AdWords Converted clicks now retired

When conversion tracking was first introduced to AdWords in 2001, “Converted clicks” was Google’s conversion metric. Now 15 years on, Google is finally replacing the original metric with the superior “Conversions”.

What’s changing

In July of last year, Google first announced their plans to completely remove “Converted clicks” and other related metrics from AdWords. In September 2016 Google officially stopped supporting “Converted clicks” and all dependent metrics were removed from bidding strategies.

Now in March, Google is taking the final step by removing “Converted clicks” from reporting. This includes any related metrics being used in report view, custom columns, saved filters, automated rules and saved reports. Associated “Converted clicks” metrics that are being removed include:

  • “Converted clicks”
  • “Click conversion rate”
  • “Cost/converted click”
  • “Value/converted click”

Where possible, any “Converted clicks” metric is being replaced by its corresponding “Conversions” metric. Otherwise, Google will simply remove the relevant columns or data, requiring advertisers to manually adjust their accounts for the changes. Google lists the corresponding “Conversions” metrics as follows:

  • “Converted clicks” corresponds to “Conversions”
  • “Cost/converted clicks” corresponds to “Cost/conv.”
  • “Value/converted click” corresponds to “Value/conv.”
  • “Click conversion rate” corresponds to “Conv.rate”
In September Google removed Converted clicks as a bid metric
Image source: Search Engine Land

The difference between “Converted clicks” and “Conversions”

To understand why Google is retiring the original “Converted clicks” metric in favour of “Conversions” you need to understand the differences between the two.

After over a decade of advances in conversion tracking, “Converted clicks” is now limited in quite a few ways when compared to “Conversions”:

  • “Converted clicks” are not able to count multiple conversions for a single click; any clicks that lead to multiple conversions are still only counted as one converted click.
  • The “Converted clicks” column can’t be segmented by conversion name, conversion source or conversion category.
  • You can’t choose specific actions to include in “Converted clicks”, for example including lead enquiry forms and online purchases, even though a converted click might lead to more than one conversion action.

Additionally, Google has added new and advanced features to “Conversions” that can’t be supported by “Converted clicks”:

  • With “Conversions” you can now assign a value to your conversions so that you can compare different clicks that lead to different conversions based on their unique value to your business.
  • Only the “Conversions” metric reflects clicks that lead to store conversions.
  • Only the “Conversions” metric can measure clicks that lead to cross-device conversions.

Why “Conversions” are replacing “Converted clicks”

Google refers to “Converted clicks” as a click metric rather than a conversion metric, as it only counts the clicks that have been converted rather than any specific conversion actions. The outdated metric simply doesn’t track all the relevant conversion data advertisers need to make informed decisions and understand business impact.

“Conversions” give a more comprehensive understanding of how AdWords is driving conversions and allows you to tailor the related metrics to your business. By showing the complete picture of conversion actions, sources and values, the new metric is much more useful to advertisers.

What advertisers need to do

March will see Google applying the change across AdWords reporting, with various effects. In some cases, “Converted clicks” will be replaced by their corresponding “Conversions” metrics, while other changes will require advertisers to switch their metrics manually or risk saved columns being deleted. Advertisers who have primarily been using “Converted clicks” and don’t have “Conversions” set up in their reporting will need to do this in preparation for the change. It would also be wise to download reports with “Converted clicks” data to refer to when making changes over the next few months.

Advertisers should remove any Converted clicks metrics and replace with corresponding Conversions columns

Setting up “Conversions”

To set up conversions, advertisers will need to specify the conversion actions to be included in “Conversions”, conversion values and other settings. For example, you can adjust a conversion action to count more like “Converted clicks” by setting the number of conversions counted as one. You can change these settings and tailor your conversions by going to the Tools menu in your account and selecting Conversions.

Reporting Views

If “Converted clicks” columns are currently in use in your reporting, Google will automatically replace them with their corresponding “Conversions” columns. Because of the differences between “Conversions” and “Converted clicks”, the data they report might be different. Advertisers should go through and change these before Google does to avoid any confusion that may affect reporting accuracy.

Custom Columns

If you use any of the “Converted clicks” metrics in any custom column formulas, the data will stop showing in these columns. Google intends to keep these columns with inactive data for a period to allow advertisers to make changes, but will eventually delete the columns. Advertisers will need to go in and amend any custom columns using “Converted clicks” metrics to the relevant “Conversions” metric or delete columns if they feel they are no longer necessary.

Saved Filters

Saved filters that use any of the converted click metrics as a condition and are compared to values of zero or one will be replaced by the relevant conversion metric. Any other conditions will be removed. Advertisers should check filters and create alternatives where appropriate.

Automated Rules

As with custom columns, Google will automatically update any automated rules that utilise “Converted clicks” columns to corresponding “Conversions” metrics if values are compared to zero or one. For example, raise bids by 5% if Converted clicks > 0, or Converted clicks > 1. Any other automated rules will be set to inactive. Advertisers will need to make these adjustments manually, replacing “Converted clicks” with the appropriate “Conversions” metric.

Saved Reports

Any saved reports that include “Converted clicks” metrics will also be automatically replaced with the corresponding “Conversions” column, but advertisers should remember to update any other custom spreadsheets or tools as well.

If you want to know more about the changes and how to adjust your AdWords account accordingly, contact one of our team today.

Katy Smith

Katy Smith

Digital Marketing Executive

Katy is a Digital Marketing Executive at Netmatter with a degree in Marketing. She has so far gained experience in various areas of marketing including email, copywriting, social media and SEO.

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