AdWords to Offer New Conversion Tracking Options

For you readers that have kept your attention on the Atria blog as of late, you may have noticed a pattern. Many recent articles have tackled the complex topic of automatic bidding strategies – giving you details about how to handle, for example, the Maximize Clicks and Target Search Page Location strategies, which are just two of the several available.

This week, Google announced that AdWords will soon change how it tracks conversions, which will ultimately impact how all its bidding strategies perform. AdWords promises that users will soon see a number of new options in its Conversion settings. You will be able to move beyond last-click attribution with six different methods.

Six Methods

These methods will include last click, first click, linear, time decay, position-based, and data-driven options.

You should be familiar with the last click option. It is the default setting for conversions in AdWords. It gifts all the credit for a conversion – a potential customer who, because of your ad’s influence, makes a purchase – to the last keyword a user clicked on his way to your website. Although this can work well for many scenarios where there is a direct line from an ad to a website, it doesn’t always reflect the reality that customers will click ads for the same business multiple times before deciding to buy goods or subscribe to a service.

The first click option performs in the opposite manner. It attributes a conversion to the first-clicked keyword in a series. The linear method, on the other hand, spreads the love equally by crediting all clicks in a series.

The time decay method takes into account the date and time of a click and awards more credit to those clicks that occurred closest to a purchase. Finally, the position-based method splits 80 percent of the credit between the first and last clicks; it then evenly spreads the remaining 20 percent to all those clicks in the middle.

The Data-Driven Way

Among the five others, the data-driven option appears the most futuristic and, potentially, the best option for you. Google is pushing the data-driven way because “sometimes it’s best to let the numbers do the talking.” Algorithms in this attribution scheme (now in public beta) try to determine which method of attribution works best for your needs. They consider the number of customer interactions with each ad, the order of ad exposure, and the creativity behind each ad to see where the weak and strong points exist in the chain. It compares what happened with what could have happened.

All the above methodologies work with AdWords’ automatic bidding strategies. Their multiple uses and results can inform how you complete bids and choose bidding strategies that will be best for your company’s future. Specifically, they can impact the Target CPA, Enhanced Cost-per-click, and Target Return-on-ad-spend strategies, all of which will make an appearance in the Atria PPC management blog in coming weeks.