conversion tracking

Google Ads Tracking: Conversion Vs All Conversions

Whether you’ve been advertising with Google Ads for many years or just a few months you may be confused about the difference between the All Conversion columns and the Conversion columns. If you've seen a report from us or another agency you’re working with you may see All Conversions sometimes and Conversions sometimes without ever fully understanding the difference.

Google ads conversion tracking.png

If you’ve been using Google Ads for at least a couple years you’ve seen the removal of the Converted Clicks and the addition of the All Conversion columns. Those newer to Google ads have only seen Conversions and All Conversions. So what’s the difference?

Converted Clicks

Converted Clicks was the original Google conversion tracking column. Converted clicks was slightly different than any of the other conversion tracking columns because it was based on the click. It’s how many clicks converted versus how many conversions happened. What this meant was that one person convert multiple times, it would only count it as one. This was a favorite for most lead generation campaigns because if multiple lead forms were submitted by a single user, it would only show you one converted click. With lead generation campaigns having the same person submit their information multiple times in most cases is useless. Converted clicks gave you the true number of leads you received that were different.

Keep this in mind because depending on how your current conversion tracking is setup, because the converted clicks column was removed, you can see multiple conversions from the same person. This might not matter for eCommerce, but it certainly does for lead generation. Conversions can be adjusted to track similarly to Converted Clicks, but it was nice to have them both so you can see the difference as well.

Conversions

After Converted Clicks was sunsetted in September 2016, Conversions became the default tracking column. The automatic addition when you switched over to using Conversions vs Converted Clicks was that cross-device conversions were automatically included. While there is a separate column for cross-device conversions, there’s no way to remove them from the Conversions column without manually doing the math. Keep in mind, Google only reports a cross-device conversions when they are absolutely certain it was the same person. Also, this is one of the many discrepancies when you compare to Google Analytics because Google Analytics will not track cross-device conversions. If you’re looking at the Conversions column and you also have the cross-device column showing, it’s important to remember those are already included.

Google still allows you to make the Conversions column report similarly to the Converted Clicks column, but you have to manually change the setting. If you go to the Conversions page (Tools > Measurement > Conversions) you will see a full list of conversion types. If you click into one of the website source ones (see source column) and click Edit Settings. You’ll see a section that says Count (see below).

Google ads conversion counting.png

The default setting for this is “every,” but if you change it to one it will be similar to Converted Clicks. The primary deciding factor here would be the type of business you have. Most likely if you’re tracking lead generation of any sort you want to count only One and most likely if you’re an eCommerce company you want to keep the default "every” setting. The “one” setting will remove any duplicates if the same person converts more than once. Typically on an eCommerce website, even if the same person converts twice you will want to see two separate conversions because there will be revenue attributed to both.

While we’re in the conversion actions settings area there’s one more section you’ll want to be aware of when considering which conversions columns you should be using. It’s called “Include in Conversions.”

Google ads include in conversions.png

In a case of having multiple conversion types in your account, which many do, this is where you’ll decide which you want to see in the Conversions column and which will only be in the All Conversions column that we’ll discuss later. Again, keep in mind the default here will be to include so make sure you uncheck this box if you don’t want it to be part of your Conversion column.

All Conversions

All Conversions is exactly how it sounds. This is every conversion action in your account as well as cross-device, store visits, local actions (if using business location extensions) and (if you don’t change your settings) view through conversions. The addition of view through conversions being added to the All Conversions column happened randomly I believe almost two years ago. If you’re running any display or YouTube campaigns and you don’t want view through conversions to be included in your All Conversions column, make sure and do the following:

  1. Tools > Measurement > Conversions

  2. On the left you’ll see Settings

  3. Uncheck the box you see below

Google view through conversions.png

Which Conversion Column Should You Use?

That entirely depends on the client, but in most cases the safe bet is using the Conversion column and picking the exact conversion actions in your account that you would typically like to report on. The All Conversion column can be ever changing. One day there could be something additional included in that column that you don’t realize. If you stick with the Conversion column you will always control exactly what your looking at and using to optimize your account.

Google ads conversion segement.png

If you want to see all your conversions, all you need to do is add the All Conversions column and segment by conversion type. (see image)

If you have any further questions about Google Ads conversion tracking, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll help you out.

Google Ads Parallel Tracking: Does This Affect You?

What is Google Ads parallel tracking and does it affect your Adwords account?

Google has been sending out an email this week about the upcoming parallel tracking change to make sure everyone is prepared.  Since I've had multiple clients forward this email to me and ask about it, I wanted to explain what this is and which clients it affects.

