A CMO’s Guide to Conversion Metrics with Google Adwords

Computer white keyboard with conversions button

Google AdWords continues to expand and improve conversion tracking metrics, and without a full understanding of the data provided, your firm may not be optimized with regard to generating efficient quality leads and sales.  Obviously search advertising is a must when the goal is to capture prospects in active research or buying mode.

You can target top and bottom funnel.

  • Top funnel.
    • Typical phrases that are used in queries include: “How” “Ways to” “Improve” “increase”
    • Organic listings are typically blogs or helpful articles
    • Ads should communicate the availability of white papers, ebooks, or in-demand webinars
  • Bottom funnel.
    • Typical phrases that are used in queries include: “Software” “Tools” “Vendors” “Best” “Options”
    • Organic listings are typically company listings, review-type blog posts and software solutions
    • Ads should communicate a value proposition with demos, trials, or other offers

For B2B firms, AdWords offers a number of conversion metrics to consider in optimizing campaign performance.

  • Conversion: A click that leads to an action you want to track; typically, a sale or a form submit.
    • You can give conversions values in order to track a return on ad-spend. Values can be either the same for all conversions recorded, or it could vary (as in ecommerce-because product prices vary)
    • You can decide if you want to track one conversion per click (even if that click led to three web submit activities, or every conversion per click.
      • Example: If a click leads to a gated content download AND a free demo, you can attribute both conversions to one click or prospect, or just track it as one conversion per click, meaning it becomes a “converted click.”
    • You can also decide whether a conversion you are tracking should be included in your conversion data or not with AdWords.
      • Example: If you want to track content downloads, newsletter sign-ups, or Add-to-Cart activities as AdWords conversions, you can do so, and optimize campaigns for the total conversions. Your reports, however, will only show hard conversions such as purchases, or bottom-funnel form submits such as demos and trials.
    • Converted Clicks. As mentioned above, a converted click attributes just one conversion or group of conversions to one click or user.
      • For B2B landing pages, you’ll typically use the converted click metric, as there is one conversion within the landing page anyway.
    • Calls from Ads as Conversions. If you use phone numbers in your ads and wish to track mobile click-to-call activity as conversions, calls can also contribute to your total conversions. You can also set up the length of a call and track only a minimum call length (say 30 seconds) as a “call from ads” conversion. Bear in mind calls from ads are purely AdWords conversions. They can’t be tracked as conversion goals with Google Analytics.  At NuSpark, we usually add calls from ad conversions to our Google Analytics reporting.
    • Website Phone Number Calls as Conversions. If you want to track calls from your website as conversions as well, Google provides code to dynamically change a website phone number when visitors come to your site from AdWords. 3rd Party tracking services, like Call Rail, also offer AdWords integrations, and then website calls can be tracked as Event Goals in Google Analytics.

Other conversion metrics tracked by AdWords:

  • Cost per conversion: tells you how much, on average, each of your conversions cost. It’s calculated by dividing your total cost by the number in your “Conversions” column.
  • Conversion rate: tells you how often, on average, an ad click leads to a conversion. It’s calculated by dividing “Conversions” by the total clicks.
  • Total conversion value is the sum of conversion values for your “Conversions.”
  • Conversion value per cost: estimates your return on investment. It’s calculated by dividing your total conversion value by the total cost of clicks.
  • Conversion value per click: total conversion value divided by the number of clicks.
  • Value per conversion: tells you roughly how much, on average, each of your conversions is worth. It’s calculated by dividing your total conversion value by the number in your “Conversions” column. This metric is useful if each of your conversions has a unique value.
  • All conversions: shows you data for all conversion actions, including those which you’ve chosen not to include in “Conversions.”

Leading Up to a Final “Last-Interaction” Conversion

Not all clicks lead to a conversion during that landing page or website session.  Sometimes it takes a number of website visits before a conversion occurs.  Consider:

  • An AdWords visitor clicks to a landing page but doesn’t convert, then that visitor may see retargeting ads to come back and convert, or, a prospect may do an organic search and do more research on a company, and convert later on their website.

What we are observing is the concept of attribution, and in this case assisted conversions.  An assisted conversion is a click that leads to a conversion credited to another channel, so the AdWords click contributed to the decision process to convert later.  AdWords calls these assisted conversions Click-Assisted Conversions. This is the total number of conversions for which a particular campaign, ad group, or keyword click-assisted with. “Assist clicks” can be defined as the total number of clicks a keyword received prior to a conversion, excluding the last click.

 

End Game

AdWords is about driving efficient and profitable leads and sales to your business. That’s why we at NuSpark optimize keyword bids, location bids, device bids and campaign settings all the time, besides testing keywords and ad text.  By optimizing bids based on CPA, return on Ad Spend, and conversion data, we ensure that you invest wisely. There’s much data here to track, and by having a conversion/offer strategy first, that sets the stage to a successful paid search campaign.

If you’d like a free one-hour top-line digital lead generation assessment, sign up here.

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About Paul Mosenson

NuSpark Marketing Founder, Chief Lead Generation Strategist and Online Media Director An experienced B2B and B2C marketer, Paul has been helping clients generate leads and grow their businesses for over 25 years. Paul helps plan and optimize marketing and lead generation programs.