4 steps to capture Google Ads data in Formstack

Learn a simple approach for capturing Google Ads data in Formstack so you know which campaigns generate your leads, customers and revenue.

Formstack (1)

Is finding out which of your Google Ads campaigns are creating customers and revenue laborious?

Imagine if you could witness where each lead is coming from, right down to the campaign and ad they clicked. If this is possible for you, you’d know which campaigns and ads are producing customers and revenue, so you’d be able to invest more in the beneficial ones.

This blog will help you learn how to use Attributer to capture Google Ads data in Formstack, along with every lead you receive. You’ll also know how to use it to track your Google Ads campaigns are performing.

Why it's important to track customers and revenue from Google Ads

Let’s say that you run a business selling and installing pool equipment. To promote your business, you run Google ads highlighting the various products you offer, such as Pool Pumps and Pool Cleaners.

If you were using a tool like Google Analytics to count visitors and form completions, you’d get something like this:

Spend $2,000 $2,000
Visitors 200 100
Goal Completions 20 10

If the only data you have is on visitors and leads from spend, then it would seem like the Pool Pumps campaign was excelling more than your Pool Cleaners campaign, which would make you direct more of your budget to the former.

On the other hand, imagine if you could see the results all the way through to the number of customers and the amount of revenue generated.

You’d get something like this:

Spend $2,000 $2,000
Visitors 200 100
Leads 20 10
Customers 2 5
Revenue $8,000 $25,000

If you’re able to monitor campaign effectiveness all the way down to customers and revenue, you can understand the whole  story.

In this situation, the Pool Cleaners Campaign is excelling because:

  • You received more customers from the Pool Cleaners Campaign (5) than the Pool Pumps Campaign (2)
  • Your lead-to-customer conversion rate is five times greater for the Pool Cleaners Campaign (50% vs. 10%)
  • Your average customer value is higher for the Pool Cleaners Campaign: $5,000 per customer vs. $4,000 per customer from the Pool Pumps Campaign.
  • Your cost of acquiring a customer is lower through the Pool Cleaners Campaign: $400 vs. $1,000
  • Your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is three times higher in the Pool Cleaners Campaign

As you can see from the above analysis, you get a much better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t when you can capture the source of every lead and track it through to customers and revenue.

4 simple steps to capture Google Ads data in Formstack

Attributer makes it easy to capture Google Ads data in Formstack. Here's how it works:

1. Add UTM parameters to your ads

UTM's on Google Ads

Before capturing Google Ads data in Formstack, you must first add UTM parameters to your campaigns.

If UTM parameters sound foreign to you, no worries, they’re simply extra text that you add to the end of the URL you send to people from your campaigns.

For this reason, if the page you’re sending someone is attributer.io/integrations/salesforce, then your final URL with UTM parameters may look like this:


Even though you can design your UTM parameters whichever way you want, it’s wiser to follow the general best practice for Google Ads, which is something like this:

  • UTM Medium = Paid search
  • UTM Source = Google
  • UTM Campaign = The name of your Google Ads campaign
  • UTM Term = The name of the ad group the ad belongs to
  • UTM Content = The specific ad

Tagging your URLs with UTM parameters is simple, and free tools offered on the web can assist you in building them.

2. Add hidden fields to your forms

Step 5

After adding UTM parameters to your URLs, you must now add a number of hidden fields to your lead capture forms. These forms are the ones used to gather data from your site visitors. The hidden fields you need to add are the following:

  • Channel
  • Channel Drilldown 1
  • Channel Drilldown 2
  • Channel Drilldown 3
  • Landing Page
  • Landing Page Group

Adding hidden fields to Formstack is super simple. You only need to drag and drop a ‘Hidden’ field type into the form. For further instructions, check here.

3. Attributer writes Google Ads data into the hidden fields

Step 5

Once the hidden fields have been added, Attributer will scan where your visitors are coming from. Every time a user submits a form on your site, Attributer populates the hidden fields with the values you put in your UTM parameters.

For instance, if I was a marketer at Dropbox and a person arrived on my site from one of my brand campaigns in paid search, Attributer would fill out the hidden fields like so:

  • Channel = Paid search
  • Channel Drilldown 1 = Google
  • Channel Drildown 2 = Brand campaign
  • Channel Drilldown 3 = Free account ad

On top of the values from the UTM parameters, Attributer would also capture the visitor’s landing page (e.g., dropbox.com/features/cloud-storage) and the first landing page group (e.g., features).

