Counting conversions

As a business owner, you probably want to measure every sale you make. If you're generating leads, too, you might want to track all sales, but only unique leads.

With conversion tracking, you have the flexibility to count conversions according to your business needs. For any conversion action, you can choose to count all conversions that happen after a click, or only unique conversions that happen after a click.

These counting choices can give you a better sense of your campaign performance and help you refine your bids.

Counting options

There may be multiple conversion actions you'll want to track because they reflect valuable activity for your business. You can select a different counting method for each conversion action.

To figure out which conversion counting option is best for each conversion action you track, let's take a closer look at the two counting settings:

  • All conversions: With this setting, AdWords counts all conversions (per tracked conversion action) that happen after an ad click. This is a good choice if you'd like to track and improve your sales.

    Example

    You own a travel booking site used to reserve both hotel rooms and rental cars. You'd like to see how your ads drive each type of booking, so you choose to count all your conversions. When someone traveling to Chicago, Denver, and New York books one hotel reservation in each city (three hotel reservations) and rental cars only in Chicago and Denver (two car reservations), this conversion setting will count five conversions.

  • Unique conversions: With this setting, AdWords counts only unique conversions that happen after an ad click. This is a good choice if you're not interested in the number of sales, but instead whether or not a certain kind of lead was generated.

    Example

    You run an insurance company that offers home, auto, and life insurance, and measure conversions for each type of policy as a different conversion action. You'd like to see how well your ads drive people to fill out a form on your site requesting information about one or more insurance products.

    You notice people sometimes fill out multiple forms with different values for the same products. If the same person fills out three auto-insurance forms and two home-insurance forms, using unique conversions will show you two conversions: one for each type of conversion action.

You may also want to count only unique conversions for one conversion action and all conversions for another.

Example

You run a financial services firm and use AdWords to drive two conversions: sales of online tax software and leads for an in-person consultation service. You notice that people often make multiple purchases of the tax software—perhaps separate purchases for state and federal taxes. However, people also fill multiple lead forms—maybe for different office locations or appointment times.

While you would like to track every sale, you want to track only unique leads. You set the software sales conversion action to count all conversions, and the lead conversion action to count unique conversions. If a click on your AdWords ad leads to two sales and two leads, you will see three conversions: one for each sale, and one for the unique lead.

Tip

For each conversion action, you can see the average number of conversions resulting from a click by looking at the repeat rate (all conversions / unique conversions) in your reports.

Example

Your customers make an average of 2.5 purchases over a 30-day period after they click on your search or display ad. The repeat rate for your "purchase" conversion action will show a value of 2.5.

Set up and see data

When you set up conversion tracking, you'll reach a "Settings" page where you can choose how you'd like to count your conversions within your chosen conversion window. You'll need to repeat the process for every conversion action you wish to track.

Once you've made a choice and your AdWords account starts recording conversions, you'll see these conversions in your campaign data. Keep in mind: If you don't make a choice, AdWords will automatically use the "All conversions" setting.

You can change this setting anytime for any of your conversions. (Just keep in mind that the changes will only apply to future conversions for a particular conversion action, and won't apply to a conversion action's past data.)

See steps to change how you count conversions
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Tools tab, then select Conversions.
  3. Click the name of the conversion action you want to edit.
  4. Click the Settings tab.
  5. Click the Edit Settings tab.
  6. Select the drop-down menu under "Count" and make your choice.

Conversion counting and bidding strategies

The conversion bid metric setting tells AdWords which of the two conversion measurements it should use in an automated bid strategy. The default conversion bid metric is "Conversions," but you can also choose to use "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.

See steps to change your conversion bid metric
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Tools tab, then select Conversions.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Click the Edit button.
  5. Next to "Conversion bid metric," select an option.

Keep in mind

  • If you import goals from Google Analytics into AdWords, you can choose whether to count each goal as "All conversions" or "Unique conversions." If you import the same goals into different AdWords accounts, you can choose a different counting setting for each account.
  • App downloads can only be counted as "Unique conversions."
  • The "Converted clicks" column can't be segmented by conversion action, since an ad click can lead to multiple conversion actions.

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