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About moving from “Converted clicks” to “Conversions”

In September 2016, all accounts conversion based Smart bidding with “Converted clicks” were migrated to using “Conversions” instead. “Conversions” offers more options and more detailed information than “Converted clicks.” The “Conversion bid metric” setting was also removed from AdWords. Later, “Converted clicks” will also be removed from reporting. If you already use “Conversions” as your bid metric, your accounts will not be affected.

Soon, the “Converted clicks,” “Click conversion rate,” “Cost/converted click,” and “Value/converted click” columns in your reports will also be removed from reporting.

This article explains why these changes happened, what exactly has changed, and how to prepare for “Converted clicks” being removed from AdWords reporting.

Why "Converted clicks" is going away

When AdWords first introduced conversion tracking, we were only able to report when an ad click led to at least one conversion, but couldn’t tell you how many conversions or which conversion actions the ad click drove. This old metric is now called “Converted clicks.”

Conversion tracking has become more sophisticated over the years. Your “Conversions” column can now report all the conversions that happened after an ad click, and new features allow you to customize how your conversions are counted. However, many of these features don’t work with the old “Converted clicks” metric. For this reason, most advertisers now use “Conversions” to track their ad performance. In order to simplify and remove unnecessary complexity from conversion tracking and reporting, we’ve decided to remove “Converted clicks” from AdWords.

"Converted clicks" is actually a click metric. It counts the number of clicks that lead to one or more conversions. So any tracking or reporting feature that accounts for multiple conversion events can’t work with “Converted clicks.”  Here are a few ways that “Converted clicks” is limited when compared to “Conversions”:

  • You can choose which conversion actions to include in “Conversions,” but you can’t choose which conversion actions to include in “Converted clicks.”
  • The “Converted clicks” column can't be segmented by conversion name or conversion category.
  • You can choose to count multiple conversions that are generated from a click (for example multiple purchases after an ad click), but “Converted clicks” can only count these once.
  • You can select an attribution model for your conversions, but this model doesn’t affect your “Converted clicks.”

In addition to these inherent limitations, AdWords has added new features to conversion tracking that haven’t been supported with “Converted clicks.” For example:

  • You can specify a value for conversions, but not for converted clicks. As a result, “Converted clicks” doesn't allow you to compare the relative values of two clicks that lead to very different conversions.
  • Converted clicks don't reflect clicks that lead to store visit conversions.
  • Converted clicks only measure conversions that happen on the same device as the click, and don't measure clicks that lead to cross-device conversions.

For more details on these differences, see Compare "Conversions" and "Converted clicks."

If “Converted clicks” was your primary conversion metric

Soon, the “Converted clicks” columns will be removed from AdWords reporting. If you used “Converted clicks” as your primary way to report valuable user actions (conversions), you need to change your reporting to “Conversions.” To change your reporting to “Conversions,” set up your “Conversions” column to count the actions that are valuable to your business. Specifically, you may want to adjust the “Count” and “Include in ‘Conversions’” settings for your conversion actions. Note that you may have done this already if you prepared your account before the migration, or have already been using the “Conversions” column.

  1. Click the Tools menu, and select Conversions. If you use cross-account conversion tracking, go directly to the “manager account” and click Accounts, then click on Admin. Click on Conversions.
  2. You’ll now see a table with your conversion actions. For the first conversion action you want to edit, click the name in the table.
  3. Click Edit settings.
  4. Click Count. Converted clicks counts up to one converted click after each ad click. With conversions, you can choose to count up to one conversion per conversion action. To make your conversions count more similar to converted clicks, select One. However, you may want to keep in mind that “Every” is often the better option for purchases, because every purchase likely adds value for your business. You can learn more about the “Count” setting in About conversion counting options. Click Done.
  5. Click Include in “Conversions.” This setting only applies to “Conversions,” not “Converted clicks,” so it’s now important for your conversion tracking. Uncheck this setting—usually selected by default—if you don't want to include data for this conversion action in your "Conversions" reporting column. If you uncheck this setting, data will still be included in the "All conversions" column. You may want to uncheck this setting for the following reasons:
    • You have overlapping conversion actions, such as a conversion action tracking app installs from Google Play and another conversion action tracking first opens for the same app. In this case, you’ll only want to include one of these conversion actions in the “Conversions” column. This is will avoid counting—and, if use a conversion-based bid strategy, bidding for—2 conversions for a single app install.
    • You have multiple conversion actions along the same conversion funnel. For example, you have a conversion action for adding an item to the shopping cart, and another for a purchase. To avoid counting 2 conversions for each purchase (one for the shopping cart and one for the actual purchase), you can exclude one of these from the conversions column depending on which conversion action you’d like to bid on.
    • You’re using a conversion-based automated bid strategy, such as Target CPA, but you don’t want to bid for this particular conversion action. In this case, uncheck the setting for this conversion action.

