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The New Way To Count Conversions In AdWords: Converted Clicks, Conversions And View Through Conversions

White Shark Media

7 years ago



The way we look at conversions recently changed, Google announced they were changing the names for the conversion columns in AdWords (which had already taken effect). However, they didn’t only change the names of the columns, they also changed the way we count conversions.

These recent changes in addition to the way Google AdWords Support defines these conversions can be confusing to some. That’s why I decided to write a post to make your life easier and help you understand the different concepts and the way they report.

We used to look at conversions as “Conversions 1 Per click” and “Conversions Many Per Click”; now these two are labeled “Converted Clicks” and “Conversions”, respectively. But what really changed? Let’s get into the details:

Types Of Direct Conversions

  •       Conversions 1 Per Click or “Converted Clicks”:

Converted Clicks simply counts how many clicks turned into conversions within your conversion window (the time frame you establish to track conversions after the click happens, this is usually set at 30 days).

  •       Conversions Many Per Click or “Conversions”:

Now, to understand the “Conversions’ column, we have to go back to identifying what counting method you selected when the code was generated, whether this is ‘All Conversions’or ‘Unique Conversions’.

The ‘All Conversions’ setting lets you count multiple sales/ transactions after the clicks happen, while the ‘Unique Conversions’ setting allows you track only one conversion even if the person completes more than 1 transaction after the click happens.

The Difference Between Conversions 1 Per Click and Many Per Click Vs. Converted Clicks And Conversions (Before And After)

For reporting purposes, it is important to distinguish these two types of conversions counting methods more than anything. Here is an example:

Let’s say you are looking at an Ad Group or a specific keyword that is reporting conversions, and you have the following scenarios, with 3 different conversion tracking settings:

Old Conversion Counting Settings:

4 Sales from 2 Clicks ==> Counting All Conversions

4 Contact Forms for 1 Click ==> Counting all Conversions

4 Phone Calls for 2 Clicks ==> Counting All Conversions

This would have resulted in 12 Conversions (Many Per Click) and 5 clicks, or simply 5 Conversions (One Per Click) and 5 Clicks.

On the other hand, we have the New Conversion Counting Settings:

4 Sales from 2 Clicks ==> Counting All Conversions

4 Contact Forms submitted from 1 Click ==> Counting Unique Conversions

4 Phone Calls from 2 Clicks ==> Counting Unique Conversions

Based on the new conversion counting setting, this would have resulted in 7 Conversions, 5 Converted Clicks and 5 clicks. This is quite a big difference when in comparison to the old tracking method and reporting.

Always Use Conversion 1 Per Click or ”Converted Clicks” For Tracking Leads

A Converted Click is directed to track unique users goal completion. So, if you are a local company and want to mainly track leads, you really want to focus on this metric. AdWords will only count a lead (goal completion/ conversion) one time regardless of how many times that goal was completed after the click.

For example, a potential customer clicks on your ad, lands on your website and fills out your “contact us form” or “request a quote form”. The customer filled out the form more than once for whatever reason after clicking on your ad within 30 days. In this instance, the conversion 1 per click will only register 1 conversion because it is focused on one unique user at a time.

Many-Per-Click Conversions or Simply “Conversions” is Best Suited For Tracking Transactions

On the other hand, Conversions should be used to track multiple instances of a set goal after 1 click within 30 days. So, if you have an e-commerce website and a user clicks on your ad and completes multiple purchases within your conversion window, you want to make sure that this is being tracked accordingly. This is where you should analyze your conversion data focusing on this metric.

AdWords will count the multiple purchases after the click separately and will give you a better idea of what is your actual cost per conversion for sales.

Take a look at the screenshot below where we are tracking online sales. If you look at ‘Conversions 1 Per Click’, your cost per conversion will obviously be higher than when you look at it based on ‘Conversions Many Per Click’.

way to count conversions adwords 1

This is why reading the correct metric is important. Once you analyzed the data, you will see that your cost per advertising spent through ‘Conversions Many per Click’ is much lower than when you look at it based on unique user purchases.

View-Through Conversion Data

Now that we have covered the two main types of counting conversions (at least direct conversions), let’s talk a little about View Through Conversions, which is rarely used by a lot of advertisers, perhaps because they are not running a display or remarketing campaigns.

The straightforward definition of ‘View Through Conversions’ would be:

A conversion type that occurs when you are running a display or remarketing campaign with rich content media such as banner/ image ads; the customer sees this ad and then completes conversions on your site through a different source.

View-Through Conversions Can Help You In Analyzing Your Buying Funnel

‘View Through Conversions’ is used more effectively when working with Google Analytics, because it gives you a better insight of the conversion paths and assisted conversions.

There will be times when a customer will see your image or flash ads but will complete a conversion on your site through a different channel afterwards rather than clicking on the ad directly. This is what we call an assisted conversion.

Some advertisers don’t give any value to the elements that assisted to a conversion through a multichannel buying funnel and give all the credit to the last source where the conversion happens. However, you should really start assigning a value to these assisted conversions (View Through Conversions in AdWords), even if they were not the last source before the conversion.

For example, let’s consider the following:

A customer clicks on your search ad, doesn’t complete a desired action and leaves your site. You happen to run a remarketing ad, which the customer sees, but still doesn’t click on them. Nonetheless, at some point later on, he ends up going back to your site through direct traffic and completes a purchase.

The multichannel buying funnel flow for this would be:

Paid Search –> Remarketing –> Direct

Rather than giving all the credit to direct traffic, you should assign a value to each of these sources that assisted to the conversion.

Please see the screenshot below for a reference on how much of an impact ‘View Through Conversions’ has on a campaign’s performance. It completely changes your perspective on how the campaign is performing:

way to count conversions adwords 2

The Type Of Conversions & Settings You Use should Depend On Your Business Needs And Tracking Purposes:

To summarize, understanding the purpose of each of these metrics is essential before choosing which one to work with. When looking at these three metrics in your AdWords account, you really want to ask yourself whether you are tracking leads, sales, or multichannel conversions. Looking at the right metric can make a huge difference in reading accurate data and ultimately benefiting your bottom line.

Last but not least, keep in mind that Converted Clicks and Conversions are not the same and each is intended for different business modules and tracking purposes. Always consider the settings chosen when the conversion tracking is being generated, which can always be changed at a later stage if you intend to change the way you count your conversions.


Ideally, Converted Clicks are for Leads, Conversions are for Transactions and if you run display or remarketing campaign, View through Conversion will track your assisted conversions through the multichannel funnel.