New Conversion Metrics

Flexible Conversion Counting – Has anything really changed? How can you associate a value to view-through conversions?

AdWords has been re-inventing itself year after year with some great features. Re-marketing, Click to Call, Product Listing Ads, etc. were some of the path breaking ones which to my mind ensure that advertisers look forward to spending more money with Google and in turn take the best out of these features. But, for long, the metrics on which performance of campaign was measured were same. So, for agencies like ours as well as for Google, showing value in advertising other than just old school conversions was getting increasingly difficult.

One Per Click & Many Per Click conversions were themselves contested with different clients asking for different measuring metrics. Targets set during the quarterly projections were based on both metrics although the latter is not at all in control of the advertiser. On the other hand, true as it may be, for any advertiser who has a conversion focus, accepting the numbers of View – Through conversions as conversions is very difficult. Even if it has been authenticated by Google itself, believing that somebody actually bought or completed the required action because of an impression of the AdWords ad and accrediting that sale to the money spent without even a click was not something that advertisers liked. As an agency representative, I have encountered numerous occasions when we found it really difficult and ultimately had to give up on our course of convincing the client to include View – Through Conversions as a part of our performance.

In the new changes introduced by Google in February, the following has changed.

Converted Clicks – It basically replaces the ‘Conversions – One Per Click’ column & counts the number of clicks that have resulted in a conversion. Please note that in a scenario where the customer decides to complete the required action multiple times, using a single click, only 1 conversion will be counted. This metric is generally looked at by advertisers who have a lead based goals for single products or services.

Conversions – The new name of the ‘Conversions – Many Per Click’ column with an option to track Unique as well as All conversions. This essentially means, when you have selected ‘Unique Conversions’ in your conversion settings, it will count only 1 conversion regardless of the number of completed actions on a particular click. For e.g. A user clicks on an ad of and buys 1 game today. Then he visits the site again tomorrow through a bookmark and buys 4 more games tomorrow, the number of conversions attributed to the click will be just one. Essentially, the ‘Converted Clicks’ & ‘Conversion’ columns will show the same numbers.

So has anything changed due to this?

Quite a few things have changed although not path breaking but they can’t be ignored as trivial.

Automatic Bidding Strategies:If you use a bid strategy focused on conversions, such as Enhanced CPC or Target CPA, your conversion counting settings will only be used for bidding if your conversion bid metric is set to “Conversions.” If you set your conversion bid metric to “Converted clicks,” your counting setting won’t affect automated bidding because it doesn’t change the counting of converted clicks.

If you use a bid strategy focused on conversion value, such as Target ROAS, your conversion counting settings will always be used, regardless of your conversion bid metric. Target ROAS optimizes for conversion value, which always uses your conversion counting settings.

Total & Cross Device Conversions: While tracking single conversion and counting unique conversions, keep an eye on the “Conversions” column in your reports for any comparisons to estimated conversion data (rather than simply relying on “Converted clicks”). If you have chosen to track only the unique conversions the estimated cross-device conversions will also be based on unique conversions instead of all conversions.

What happens if you do nothing:If you leave your conversion actions set to count all conversions, your reports will simply have different column names: “Conversions (many-per-click)” will be renamed “Conversions,” “Conversions (1-per-click)” will be renamed “Converted clicks,” and the numbers will look the same as before until you change your settings.

Automated bidding solutions like Conversion Optimizer and eCPC will continue to function as they did previously for both the “Converted clicks” column and the “Conversions” column.

What happened to the View – Through conversions?

View Through conversions still exists and there is no hard evidence to track these conversions and attribute any value to them as they do not come from a click. So, you will still need to believe Google’s word of they being influenced due to the online advertising through AdWords. The thing is that advertisers do not question what Google says but they do not seem to be able to calculate any value for these conversions. So, here is a quick peek in my way of associating value to View Through conversions.

(This will work only for e-commerce or sale based campaigns.)

Step 1 – Check the Total Number of Conversions in your campaign.

Step 2 – Check the Total Conversion Value of these Conversions.

Step 3 – Divide the Total Conversion Value by the Number of Conversions. This gives you the average conversion value.

Step 4 – Check the View Through Conversion column.

Step 5 – Visit analytics & check the average order value of the site for the period in consideration.

Step 6 – Compare the Avg. Order Value from analytics to the Avg. Conversion Value metric you have got and select the one with least value. (this will ensure that you are not over estimating or reporting the value of the conversions)

Step 7 – Multiply the value selected in the above steps with the View Through Conversion metric. This is the monetary value associated with the View Through Conversions

Please note that this value will most likely not be the actual value to calculate how much view through conversion add to your kitty but this will be the closest way in which you can measure the same. Alternatively, you can also measure the effectiveness of your impressions. That I will explain in the following post. J

Contributed by: K. Kulkarni, Digital Strategist, Puretech Internet