Here is the email Google sent out:

Back in May this was first announced on the Google Ads blog.  A significant focus of Google in the past year is increasing page load time on mobile devices.  As web searches continue to shift towards mobile where internet speeds are lower Google has been focusing on doing what they can to increase page load times.  Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP) is one way they have been working on this.  They have put together various data showing the impact each second of page load time has on conversion rate.  If you are interested in learning more Google built a mobile site speed tool that also estimates the revenue impact.

Beyond AMP another way they are increasing mobile page load time is parallel tracking.  This is strictly for advertisers that use a click measurement system.  This feature has been available for a few months, but as of October 30th all accounts will be automatically opted in.  The vast majority of Google ads advertisers are not using a click measurement system.  Most advertisers are using Google Analytics with Adwords auto-tagging where there is no tracking added manually.  Many use custom tracking for lead forms with Google's tracking template, but those are not affected by this either.  

If you are using a click measurement partner like a Sizmek, what happens when someone clicks your ad is that the there is a redirect which takes place.  This happens so fast in the background you will not actually see it.  When a user clicks the URL a page will load and redirect the user to your landing page.  The middle page that loads (which no one ever sees) records click information, but also can slow down the time it takes for the landing page to load.  Parallel tracking solves that issue by still allowing click trackers to work, but it loads the click tracking page at the exact same time the landing page loads instead of loading it before.

To get a better idea here are some visuals:

Most advertisers look like this:

Google ads parallel tracking view.png

If you're using a third-party click measurement system it might look like this:

With the upgraded parallel tracking, this then changes to this:

Google ads parallel tracking view 3.png

Check out the Adwords developer section here for more information if you are interested https://developers.google.com/adwords/api/docs/guides/click-tracking

For our clients that are using a click measurement partner, we have already reached out to you about this separately.  For those that have not heard from us, you are not affected by this.

If you are not a client of ours and would like to know if this affects you, send us a message with an existing Google Ads URL and we will tell you and can assist with next steps.

Google Adwords Repeat Rate: Are You Under Reporting Conversions?

repeat rate update.gif

What is a repeat rate and what does it mean to your business?

If you go into tools under measurement and go to the conversions sections of Google Adwords (new interface), you should see at least one conversion type (if you have this setup) and a bunch of columns.  One of those columns will say repeat rate.  Depending on how you setup your conversion pixel this can cause you to either over report conversions or under report conversions.

Let's step back a bit.  When you are in the process of creating a conversion in Google Adwords, the first step you will see will be the following:

 
repeat rate.png
 

You have two options here, every or one.  According to Google "if someone clicks your ad, then makes 3 purchases, AdWords will count 3 conversions."  If you choose one, according to Google "adwords counts only one conversion per ad click."  At Relay PM, when we setup Google Adwords conversion tracking for a client we assess the type of conversion we are tracking for each client.  If we are tracking purchases we will choose every and if we are tracking leads we will chose one.  The reason is that if someone makes multiple purchases on a website, each purchase has revenue attributed to it and thus should be counted as a conversion because each additional conversion does add more value.  With lead generation, if one person submits multiple leads there typically is no additional value to counting every time the lead is submitted.

Depending on what your conversion window is set to (30, 60, 90...) the repeat rate is based on that window.  If someone clicks on an ad and makes more than one purchase at any point during that conversion window, it is counted as a repeat.  Same goes for submitting leads.  When you are looking at the repeat column in the conversion section in Google Adwords you will see the average number of conversions submitted per user based on whatever date range you are currently viewing.  Keep in mind no matter which option you choose, every or one, the repeat column still shows the average number of conversions per click or interaction, but they will only be included in the Adwords conversion columns if you chose every.

Now, there are potential issues to using the every conversion option that we have seen.  Users can bookmark a purchase or order confirmation page and visit that page again because the page might load too slow and the user tries to reload the page, or the user hits the back button to visit the page twice.  We have also seen unknown technical issues causing the conversion pixel to fire multiple times for the same user.  Any one of these options are fairly common.  Fortunately there is a way around this.  You can add an order ID to your conversion tracking pixel.  If Google Adwords sees two conversions submitted with the same order ID they will only count one.

Depending on if you are using a conversion pixel from the new Adwords interface or the old Adwords interface you can see the code to implement here: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6386790?co=ADWORDS.IsAWNCustomer%3Dtrue&hl=en&oco=0  Order ID's will not be used in any Adwords reporting.  

If you have any questions on this topic please let us know.