How to Split Test Google Ads Server-Side vs Client-Side

Here's our recommendations for comparing your secondary Google Ads Server-Side Conversion Actions to your primary Google Ads Client-Side Conversion Action


If you've purchased a Done For You installation or are on a Tracking Management Monthly Service, our Analysts likely setup a secondary conversion action for your Google Ads Server-Side integration (unless you've told us to use a primary conversion action!).

Or if you have followed our Google Ads Server-Side Setup Guide, we've guided you to use secondary conversion actions.

A secondary conversion action is used for observation only. [Google Documentation] It isn't used for bidding. This will allow you to split test the new Server-side Tracking against your original client-side tracking so that you can prove to yourself that the data is better.

Our recommendation is to not remove your previous Google Ads Tracking after setting up your server-side tracking. Instead, run a split test for at least 2 weeks, analyze the data, and then migrate your server-side tracking to be your primary conversion action.

So here's our general guidance on how to compare the secondary Google Ads conversion actions (Server-Side tracking) to your primary conversion action (Traditional Browser Tracking).

Before You Begin:

We recommend letting your server-side secondary conversion actions collect at least 2 weeks worth of data and then comparing the results.

Step 1: Navigate to Your Conversion Settings

In Google Ads, click Tools & Settings > Measurement > Conversions

Click View All Conversion Actions

Step 2: Select Time Frame

Select your date range to be the last 2 weeks.

Step 3: Gather Client-Side Data

Sort your purchase conversions by Action optimization. The conversion action marked as Primary is your primary conversion action.

In the above example, the primary conversion action has recorded 134 conversions with 15k conversion value.

Step 4: Gather Server-Side Data

You will have two conversion actions for your server-side tracking:

  • One titled Purchase (elevar server - side clicks)
  • And the other titled Purchase (elevar view-through client-side -- combine with server-side clicks

Find these two conversion actions and add them together to get the final conversion amount & values for your server-side tracking.

In the above example, the server-side conversion actions recorded ~156 conversion with 17k conversion value.

Step 5: Analyze

Compare the conversion amount & values that the primary client-side conversion action recorded against the Elevar server-side conversion actions.

In our example, the server-side tracking recorded 22 more conversion and ~2k more conversion value than the client-side tracking.

Bonus: Switch Server-Side to Primary Conversion Action

If your server-side conversion actions are recording more attributable conversions than your client-side conversion action, switch your setup so that the server-side conversion actions are the primary ones.

Set both the Purchase (elevar server - side clicks) & Purchase (elevar view-through client-side -- combine with server-side clicks conversion actions to be a primary conversion action by changing this setting:

And then change your client-side conversion action to be a secondary conversion action by changing this setting to the opposite:

Your final result will be both Elevar conversion actions set to primary and no other purchase conversion actions set to primary.