Google Ads Conversion Metrics - How Accurate Are They?

Google Ads Conversion Metrics - How Accurate Are They?

Just how accurate are Google Ads conversion metrics? As marketers, we tend to live and die by the metrics Google gives us when we run ads, right? I mean that’s really all we have to go on, mostly. There are other factors though that most of us tend to avoid or simply can’t get because it’s either not tracked or it can be misconstrued. That is, the actual-real number of calls or leads our clients receive from the ads.

While we know this can’t be 100% accurate either because the human factor is involved, missed calls, data not being accurately tracked…etc. There are a lot of factors and reasons why calls/leads may not get reported or tracked.

I’ll dive into some of the other factors I've come across and actually learned from Google themselves.

Several weeks ago a client came to us and said their business has been slower than usual and they haven’t been receiving the same amount of calls  they had been receiving in the past. I immediately hopped into their Google Ads account and checked their conversions over the last month. I was surprised to see that Google reported 200+ conversions for this account. Now for the budget and industry of this client, that is really good, that’s actually quite a few conversions, on paper so to speak.

This particular client happens to keep good, detailed spreadsheets of all of the calls they receive and where they come from. When I cross-checked their numbers with the conversions in Google Ads their spreadsheet numbers showed they’d only received about a hundred calls, so about half of what it said in Google Ads. I then asked the client for more data from previous months so they sent that as well. It showed me the same metrics, about half the calls of what Google Ads had been showing us.


I decided it was time to chat with the Google Ads team to see if they had any insight into why the numbers were so far off. I jumped through the hoops to chat with them, after being on hold for some time, and finally getting through to someone they explained why that may be. It was something I hadn’t thought about before. They said it could be and is most likely due to people clicking on the phone number (click-to-call) to call the company and then hanging up before someone answers, thus creating a recorded conversion in Google Ads.

This very well could be true and I’m sure it accounts for some of the missing conversions for our client, but 100 people clicking to call then hanging up? I’m not sure if I’d bet the farm on that excuse alone. That’s a lot of people hanging up the phone when they’re greatly needing help with the services this client offers.

On the other side of the token, I’ve had clients say business is booming but the Google Ads metrics are showing me the opposite.

At the end of the day it’s safe to assume we can’t trust the metrics in Google Ads like it’s the Bible truth but what we can do is set up the ads the very best we can and maintain them for maximum efficiency and quality. We can also ask the client to track phone calls/leads and report back to us every month. Asking the client, “how’s business going?” is also something valuable we can do as marketers. We all want our clients to succeed because when they succeed, we succeed, and it’s rewarding for both of us, right? Yes, of course it is!

If you’re wanting to succeed with Google Ads then give SEO Idaho a call today: 208-759-0777. We’re a professional, full-stack marketing and web development firm based in Boise, Idaho.