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Google Conversion Tracking Update February 2014

A Few AdWords Conversion Changes to Know About

By Rachel Anderson

Many of you pay-per-click advertisers received an email alert last week about changes Google is making to the way conversions are tracked in AdWords.

These changes are taking effect February 2014. In case you didn’t receive that email or may have overlooked it, here’s a quick summary, what you should do, and a copy of the update email itself.

What’s Changing?

Conversion Counting

Google is adjusting conversion tracking to be more flexible to advertiser’s needs. You can now tell Google how many times you want to count a certain conversion. In the ecommerce world, a conversion would be each time a sale was made. You would want each sale to be a unique conversion as each purchase is valuable. In a lead generation scenario, you would only want the first form fill from a person to count as a conversion as any further form fills are not adding value.

Column Titles

Google is also changing a few names.

  •             Conversions (1 per click) is now Converted Clicks

  •             Conversions (many per click) is now Conversions

The data for the Converted Clicks column will be exactly the same as when it was Conversions (1 per click), just a new name. The data for the Conversions column will vary based on conversion type and what you asked Google to track. If a certain conversion type benefits from multiple completions per user (like a sale) you can set it to count each purchase individually. Each conversion type will be treated separately.


What to do Now

Once you see these changes in your account you’ll need to update your conversions to see it do some good. Go to Tools and Analysis and select Conversions. Select the conversion you want to update and click Edit Settings. You will see the screen below and be able to indicate how many times you would like the conversion to count per user.


Google’s Email

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.

What’s changing?

– 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 <>.


The Google AdWords Team

Rachel Anderson is a Pay Per Click Advertising Strategist at Off the job she enjoys photography, good food, being outside, and spending time with her husband. Share your thoughts with Rachel on Twitter @gladygirl, Google+ or Facebook- she’d love to hear from you!