Making Sense of the AdWords Conversion Tracking Changes

I’ve always found the AdWords Conversion Tracking to be, well, missing something. It’s why I typically only utilize AdWords’ conversion metrics for “directional” optimization purposes, and resort to reporting conversions by campaign to clients with Analytics.

Coming sometime in February, AdWords Conversion Tracking may start to make a little more sense. While I haven’t seen the switch in my campaigns just yet, given this information is already in the AdWords help section, I’d expect to see it roll out shortly.

Instead of the historical “1 per click” and “many per click” columns we’ve come to know (and loathe), AdWords will be replacing these with columns named “Converted Clicks” and “Conversions”.

So How Are These New Conversion Metrics Determined?

Simply, “Converted Clicks” = “1 per click” and “Conversions” = “many per click”; however, Google is now giving us a choice as to how we’re going to determine what conversions fall under which category, which makes things a bit clearer than they were in the past.

AdWords users now have the ability to determine whether a specific site action is one counted as “all conversions” or “unique conversions”. “All conversions” will tally each time a unique user completes a defined action, even if they complete this action multiple times in the same visit. “Unique Conversions” will count an specific action only once per session, regardless of how many times a single user completes that conversion.

The examples that Google gives on their AdWords Help Page are great, and I’ve replicated them utilizing different verticals here:

All Conversions:

Say you own a bakery that ships gluten free cookies anywhere in the US. If I see your ad in the Google SERP, click on it, then proceed to place 3 different cookie orders (one to Chicago, NY, and LA each), as a bakery owner, you’d probably like that to count as three distinct conversions, because that keyword resulted in three unique orders.


Unique Conversions:

In this example, you still own said bakery. In addition to ordering cookies on your website, visitors have the opportunity to submit their own recipes via a contact form. If User X has ten recipes they’d like to submit, I wouldn’t want to count that as ten conversions; instead, I’d make this action a Unique Conversion in AdWords, so the keyword/ad group would get 1 conversion for this user.

By default, App downloads can only be counted as Unique Conversions in AdWords.

What do you think of this change? Do you find it helpful, or think it will be more confusing?

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