4. Google Ads data is captured in Formstack

Step 4 (1)

At last, when a visitor submits the form, the Google Ads data is captured together with the information the lead put in the form, such as their name, company, email, phone, etc.

There are a variety of things you can do with this information in your hands, such as:

  • Add it to each new lead notification email so you can easily view where each lead came from
  • Send it to your CRM (including Salesforce, Pipedrive, Hubspot, etc) so your sales team can also view where each lead has come from
  • Use it to build reports that tell you which Google Ads campaigns are actually producing leads, revenue and customers.

Why using Attributer is the best way to capture Google Ads data in Formstack

What makes Attributer the best option for placing UTM parameters behind your Google Ads and capturing the data in Formstack when there are other methods to do so?

Here’s why:

1. Captures all traffic

More than being an excellent tool for capturing Google Ads data in Formstack, Attributer can also monitor all the other sources of leads (Organic Social, Paid Social, Organic Search, etc.)

This means you can run reports to find where your leads and customers are coming from. You can determine the source of ALL your leads, not just the ones from your Google Ads campaigns.

This information can be very beneficial, especially when your SEO efforts are raking in most of your leads and customers instead of your Google Ads campaigns. This way, you’re informed about where to invest the best so you won’t put your money to waste.

2. Attributer remembers the data as visitors browse your site

The UTM parameter on the page where the form is completed is a common requirement for most other UTM capturing tools and methods. This can be an issue when the page a visitor completes a form on isn't the exact page they first landed on your site.

For example, let's say someone clicks one of your Google Ads and is led to a landing page for this campaign. After some thinking, they decide they want your product or service, so they click on the 'Get A Quote' button, which then takes them to a different page to fill out your quote request form. This means that the page they complete a form on isn't the exact page they initially landed on, so the UTM parameters are lost.

You don't have to put up with this with Attributer because it stores the UTM parameters in a cookie in the user's browser. This means that the UTM parameters will always be passed through no matter what page the user completes a form on.

All in all, this indicates that regardless of the user's navigation activity on your site before completing a form, you'll always be able to trace them back to your Google Ads.

3. Provides cleaner data

A common problem when using other tools that capture raw UTM parameters is that your data gets messed up along the way, making it challenging to create accurate reports.

For example, pretend some of your Google Ads campaigns are tagged with UTM_Source= Google.com (capital G), others with UTM_Source= google (lowercase, no domain), and others with UTM_Source= adwords.

If you capture these raw UTM parameters in Formstack and use them to determine the number of leads you got from your Google Ads campaigns, you’ll get three different sources that you’d have to stitch together manually.

It’s different with Attributer because it recognizes the possibility of capitalization and other inconsistencies and would appoint the leads to the right channel regardless.

4. Attributer captures landing page data

Ever wondered if your blog and other in-depth content pieces are generating leads and customers? If so, how many could they be exactly?

Attributer can offer a solution to this because it not only captures channel data as well as the landing page (i.e., attributer.io/blog/capture-utm-parameters) and the landing page category (i.e., /blog).

With this data on-hand, you’ll be able to see how well certain sections on your site are performing (e.g., your blog) when generating leads, revenue, and customers.

And since both the landing page and landing page group are captured, you can view your blog’s performance in two ways: as a whole section and as individual blog posts.

Wrap up

If you’ve been finding a way to track the leads and customers you get from your Google Ads, then Attributer is a proven solution.

It will capture the UTM parameters behind your Google Ad campaigns, which lets you create reports that determine which campaigns each of your leads and customers have come from.

In addition, it will also provide you with data on leads that come from other channels. This way, you’ll be able to track the source of ALL your leads, not just those from Google Ads. In the end, you’ll be more informed on where to invest your money to grow your business.

Best of all, it’s free to get started. Begin your free trial today and find out what Attributer can do for you.

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About the Author

Aaron Beashel is the founder of Attributer and has over 15 years of experience in marketing & analytics. He is a recognized expert in the subject and has written articles for leading websites such as Hubspot, Zapier, Search Engine Journal, Buffer, Unbounce & more. Learn more about Aaron here.