The time has come. Google first announced in September 2016 that it would be removing converted clicks as an option for conversion bid metrics. Now, in March 2017, Google will be removing the “converted click” metric and all related data from AdWords. This will leave the “conversion” column as the main metric to measure acquisition. You have probably already seen this notification in your account:

 

 

But what does it mean for you? More importantly, how will it change the way you measure conversions?

Let’s start by understanding the key differences between converted clicks and conversions.

  • Converted Click: The count of every click on an ad that results in a conversion event, with a maximum amount of one conversion per click.
  • Conversion: The count of every individual conversion that resulted from a click, counting multiple conversion events that occur within a single click.

 

This means that if you are using converted clicks as your main conversion metric, moving to conversions could cause an increase in the total conversions your ads result in, specifically if users are converting multiple times per click. This may seem like a good thing, but that greatly depends on your business objectives and whether these added conversions are valuable or not.

E-commerce and other similar campaigns are likely already using conversions to track multiple sales/conversions, in which case this change won’t make any difference. However, clients measuring converted clicks on a last click attribution model will need to make an adjustment. There are several important areas of note to make sure you are prepared for imminent change.

 

Export Your Data

 

As the previous notification reads, you will no longer have access to data utilizing converted clicks starting as soon as March 15, 2017. That means that, if you haven’t already, make sure to export all conversion data from your accounts that use or have used converted clicks in the past.

This data will be important for accurately looking at past performance. If you need to change from converted clicks, this data will be crucial in properly comparing performance before and after the metric change.

 

Check the Count

 

Second, check your current settings to see whether you are counting “every” or “one” conversion. By selecting “one” over “every”, conversions will only be counted once for every click on an ad that occurs, similar to the way Converted Clicks were measured.

 

Include in “Conversions”

 

 

Next, decide which conversion goals you want to appear in the conversion reporting column. Depending on your objectives and reporting needs, you may want to include certain goals in conversions while leaving others out.

 

Cross-Device Conversions

 

 

It is also important to monitor “cross-device conversions” to understand the conversion journey of the user. Cross-device conversions occur when a user clicks your ad on one device and converts on another, all of which will be counted in the conversion column if this setting is turned on.

 

CPA Benchmarks

 

With a potential increase in conversions comes the potential for noticeably lower CPAs, even if your campaigns aren’t actually performing any better than before. Make sure to track and measure any change in CPA after switching to conversions, and account for the change properly when setting new target CPA benchmarks and goals. A $40 CPA may appear to be better than a $55 CPA, but the metric is arbitrary if the attributed conversions aren’t bringing more value to your business.

 

Onward

 

While the change may seem daunting, especially if you’ve been using converted clicks for 15 years, remember there is no reason to panic. By taking to time to do these simple checks, the retirement of the converted click metric doesn’t have to be a frustrating one.

Make sure to export past data to make accurate comparisons before and after the change, and double check all your conversion settings to ensure you are properly measuring conversions that are valuable to your business goals. Google makes changes to AdWords frequently, but proper knowledge and preparation will help keep you to continue pressing onward with your PPC efforts.

About the author

Senior Media Analyst, Tailwind

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