangups and how to troubleshoot and fix Google Ads tracking problems.

1. Low or No Conversion Rate Data

The Problem:

After setting up Google and using it for a period, Google Ads reports little to no data or conversions. First, do not assume that you have done anything wrong or that there are any major problems with Google. Lack of data is common in the early stages of reporting or when you make a major change to your ad strategy. 

The Solution:

Rule out your ad performance first. It is easy to target your tracking when you see low conversions. However, low conversions or lack of data may indicate some sort of action that Google is still tracking.

You may want to view your change history to double-check any changes you made to the account that could have caused a performance dip. In addition, ask these questions:

  • Did I lower my budgets or bids?
  • Do my keywords have a lower search volume?
  • Have I had lower activity during this time of year?

Google also has a handy tool to check up on the tags on our landing page. Google Tag Assistant is a plugin you can download and install on your browser that will run tests on whatever page your browser is on.

2. Conversion Data Seems Incorrect

The Problem:

You are getting more qualified leads and closing more deals, but your conversion metrics are not reflecting your conversions. Or the numbers are higher than they should be.

How to Fix It:

Check two specific portions of the Conversions section: the ‘Recent Activity’ and ‘Include in Conversions’ columns. 

Recent activity shows whether you haven’t brought in conversions in a while (‘tag inactive’ or ‘no recent conversions). Or, your ‘Include in Conversions’ column will show whether the action’s conversion data report in your conversion columns on your campaigns. If that column says ‘No’ when it is supposed to say ‘Ye, click into it to edit it and say yes.

You will want to have a backup way of tracking your conversions on your end to cross-check. This action could be via Google Analytics, a CRM, a marketing partner interface, or manually tracking what comes in on your end.

3. You Need to Remove Or Add a Conversion

The Problem:

You did not add a conversion action you wanted to track. Or, on the opposite end, your conversion data is skewed higher because it’s accounting for an action you no longer want to track.

The Solution:

To add a conversion, refer back to the setup section and follow the prompts to add the desired action to be included in data moving forward.

To remove a conversion, navigate to the Conversions section of Google Ads under Tools, then Measurement, and click on the name of the conversion action you’d like to remove. Once you’re in that conversion’s separate informational section, you can hit Edit on that information box and uncheck the “Include in Conversions” option. You can also remove the tracking code from your site’s backend.

4. Conversion Action Unclear

The Problem:

You’re seeing conversion data come through in your Google Ads columns, but you’re unsure what that conversion is or what that might mean for the seller journey.

The Solution:

Fixing this problem can be a bit tricky. To fix it, cross-check your actions back in the Conversions section. Navigating back to your conversions section will list how many of those specified actions you completed within your selected time frame. If you want to dial that in further, simply click on those actions and go to the Webpages section within them to see a breakdown of the total conversions split out by page.

5. You See ‘No Recent Conversions’ or ‘Tag Inactive’ in the Conversions Section

The Problem:

You’re in your Conversions section of Google Ads and you ‘tag inactive’ or ‘no recent conversions. This is in lieu of the fact that you have made recent conversions.

The Solution:

You haven’t had conversions within the last 7-day (no recent conversions) or 30-day (tag inactive) period. It does not mean that you are not tracking properly, but conversions have just been slow for that action. So, the only plan of action is to evaluate your account performance to see if there are any optimizations you can do to boost conversion frequency.

6. Old Tracking Setup on a New Landing Page

The Problem:

You launched a new landing page, need to adjust the tracking you previously set up on an old landing page.

The Solution: 

First, your new landing page requires a few updates to ensure the continuity of your conversion tracking goes smoothly. It will not have your old tags. If it is a new page, you will treat this the same as the set-up steps listed above to just implement the tracking fresh again as if it were new. Keep in mind that you will need to swap out all final landing page URLs on your ads.

7. Conversions Mysteriously Drop or Disappear

The Problem:

You had a high rate of conversions. But, they suddenly dropped drastically or disappeared.

The Solution:

If there is a sudden drop across the board for your conversion data, your tracking is likely the problem. Go is back to the change history that you can rule out performance. Then, follow the audit for leveraging the Conversions section of Google Ads as well as the Google Tag Manager. You should be able to identify weaknesses in your tracking.

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