Key Takeaways: How and Why To Setup Conversion Tracking for Your Self Storage Business
- Conversion tracking allows you to understand how effective your ads or SEO campaigns are.
- Set your conversion tracking up in GA4 and import them into Google Ads. This allows you to see how all of your traffic sources are converting. The one exception are calls directly from your website, you’ll want to set these up in Google Ads.
- Stay away from Google’s automated conversion tracking.
- Install Google Tag Manager on your websites platform.
- Track phone call conversions, unit booking and contact form submissions.
- Unverified conversions can help you identify when your conversion tracking isn’t working correctly.
Google Ads Conversion Tracking
If you’re running or planning on running Google Ads for your Self-Storage Business (or any business) ensuring you have high quality conversion tracking is vital. Without it, you’ll be trying to analyze how your Google Ads campaign is performing with data that means very little. Knowing how many times your ads got viewed and clicked is nice but ultimately, you want to know if your paid ads led to leads, purchases, booking or whatever ‘conversion’ you’re trying to track.
What Is Google Ads Conversion Tracking?
The first step to setting up Conversion tracking is to have a real understanding about what a real ‘conversion’ is for your self-storage business. Once you have identified the ‘conversion(s),’ tracking that purchase, page view, button click, form submission or phone call is ultimately what we are trying to do.
In some cases, setting up conversion tracking can be relatively easy. In other cases, it can get quite complicated depending on the website you’re working with. In the Self-Storage industry, different management software’s pose various challenges when trying to set-up conversion tracking accurately.
Ultimately, you want to get as close as you can to getting your conversion tracking correct while recognizing it’s not always possible to have it perfect.
There are a few different ways that you can go about setting up conversion tracking but in this post, we’ll be referencing Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to set up conversion tracking for your self-storage business.
We recommend setting your conversions up in GA4 and importing those conversions into Google Ads. By completing the tracking in GA4, you’ll be able to identify how all of your traffic sources are doing – not just Google Ads!
Stay away from Google’s automated conversion tracking! Setting up conversions manually is extremely important as Google generally pushes you towards conversions that aren’t really conversions at all.
Why Is Conversion Tracking Important For A Self Storage Business?
Conversion tracking is important for any business and that includes the Self-Storage industry. Without it, you cannot make educated decisions when it comes to your advertising and where to invest your marketing dollars. Once you’ve identified marketing channels that convert it’s easy to confidently pour money into that channel and fill your facility.
If you’re running Google Ads specifically, getting as much conversion data into the account as possible is vital. If you have enough high-quality conversion data, making use of Google’s automated bidding strategies can really pay off. If you don’t have enough conversion data (under 30 conversions per month) I recommend continuing to use manual bidding strategies.
It’s our experience that the majority of conversions for self-storage facilities come by way of phone call. The second most typical conversion we see by users is online-bookings. Ensuring you have all the different ways a customer can convert is going to be important as well.
Keep in mind that there are limitations with phone call conversions that you can set-up through GA4. For calls directly from a website, you’re going to be setting up a conversion directly through Google Ads instead of through GA4.
How Do I Start Setting Up Conversions For my Self-Storage Business
The first thing you’re going to want to do to get started is to create and install a Google Tag Manager account. Once that’s done, you’re going to now have to install the tracking code into the header and body of your website.
Installing Google Tag Manage on WordPress: Simply download the ‘Insert Headers & Footers’ plug-in and install the code in the necessary fields.
Installing Google Tag Manage on StorEDGE: Log-in to the administrative back-end of your website and click on the settings button. From there simply enter ‘GTM-‘ followed by the 7 digits specific to your GTM ID.
Installing Google Tag Manage on Easy Storage Solutions (ESS) : Log in to the backend and find the ‘settings’ section under the ‘Website’ tab. Scroll down to find the section for the ‘Analytics code’ and copy and paste the header code that GTM provides when you initially create the account. With ESS, you only need to install the header section.
Installing Google Tag Manager on a different management software: If you’re stuck on how to install Google Tag Manager, please don’t hesitate to shoot us a message and we’ll be happy to help.
Once you’ve installed Google Tag Manager, you’ll now want to create and install GA4. Your management software likely has a place to install Google Analytics but it’s best practice in this case to install via Google Tag Manager.
Types of Conversions To Track With Google Ads For your Self-Storage Business
Let’s first identify the types of conversions you’re going to want to track for your self-storage business.
Phone Call Conversions
There are two different ways we primarily track conversions from phone calls.
