About conversion adjustments

A customer's typical conversion path ends after they convert, but this isn't always the case. Customers return retail purchases, cancel reservations, or perform actions that bump up their value to your business. To account for these changes in conversion value, you can adjust the value of a conversion after it's reported in AdWords.

This article explains how conversion adjustment works and when to use it.

When to use conversion adjustments

Conversion adjustments can be useful if you need to:

  • Retract conversions that should no longer be counted in your conversion columns, such as cancelled reservations or returned purchases.
  • Reduce the value of conversions when you receive partial returns for an order. For example, if a customer is shopping for shoes, he might order shoes in different sizes and return the ones that don't fit, which brings down the total value of the purchase.
  • Change the value of conversions based on customer lifetime value, that is, when customers (and, consequently, their conversions) become more valuable or less valuable to your business based on their purchase history.

How conversion adjustment works

You can adjust conversions in two ways.

  • Restate: Allows you to change the conversion value, but not the count of conversions. Only the Conv. value column and ROAS bid strategies will be affected.
  • Retract: Allows you to change the conversion value to 0.00 and remove it from the conversion count. Conv. and Conv. value columns, and CPA and ROAS bid strategies will all be affected.

When you retract a conversion, your conversion count drops, and the value of that conversion is subtracted from your total conversion value. When you restate a conversion on the other hand, it only affects the conversion value, not the conversion count. You can restate or retract both same device and cross-device conversions, up to 45 days from when the conversion was first recorded.

Keep in mind: You can only adjust online conversions if you've used an order ID with your transactions. AdWords uses the combination of order ID and conversion action name in your spreadsheet to identify the conversion that you'd like to adjust. Since you also provide an adjustment time for each conversion, you'll be able to segment your conversion data to see how much time elapses between conversion and adjustment.

To restate or retract a conversion, you'll need to place your transaction data in a spreadsheet and specify which conversions you'd like to adjust in your AdWords reports.

  • For conversions you'd like to retract, you'll need to provide the date and time that the conversion was retracted as well as the order ID or Google Click ID and the name of the conversion action associated with the conversion. Then, you'll upload the spreadsheet in the same way you import offline conversions into AdWords.
  • For conversions you'd like to restate, you'll need to provide a new value for these conversions. You'll also have to provide the date and time that the conversion was restated as well as the order ID or Google Click ID and the name of the conversion action associated with the conversion. Then, you'll upload the spreadsheet in the same way that you import offline conversions into AdWords.

Note: When adjusting offline uploaded conversions that were created using an order ID, use the order ID. If the offline conversion was created without an order ID, use the GCLID and conversion time.

You'll start seeing your changes in your "Conversions," "All conversions," and "Conversion value" columns in about the same amount of time that you see regular conversion data surface in your reports.

Tip

Since there's no way for you to tell in AdWords if an order was attributed to an AdWords click, we recommend that you upload all orders that you'd like to adjust. If the order was not attributed to an AdWords click and therefore not in your AdWords reports, you'll see an error message letting you know the conversion couldn't be found.

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