How Will Adwords New Flexible Conversion Counting Affect Your Metrics
Earlier last week, Google sent out an email to all AdWords advertisers (full email at end of article) announcing some changes (or improvements, as they said) to its conversion reporting. So, what are these changes?
Google is calling this new conversion tracking “Flexible Conversion Counting”. In short, the change will give advertisers the freedom to choose how to count various conversion actions while also making conversion reports easy to read and digest.
Included among these changes are some user-interface and name changes you should be made aware of:
- Conversions (1-per-click) will now be changed to ‘Converted clicks.’ The reason for the change? It better represents what this column counts – clicks that result in at least one conversion.
- Conversions (many-per-click) will be replaced by a new ‘Conversions’ column with more power and functionality. It will count conversions based on how you want them to be counted.
Why might you want to have this added benefit and control of counting conversions? It allows you to narrow down and focus on singular instances, to help you refine your marketing strategies. For example, many businesses have several forms of conversions making up their total sales. While you want to count every sale as a conversion, there are times when you’ll want to see more specific breakdowns of numbers. With the new flexible counting conversion, you can target the right number of conversions for each conversion action you measure in AdWords (such as ‘unique sales’).
Conversion tracking will allow you to count conversions based on your specific business needs. Furthermore, you’ll be able to count all conversions that happen after a click, or only unique conversions. That way you can get a better glimpse into how your campaign is operating (based on whether you’re focused on total sales, or how well a campaign is driving new leads) and adjust your bids accordingly.
Breaking Down Flexible Conversion Counting
The two counting settings you have access to are ALL CONVERSIONS and UNIQUE CONVERSIONS.
Based on your business and needs, you’ll have to determine which type of setting is best for you (you can also mix and match the settings in specific situations).
If you measure conversions separately for a variety of products or services you sell, and want to see how ads are helping to build new leads, a Unique Conversion setting might be best as it will allow you to capture only unique conversions. What this means is it won’t count when people fill out multiple forms with different values for the same product. It’ll give you a truer picture of how well your ads are performing to drive business toward a product or service.
With the All Conversions setting, all of those conversions will be captured, which will give you a good idea of how your ads are helping your overall sales.
What To Expect With The AdWords Changes
The changes to AdWords have already been initiated; however, if you don’t change anything on your end, your newly dubbed ‘Conversions’ column will look the same as it did when it was called Conversions (many-per-click). And while you’ll now notice ‘Converted clicks’ where ‘Conversions 1-per-click’ once existed, there is no change to the functionality of that column.
If you use a bid strategy for conversions (such as Target CPA or Enhanced CPC), the conversion counting settings will only be used for bidding if your conversion bid metric is set to ‘Conversions.’ If, however, you set your bid metric to ‘Converted clicks,’ then your counting setting won’t affect automated bidding.
To change your conversion bid metric to ‘Conversions,’ sign into your AdWords account, click on the Tools and Analysis tab, then select Conversions. Click the Settings tab, click Edit, and next to ‘Conversion bid metric’ select ‘Conversions.’
If you use Target ROAS, your counting settings will always be used.
Change Is Good – Now Make The Most Of It
More control means more freedom, more power…and more work. Yes, this new change to AdWords is a very good thing, as it gives you the ability to truly refine your data. However, in order to make it work for you, you have to be willing to commit the time to determine what type of counting settings are best for your business environment. OperationROI can help. Call us at 1-888-277-5429 or fill out our contact form to learn how we can help you.
EMAIL FROM GOOGLE
Dear AdWords Advertiser,
In order to better meet the unique needs of your business, we’re making important improvements to conversion reporting in AdWords. We’re writing to share details about these upcoming changes so you are ready to take advantage of them when they are available in your account.
– More flexibility in counting conversions. Beginning in February 2014, you will be able to specify how to count different conversion actions. For example, you can choose to count all instances of certain conversion actions (such as sales) while counting only unique instances of other conversion actions (such as leads).
– Easier to understand conversion column names.
‘Conversions (1-per-click)’ will be renamed ‘Converted clicks’. This new column name is a more accurate representation of what this column actually counts: clicks that result in at least one conversion. In most cases, you’ll want to measure conversions, not just converted clicks.
‘Conversions (many-per-click)’ will be replaced by a new ‘Conversions’ column that has additional functionality. This column will count conversions, based on how you want each conversion action to be counted.
An example of how this works
Acme Corp uses AdWords to drive two important conversions: sales of their online tax software and leads for their in-person consultation service. They notice that people often make multiple purchases of their tax software – perhaps separate purchases for state and federal taxes. However, people also fill multiple lead forms. While Acme would like to count every sale as a conversion, they would like to count only unique leads.
If a click on their AdWords ad led to two sales and two leads, the previous conversions (many-per-click) would count four conversions whereas conversions (1-per-click) would only count one. Acme would like to see three conversions: one for each sale, and one for the unique lead. Now with flexible conversion counting, Acme can see the right number of conversions for each conversion action they measure in AdWords.
How flexible conversion counting affects your account
If you don’t change anything, your ‘Conversions’ column will look identical to the Conversions (many-per-click) you see today. ‘Conversions (1-per-click)’ will be renamed ‘Converted clicks’ although there is no change in functionality.
Additionally, automated bidding solutions like Conversion Optimizer and eCPC will continue to function as they do now for both the new ‘Converted clicks’ column and the ‘Conversions’ column.
Flexible conversion counting will be be available in your account in February. To read more about the new column names and counting preferences, please see this article in the Help Center <https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/3438531>.
The Google AdWords Team
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Interesting changes going on here, this is the first I’ve seen of it too so thanks for getting this information out there! It’ll be interesting to see how businesses deal with the change and whether people will make the most of the functions available. Personally I track several different types of conversions in AdWords, such as key pay visits, newsletter downloads, purchases etc, so now it’ll be even more key to segment the data when reporting on conversions.
Thank you for sharing this valuable information.