    You can learn more about this setting in About the "Include in 'Conversions'" setting. Click Done.

  6. Click Save.
  7. Repeat steps 3 to 6 for each active conversion action in your account.

The changes to your conversion action settings will only affect your reporting going forward, and won’t change historical reporting statistics. You’ll need to monitor your “Conversions” column for several weeks after the changes to assess the effect. After you’ve monitored these changes, you may find that your conversions are still higher than converted clicks if you have multiple conversion actions. This is because each conversion action may receive a conversion after an ad click. If you use Smart bidding, you may want to adjust your bids to keep your spend at the level you choose.

If you use “Converted clicks” in reporting

As noted above, the “Converted clicks” reporting columns will be removed soon. Once they're removed, you’ll no longer be able to see this data in AdWords, and you’ll no longer be able to download reports with “Converted clicks”. If you want to preserve your historical converted clicks data to refer to in the future, download your reports.

The rest of this section describes these changes and how they affect your account’s saved filters, rules, custom columns, and saved reports. To ensure a smooth transition for your accounts if you use “Converted clicks,” update these features to use “Conversions.”

Reporting Views

After “Converted clicks” reporting columns headers are removed, if you had previously selected these columns in your campaign management reporting views, they will be automatically replaced by the corresponding “Conversions” columns. Here’s a list of “Converted clicks” columns and their corresponding “Conversions” columns:

  • “Converted clicks” corresponds to “Conversions” 
  • “Cost/converted click” corresponds to “Cost/conv.” 
  • “Value/converted click” corresponds to “Value/conv.”
  • “Click conversion rate” corresponds to “Conv. rate”

Note

While “Converted clicks” columns have corresponding “Conversions” columns, depending on how you configure your conversion action settings, the data they report may differ. To learn more about these differences, see Compare “Conversions” and “Converted clicks.”

Custom Columns

Custom columns that use “Converted clicks” or related metrics will stop reporting data and start to show “--” in your reporting views. These will remain inactive for a short period to allow you more time to update the formula or make any necessary changes, but later, any Custom columns you have not changed to “Conversions” will be deleted completely. To keep your Custom columns active, update the formula from “Converted clicks” to “Conversions.”

Saved Filters

Saved filters with conditions that reference any of the “Converted clicks” columns comparing the values to zero or one (including “Converted clicks > 0” and “Converted clicks > 1”) will be replaced with the corresponding “Conversions” columns, and should work in exactly the same way as before. Any other conditions that reference any of the “Converted clicks” columns (like “Cost/converted click > $10”) will be removed. To create new filters that use “Conversions,” see the article Filter your view of performance data.

Automated Rules

Automated rules that utilize any of the “Converted clicks” columns comparing the values to zero or one (for example, Raise bids by 5% if Converted clicks > 0 or Raise bids by 5% if Converted clicks > 1) will be replaced with the corresponding “Conversions” columns, and will function in the same way as before. Any other automated rules that reference any of the “Converted clicks” columns (such as Raise bids by 5% if Cost/converted click > $20) will automatically be set to “Inactive.” To keep your account up to date, you need to review these rules and manually update them to use “Conversions” as outlined in Manage your automated rules. (Note that AdWords Editor does not support rule changes.)

Saved Reports

Saved reports that include any of the “Converted clicks” columns will automatically be replaced with the corresponding “Conversions” column. If you have any custom spreadsheets or tools that rely on the column headers, update those accordingly.

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