• Christian Michaels

The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords Conversion Types

Google recently launched Flexible Conversion Counting. This new type of conversion allows advertisers to track the types of conversions that are most valuable to their business.

This change in conversions has resulted in some PPC advertisers being confused about which type of conversion types are best for their business. The whole point of this article is to spare some of that confusion by explaining which types of conversions advertisers should be tracking and why. I will also review some of the new conversion types that are available in AdWords.

Now the new change in conversion types has resulted in a change to how these conversions appear in the AdWords interface. For example, “Conversion (1-per click)” changed to “Converted Clicks” and Conversions (many-per-click) changed to “Conversions.” This is where the confusion for some PPC advertisers has come in, although for others, it’s been as simple as making a mental note and moving on.

However, here is a great opportunity to write a refresher on what types of conversions are best for businesses to track. There are three conversion types that I’ll be focusing on:

  • Hard conversion types

  • Estimated conversions

  • Percent-of conversions

First I’ll start by looking at Hard Conversion Types and then get into the others.

Hard Conversion Types

These are your hard numbers, bottom-line numbers, that you’ve already most likely

been reporting on, assuming all of your conversion tracking has been set up correctly.

Converted Clicks

These are how many clicks have resulted in one or more conversion actions. The “Conversions” column will list the actual number of conversions. The great thing about keeping track of this column is that it will tell you how many unique customers you’re acquiring based on the number of converted clicks.

This will tell you how many customers have clicked on your ad and how many purchases they’ve made. For example, a customer might click on your ad and make two purchases, which will show up as one converted click, but result in two conversions in the “Conversions” column. These are a great way to track leads especially when one action from the same customer doesn’t provide any additional value to your business.


This reports all of the total conversions, across all the conversion actions you’re tracking. Be careful when analysing this column though because this conversion type also takes into consideration how you’ve chosen to count your conversions, which affects the number shown in this column.

For example, let’s look at the conversion action of leads and sales in the AdWords interface. Say that one click turns into two leads and two sales, it will be counted as three conversions because one is for the unique lead and the other two are for sales. This means that they’ll all be recorded in the total conversions column.

This is a great conversion type to use when you want to track multiple actions and see where you can improve on your ads.

Phone Call Conversions

This will allow you to track the number of phone calls that were longer than the call duration specified for that call extension. This information will be shown in the Phone Call Conversions column. Remember to use a Google Call Forwarding Number otherwise Google won’t be able to track Call Extensions.

Estimated Conversion Types

These are new conversion types that have been added by Google that are based on estimated data. These are great because there is no additional work required on your part to view these conversion types. Google’s sophisticated tracking system provides you with all the information you need regarding your customers’ behaviour.

Estimated Cross-Device Conversions

This conversion type allows you to see how your ad affects conversions across different devices and browsers. This is particularly useful when customers are using multiple devices for example. The way this works is pretty simple; a customer clicks on an ad on one device and then converts it on a different device or browser.

The great thing with this is that it makes tracking these conversion types simple. You don’t need to serve ads on multiple devices because it’s based on how the user completes the conversion.

This is a conversion type that you should use especially when you consider how many people use their mobile phones, tablets, etc. This way you can monitor how your customers behave and it will give you a greater insight into where you should be targeting your ads.

Estimated Total Conversions

This will give you the total conversions across all conversion types, Estimated Cross-Device Conversions, Conversions, and Phone Call Conversions. You can use this to gauge how well your ads are performing, which will then help you make better decisions regarding your bids and budget.

Percent-Of Conversion Types

This is a made up name for conversion types below “Percent-of Conversion” because it’s based on measuring the percentage of conversions. This isn’t a widespread tactic for determining when to optimise and adjust bids but it’s a useful one nonetheless and something you should take into consideration.

Click-Assisted Conversions

This one appears only for search campaigns and only when the total number of conversions for a particular keyword contributed one or more assist clicks. Assist clicks can be defined as clicks that a keyword receives prior to conversion, excluding the last click.

What this means is that the keyword assisted with the last click that a user made prior to conversion but it doesn’t determine it. This is useful for determining which keywords are having an influence on your clicks.

What you can do from here is adjust your bids and your budget, allowing you to optimise your campaign so you get the best ROI. Most advertisers take into consideration 50-80% of their Click-Assisted Conversion metrics when looking to optimise bids and budgets accordingly.

Impression-Assisted Conversions

This one is similar to the idea of Click-Assisted Conversions, however, it is based on the number a conversions that a particular keyword assist impressions prior to the last click.

This conversion type isn’t as important to monitor as Click-Assisted Conversions but it’s still important to give it some consideration nonetheless. Most advertisers generally only give 10-20% consideration of this conversion type for adjusting and optimising bids and budgets. The reason that this conversion type, along with Click-Assisted Conversions is important to advertisers is because it helps you determine which sales funnels are performing best for your campaign so they are particularly useful to pay attention to.

View-Through Conversions

These conversion types are based on when a customer views your ad or media before converting, but never actually clicks on the ad. What happens is that if a customer later converts it will be reported on the View-Through Conversions metric.

This is another conversion type where 100% isn’t taken into account. This is for similar reasons as for the other two conversion types mentioned above. Since a user never actually clicks on the ad it’s likely that the View-Through Conversion is being counted elsewhere in your data like SEO, direct load, etc. So just like the previous two conversion types only a portion of this is taken into account when optimising bids and budgets, generally anywhere from 10-50%.

In Conclusion

Well, there you have it, a comprehensive guide on the most important conversion types that you need to be paying attention to for your business. All of these conversion types are important to pay attention to, and by using all of the information that has been presented here you will be able to optimise your bids and budgets to get the best ROI for your PPC campaign.

Conversion tracking is an important part of making sure that your ads perform as well as you hope they will. This is a key to making sure that your campaigns will give you the best ROI.

How have analysing these conversion types helped you with your current PPC campaign?

#ppcmanagement #googleadwords #digitalmarketing



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