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What are the various Google Conversion types and which one should I use?

The other day I was adding new columns to one of my Adwords Campaign and found that Google had added a couple of new Conversion types. So that makes like 6 types of conversions you can view within Adwords. What are they and what is the difference in them. Lets take a look.

Conversions (1-per-click) count one conversion for every click that results in a conversion within 30 days of the click. This conversion will only be counted one time regardless of what the visitor does on your site. Remember the cookie for your ad has a shelf life of 30 days so if the customer returns to your site within 30 days and converts Adwords will count the conversion, but it will be counted on the day of the first visit.

Conversions (many-per-click) count a conversion every time a conversion is made within 30 days following an AdWords ad click. Conversions (many-per-click) will count multiple conversions per click. These metrics are useful for measuring conversions that are valuable every time they happen (e.g. ecommerce transactions). This conversion would be counted more then once for example a customer came to your web site made a purchase, and then decided to purchase another item and went through the purchase process again. If you are only looking at (1-per-click) conversions you would miss this conversion.

Okay what in the world is a View Through Conversion? Those conversions are used to track actions on your Display Campaigns. Google’s explanation is:

A View-through Conversion happens when a customer sees an image or rich media ad, then later completes a conversion on your site. This is different from a Click-through Conversion, which happens when a customer had previously clicked on an ad (such as on the Google Search or the Google Display Network and then completed a conversion on your site.

These 3 Conversions above have been around for awhile, but a couple of new choices are now available for Adwords columns. The Phone Call Conversion and the Estimated Total Conversions.


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The Phone Call conversion works with the Google Call Extension. If you are using a Google call forwarding number you can set a goal in Adwords to count the call if it reaches a time threshold set by you. This is a handy conversion to track if one of your goals is to generate phone leads. However if your an e-commerce site, counting this conversion could have a negative effect on your final cost per acquisition.

Another interesting new conversion is the Estimated cross-device conversion. Google’s explanation is: This is our best estimate of the total number of conversions that AdWords drives.

What it means: Estimated cross-device conversions are counted when a customer clicks an ad on one device, then converts on another device.

Pretty cool but even they do not say it I believe, or hope, this only works for those who are logged into to Google for searches.

That just leave one more the Total Estimated Conversions. Google provides this explanation: What it includes: Estimated conversions include cross-device, many-per-click, and phone call conversions. If there isn’t enough data for an estimate, then this column will equal the Conv. (many-per-click) column.

Why use it: You can use this column to understand your return on investment and make better decisions about your bids and budgets.

So it looks like to me the most valuable conversion type would be the many-per-click. Seems to pick up all activity during a visit and counts if the customer returns to your web site from a Book Mark, Organic Search or Direct, as long as it is within the 30 day life span of the Adwords Cookie. If you are using Phone Call conversions then the total estimated conversions columns would be my choice.

Written By: Perry Pierce PPC Account Manager

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