29 Oct 2015
Reading time: 4 mins.

Google AdWords Click Conversions in Google Tag Manager

In this post we will discuss a website conversion variant: AdWords click conversions, the best option to track clicks on website buttons or links as conversions.

This is the process to generate this conversion type step by step:

1.  Create a new website conversion and configure the initial part as necessary


  • Name
  • Value: none, fix or dynamic.
  • Count: all or unique conversions. 
  • Conversion windows: conversion attribution values.
  • Category
  • Optimization: it is used for separating key conversion actions we wish to consider for Bid strategy from micro conversions optimization (e.g. step prior to purchase). Frequently, there are secondary dimension actions we wish to take into account but exclue for campaign optimization. These are micro conversions and it is preferable to deselect Optimization checkbox for them.


We will obtain obtain more realistic data about (relevant) conversions for keyword, adgroup and campaign assessment if “Conv. (opt.)” column is added.


2. We continue creating tags. We can see in advanced tag configuration that we can select Tracking event:


  • Page Load: it is the most common option when we have a confirmation URL.
  • Click: when we want to track clicks on links or buttons as conversions.

If we select click,the following version of Adwords conversion code will be displayed:


If we read the instructions, we will see that we have call to “goog_report_conversion” function whenever we click on the element. Google AdWords helpdesk contains example of this code.


Fortunately, it is possible to integrate this via Google Tag Manager without modifying the source code or using onClick directly in the link.


3. Create a new custom HTML tag in Google Tag Manager. Past the first code snippet (image 1) which enables Adwords to generate conversions. We can call it “AdWords Click Conversion Listener”.


Activate the tag in the page or pages where the button or link is. In this case, we will use URI/download/ page as an example. It is like the “listener”, we previously need these AdWords functions in order to track click conversion.


4. Next, create another custom HTML tag in Google Tag Manager to trigger “goog_report_conversion” whenever users click on the conversion link or button. .

 This is the code snippet example provided by Google:

<a onclick="goog_report_conversion('http://www.example.com/whitepapers/a.pdf')" href="#" >DOWNLOAD NOW</a>

 It is a call to a function. Its argument is the targeted URL. The result will be the following one:

    1. The conversion is sent to Google AdWords
    2. The link in brackets is executed (this link can be customized to point to  our desired landing page).

Preferably, the href attribute should not be modified. The landing page link should be only included in the function.  Consequently, conversions in AdWords  will always be sent before the URL changes.

This is the most remarkable advantage of using click conversion code code instead of normal page load version. Created for this purpose, this option is more likely to always send information correctly. Nevertheless, it is possible to set the Link Click GTM triggers to “Wait for tags” before opening the link. In conclusion, both alternatives are quite similar. In our opinion, it is preferable to use the specific option explained in this post.

 Continuing with step #4,we create another custom HTML tag where only the function is included:



IMPORTANT:Select “Once per page” in “Tag Firing options” to avoid storing duplicate conversions whenever a single user makes a download click twice or more times.
Note: Mark “Only fire the tag in published containers” in this tag to avoid sending false conversions to Google Adwords.


This will be resulting download link:

<a href="#">DOWNLOAD NOW</a>


It would therefore be a great idea to add ID or CLASS attributes (depending on the amount of links) to favour identification from GTM :

<a href="#" id="download">DOWNLOAD NOW</a>


In this example, we implement two conditions in the trigger for security reasons. One is enough, however. The safest bet is to use {{Click ID}} as the variable for filtering this type of triggers  (they are unique).


Limit  /download/ page in Enable When configuration. This GTM setting must always include page conditions. This requirement is equivalent to activating a page or pages  in former Event listeners.

In Fire On specify the conditions that identify the link.

Thanks Aitor for his advice!