- Calls from Website
With this type of conversion, we are tracking users who visit the website through a Google Ad. Through Google Ads, you can take advantage of Google Forwarding Numbers which will dynamically replace your existing phone number with a Forwarding number that will only appear for those who click through an ad. When a site visitor calls the number, they are automatically forwarded to the correct number and it is recorded in the Google Ads platform.
- Calls from Ads
By setting up the Call Extension, in Google Ads, the system will begin counting calls for anyone who clicks the phone number on the actual ad.
A note for both of the above that just because a call took place, it doesn’t automatically count it as a conversion. By default, a call must last atleast 60 second to count as an conversions. Otherwise, it’ll just be recorded in the ‘Phone Call’ column in your Google Ads dashboard.
Unit Bookings Conversions
It’s ideal for a self-storage business to see storage unit booking directly through Google Ads. This is possible in most cases by counting certain ‘Page Views’ as conversions.
Contact Form Submissions
In some cases, you may have a contact form on the website for users that want to inquire but don’t want to phone. In this case, we want to ensure anytime a contact form is submitted, that the action is tracked as a conversion.
How To Set Up Conversion Tracking With Google Analytics For Self-Storage
To set up conversion tracking, you’re going to be using Google Tag Manager. Tag Manager works by creating ‘tags’ and then an accompanying ‘trigger’. Because you have GA4 installed through GTM, you’re going to primarily be creating ‘GA4 Events’ during the tag configuration step which can be found down the left hand side of the menu.
Once that’s selected and you’ve chosen your GA4 property as the ‘Configuration Tag’ you can move on to the trigger. With the trigger, you’re telling Google what ‘action’ will fire your tag, which will then create an event in GA4.
In the case of a Unit Booking conversion, you’re going to want to identify the URL of the ‘check-out’ page of your booking process. If for example the URL was the following: www.selfstorageking.com/booking/completed-payment/ you could set a page view of the URL which includes ‘completed-payment’ as the trigger.
In the case of a Contact Form conversion, you could track a few different ways:
- Create a ‘Thank-You’ page that users go to after submitting the form, making that page the trigger.
- Track the ‘Submit’ button click on the form. For this you need to enable ‘Click Variable’ in Google Tag Manager which can be found in the GTM Workspace.
- Or you can track the ‘Form Submission’ in which you need to also enable variables and determine the required parameters for the form you’re using.
And finally, for Phone Calls From Website, you’re going to set up a ‘Phone Call’ conversion in Google Ads. In this case, you won’t actually be setting up G4 events as the dynamic phone number swapping doesn’t work with GA4 – it’s exclusive to Google Ads.
The process then is different in that you select ‘Phone Calls’ when initially setting up the conversion in Google Ads. From there, you can simply follow the instructions to set up the conversion. Note the ‘Call Length’ section on the conversion setting will be default to ’60 seconds’ which means that any phone call that doesn’t last 60 seconds will not count as a conversion. However, you can adjust the ‘columns’ section of your Google Dashboard to include ‘Phone Calls’ which will show you how many phone calls were recorded.
On the Google Tag Manager side, you’ll select ‘Google Ads Calls from Website Conversion’ as the tag type. Follow the instructions and set up the trigger to fire on all pages. Once you’ve successfully published the Tag and Trigger, your phone number will begin changing for those users who have clicked through a Google Ad.
Importing Conversions from Google Analytics into Google Ads
Once the events have been set up for GA4 in Google Tag Manager, they should show up in your events tab within 24 hours as long as there was some activity. Once they have shown up, you can simply toggle the option which asks to count the event as a conversion. Wait an additional 24 hours and those conversions are now ready to be imported into Google Ads.
In the Conversions section of Google Ads, select ‘New Conversion Action’ and then select ‘Import’.
From there, you’ll see the conversions you’ve set up in GA4 which can now be easily imported into Google Ads. Once completed, your self storage business will have some type of conversion tracking set-up.
Important Things to Consider with your Conversion Tracking
It’s important to track your conversions both in Google Analytics and in the Google Ads platform. Each platform will provide different information and will allow you troubleshoot any potential issues that arise. It’s possible that your conversion tracking is set-up incorrectly and in that case, look for ‘unverified’ conversion within the Google Ads platform. That will tell you that Google Ads cannot see your conversion.
If a conversion is ‘inactive’ this does not mean that the conversion is not working but that it hasn’t fired in sometime. This would likely happen for conversions that rarely happen. If it’s a ‘common’ conversion and you’re seeing the ‘inactive’ notification, you may want to review your trigger to ensure it’s set-up correctly.
If your site structure ever changes, it’s important to identify if that will impact your conversion tracking. For example, if you’re tracking a specific ‘page view’ and the URL of that page view changes, you’ll need to then update your trigger.