The Quick And Dirty Rundown Of AdWords Estimated Total Conversions

November 18, 2013

On October 1st, Google AdWords announced two new conversion types that are intrinsically tied together – Estimated cross-device conversions and Estimated Total Conversions. On November 12, Google also announced the newest Conversion roll out called Calls as Conversions. This is an unsurprising development since the debut of Enhanced campaigns and, more importantly, the change in Google’s privacy policy in early March. For us marketers, this is a pretty cool advancement in conversion tracking for AdWords. These two new conversion types will help us optimize campaigns in a new (and perhaps more effective) way than before. The ability to see how your audience finally completes a conversion is invaluable information. Below is a brief round-up of both types of conversions:

Estimated Total Conversions

  • Last-click conversions that you normally see
  • An estimate of conversions that occur using multiple devices
  • Use this metric to manage bids more efficiently

Estimated Cross-Device Conversions

  • These types of conversions begin as an ad click on one device and end as a goal completion on another device
  • This conversion number is an estimate culled from aggregate data of signed in Google users
  • Uses last click attribution

Calls as Conversions

  • Mobile click-to-call will now be counted in the regular Conversions column
  • Not a wild amount changed as to how calls were reported in AdWords, except now that the phone calls are in the regular Conversion column, we can use automated rules based on CPA targets

For both conversion types to show in your there are two pretty simple basics: 1. You must have conversion tracking enabled, and 2. have a healthy volume of conversions to the tune of at least 50 conversions a day.

So what does this mean for you, oh PPC marketer? It could mean a lot of things (depending on how much you trust an “estimate” a’la Google).

4 Ways Total Estimated Conversions Could Change the Way You Understand Your Account

  1. Use the Total Estimated Conversions to make assessments on whether to bid higher or lower for keywords. For example, does a keyword have 100 Conversions, but 110 Estimated Total Conversions? Test out a 10% increase in your keyword bid.
  2. Total Estimated Conversions and especially Cross-Device Conversions can help you truly see the full value of mobile without trying very hard.
  3. Better understand how your ads, both desktop and mobile specific, are effecting sales and conversions. Is one ad getting more cross-device conversions? Narrow down why that ad works better.
  4. Understand the length of research that converters take to make a decision – does this mean you need to change messaging and overall experience? Or is this simply a reflection of your product and/or service?

4 Reservations About Total Estimated Conversions

  1. Keyphrase: estimated. I like a sure thing. And these conversions are only based on aggregate data about how users complete goals on your site. And if there isn’t enough aggregate data, Google will display a “–“. But that doesn’t mean there are no cross-device conversions, just that there aren’t enough for them to be confident about showing a number.
  2. 50 conversions a day is a high bar for many advertisers. Some of our clients may get 50 conversions a month – and that’s a great month for their niche.
  3. Right now there is only last-click attribution, meaning the assist value of those cross-device conversions are not provided by Google and therefore you can’t see that number at all.
  4. Estimated Total Conversions column can’t be segmented by device (womp womp).

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles, folks. Despite some reservations, I am excited to see how I can use these new measurements to improve accounts in the coming months.