Google to Sunset Converted Clicks, Should You Take Action or Not?

Dave McIninch, CRO, Acquisio Google has announced that converted clicks will no longer be supported in AdWords as of September 21st, find out if this change affects you and what actions to take if it does

Google has announced that the metric, Converted Clicks, will no longer be supported in AdWords as of September 21st. This change will affect advertisers differently, and for some, it may not be necessary to make any changes in your account.

Find out if it’s best for you to take action as we outline who needs to make a change and whether or not they should do so manually or with the migration tools provided by Google.

What is the change all about?

According to AdWords, in order to simplify and remove unnecessary complexity from conversion tracking and reporting, Google has decided to remove Converted Clicks from AdWords.

Converted Clicks is a click metric, and counts the number of clicks that lead to one or more conversions. For example, if a customer clicks an ad once and then completes two different conversions, Converted Clicks only counts the one click.

The Conversions column counts the conversions driven by AdWords, and allows you to customize how you count conversions according to your business goals. For example, if a customer clicks an ad once and then completes two different conversions, both conversions can be counted, unless a conversion action is filtered out intentionally to isolate only the main conversion types.

Converted Clicks is a metric that came about in 2001 with the introduction of conversion tracking, and has lost much of its relevance since AdWords made updates to the conversions column in 2015, at which point AdWords encouraged anyone still using Converted Clicks for bidding or reporting to switch to the Conversions metric.

Who is affected most

If you are using Google’s Target CPA bidding, with CPA targets aligned with Converted Clicks, then you’ll have to make some changes in your account. Anyone not using automated bidding, aka “Smart Bidding” as AdWords refers to it, or anyone already aligning their bidding strategy with Conversions, will not be required to make changes.

Unless you see this message in AdWords, there’s no need to take action.

Just wait until AdWords sunsets Converted Clicks and download any old reports you may have with this metric before this metric is removed from AdWords entirely in the fall.

For those that must make changes to their campaigns, advertisers must decide to migrate manually or use Google’s migration tool.

What Google’s migration tool offers

Google will email affected advertisers, letting them know about a migration tool to help them make the switch from Converted Clicks to conversions faster and easier.

To use the migration tool in AdWords:

1. Click the Tools menu, then select Conversions

2. Click the alert box that says Converted Clicks is going away. (If you don’t see this box, then you don’t need to make any changes to your account.)

3. You will be directed to a screen that explains the changes the tool will make to your account. To use Google’s migration tool, click Approve changes.

Once you’ve clicked “Approve changes” your conversions action settings will be updated on your behalf:

1. AdWords will automatically change your bid metric from Converted Clicks to Conversions

(This can also be done manually, under Tools and Settings.)

2. The “Count” setting for your conversion actions will go from “every” to “one” conversion per click.

(This can also be done manually, under Tools and Conversion settings.)

This change will make your Conversions count more similar to Converted Clicks.

After you migrate, Google recommends you monitor the changes to see if the number of Conversions is significantly higher than what you’d expect from Converted Clicks.

AdWords has said they, “may adjust your bids down when your bid metric is updated in order to keep your spend levels stable,” so make sure you’ve correctly set up conversion tracking to only count conversions that affect bid.

For example:

If an agency sets their bid according to their average CPA, but has too many conversions counted in the Conversions column, including newsletter subscriptions and resource downloads, for example, along with actual sales data, the CPA will be lower. A lower CPA would mean lower bids, and that could affect the number of actual sales a client makes.

The AdWords migration tool will save time by automating several steps you’d otherwise have to do manually. Unfortunately, there may still be steps you need to take to ensure the above situation, or something similar, does not happen in your account.

What actions you should take

You may have a variety of conversions types, ranging from sales of a product to blog subscriptions. Because not all conversions are equal, you may want to filter out some of the less significant conversions by updating the “Include in Conversions” field under Conversion actions in Tools.

This way you tell AdWords to omit certain actions and focus only on what matters.

By excluding all other actions, like email sign ups and resource downloads, only the conversions which were the ones previously counted in the Converted Clicks column are counted in the Conversions field.

This means, as long as you made the changes in steps one and two, when you run Target CPA Bidding for conversions, there shouldn’t be a significant change in the results or spend, although it is recommended that you monitor your account for the following two weeks to make sure this update went smoothly.

No changes to your bid strategy are necessary, but AdWords “may also adjust your CPA targets to avoid significant fluctuations in your campaign spending” so keep an eye out.

Overall, the change shouldn’t cause too much of a headache.

Only a small group of advertisers need to make any change at all, and for those it affects, proper conversion inclusive and exclusion, along with changes to conversion bid metrics and count (which Google will automatically migrate should you choose not to) should suffice.

The majority of advertisers can sit back and relax as the migration happens, with only the Converted Clicks field in reports being affected for future reports.

This article was originally published on MarTech Advisor

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