Google Just Got Rid of AdWords Converted Clicks. Now What?

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Today, Google ends support for Converted Clicks in Google AdWords. Advertisers still using this metric in reports or for Target CPA bidding need to take a few steps to successfully migrate to the Conversions metrics instead.

This article outlines how this change may affect you and what you need to do.

What This Change Means

Converted Clicks is a metric that came about in 2001 with the introduction of conversion tracking, and has lost much of its relevance since AdWords made updates to the Conversions column in 2015, at which point AdWords encouraged anyone still using Converted Clicks for bidding or reporting to switch to the Conversions metric.

Now, AdWords has decided to retire the old metric to simplify reporting and conversion tracking, which pre-September 21 offered advertisers the choice between aligning bid strategy with Conversions or Converted Clicks.

Whom This Change Affects

To figure out whether you need to take action, ask yourself: Are you using automated bidding, namely Target CPA bidding, for your PPC campaigns?

If you are not, then you’re in the clear and no changes are required of you. The only changes you will notice in AdWords come September 21 will be in reports, where the Converted Clicks column will be retired.

If you do have automated bidding set up, ask yourself the next question: Have you aligned your Target CPA bid strategy with Converted Clicks or Conversions?

If you’re aligned with Conversions already, there are no actions that you need to make. The only change will be in reports.

So, if you’ve aligned your automated bidding to Converted Clicks, and you see a “Converted Clicks is going away” alert message in the Tools tab under Conversions, you will need to complete several steps to migrate to Conversions to avoid causing any disruptions to your campaigns.

Why People Aligned Bids to Converted Clicks and Not Conversions

You may be wondering why anyone would still be using Converted Clicks for bidding and reporting. Likely, it came down to the inconvenience of the switch.

First it’s important to understand why a bidding strategy focused on only key conversions is more effective than bidding for all conversions. Consider the following example:

Imagine that an agency uses an automated bidding strategy aligned with Conversions, without filtering certain conversion types. That agency reports an average cost per conversion of $20, which averages the cost for newsletter subscriptions, resource downloads, actual sales, and more, combined. Had the agency isolated only actual sales within…