Google Click ID Training - Learn How to use GCLID to Switch from CPA to ROAS

AdWords Advertiser Types

There are two basic types of businesses: those that sell products (e-Commerce) and those that provide services. These two business types typically use the ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) model for e-Commerce, an ROI based financial metric, and a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition or Lead) model for service-based providers. If the choice is available, it is always preferable to use the ROAS model because of its more powerful indication of a specific variable (i.e. a keyword) being more or less successful toward the overall goals of a PPC account.

But how does a service based business that uses its paid advertising channels to yield potential customer leads switch from how much it spends to get each lead on average, to a formula that determines the overall and specific values as a return on investment? Meet the Google Click ID, or its more common acronym, GCLID.

What is the Google Click ID (GCLID)

The GCLID is a universally unique ID that anonymously ties to the user behavior of an individual Google searcher. That unique ID, if carried along the path of the conversion funnel (i.e. the user sees the ad, clicks the ad, submits a form or makes a call, then schedules a service to be rendered) can then be pushed back into the AdWords interface with a value of what that client was ACTUALLY worth to the business. For example, say you own a home and corporate carpet cleaning business. Historically, the business, let’s call it Rich Carpet Cleaners, would measure its success by spending up to, but not beyond a pre-set limit, per each lead it receives. “I want to spend up to $50 per lead on average”, or a CPA equal to, or less than $50. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it fails to take into consideration that not all leads pan out (maybe 2/10 people who call or submit a form actually get their carpet cleaned). But this means you are inadvertently optimizing the PPC account toward 80% junk leads! Who wants to waste that kind of money?

That is where the GCLID can drastically change not only the way an account is optimized, but the impact of paid advertising has on the bottom line of the business. With the GCLID known on the form or via the call tracking data received when a call is placed by the customer (you do have call tracking in place, right?), you can then keep that unique ID together with that customer as the funnel progresses. Does that client choose to receive an appraisal of the work needed to be done? That’s helpful to know. A client who at least is willing to get an estimate is worth more than a customer who calls or fills out a form, but does not receive an estimate, even though no financial gain is earned by the business. This could be made into an offline conversion, “Carpet Cleaning Estimate”. A static or variable dollar value can then be assigned to customers that get a carpet cleaning estimate.

Next, let’s say some customers are impressed with the estimate and they elect to have the work performed. Now we have taken a step further toward real monetary value for the business. We can create a second offline conversion, “Carpet Cleaning Work Performed”. And unlike the first potential offline conversion, this one has an actual dollar value, the value being what you charged your customer. This means not only do you know what caused a customer to get the work performed (what time of day the user was searching, where the user was located, the search term the user typed in the search bar, etc.) but it also tells you what the user that was worth MORE dollars to your business did vs. someone who spent less (one customer received one room worth of cleaning for $100 and another received a large 4 bedroom house worth of cleaning worth $900). Now we not only optimize the account toward leads most likely to convert toward what you truly wish for, services in which you the business are paid for, but it also allows toward customers who are likelier to pay top dollars for higher value work.

Learn More About Google Click ID

If your marketing team or PPC agency account managers are not already taking advantage of this powerful tool within the AdWords platform, consider adding the GCLID and its respective data to your ongoing strategy today. To learn more about tracking these offline conversions and what is necessary to implement GCLID data back into AdWords, please visit Google’s support documentation.

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