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Question about conversion tracking and ROAS bid strategy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I am trying to figure out how best to implement our conversion tracking scheme properly. Basically, our ultimate goal with Adwords ads is to create sales for a very expensive ($3,000 - $4,000) product we sell. With a product that expensive, I also track leads from ads, otherwise we'd have very little conversion data for Adwords to work with.  


Different things the customer can do make them a stronger or weaker lead than others.  So I track the following stuff and assign the following values:


Looking at the product page for >45 seconds - $1 (Not really a lead, but still useful data for Adwords to have I'd think)

Downloading a "toolkit" with useful articles and info - $100

Filling out an interest form for our product - $800

Calling in to get a consult to see if our product is right for them - $1155


I come up with those figures by figuring out the ratio of how well they sell. Toolkit downloads convert into sales about 1/8 as well as interest forms. I want to feed all of this data into a "Return 300% on Ad Spend" flexible bidding strategy. I have some questions to make sure I'm doing this the right way.


-  I set all of the conversions to count ONCE, since they create one lead. But let's say someone fills out an interest form AND gets a consult? Right now, Google appears to be tracking both of those and giving them both a value. Is there any way to tell Adwords to only count the most valuable conversion, if one person converts in multiple ways?


- On a related note, if there IS a way to only have Google track the most valuable conversion one person does (out of several), could I then start actually tracking the sale as well?  Right now I do have the sales as a conversion for my own tracking purposes, but I tell Adwords not to include them in optimized conversions. I don't want Google counting a $3,000 sale AND the interest form that generated the lead in the first place being counted as $3,800 dollars worth of conversions, because it's not. However, if I could tell Adwords to only count the most valuable conversion, it would stop counting the interest form conversion once I entered a sale.


-  Assuming there is not any way to have Adwords count only the most valuable conversion for a user, is there anything else I should be doing differently in terms of tracking them?  Again, I have about 10 lead-generating conversions, 2 engagement conversions (looking at the product page for >45 seconds), and 2 different types of sales conversions. I have "count" set to "one" for every conversion except for actual sales, which I have count "all".  Every conversion other than the 2 sales ones are "included in 'conversions'" (which I take to mean only use the non-sales ones to figure out how to bid for a flexible bidding strategy)


I hope I explained this all in a way that makes sense, and I'd really appreciate any insight anyone can provide.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Question about conversion tracking and ROAS bid strategy

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner

Unfortunately if all the goals are listed as Adwords goals ( or imported from Analytics and added as a conversion), their is currently no way to prioritize one over the other so to speak in your examples. ie tell Adwords to only count the most valuable conversion, if one person converts in multiple ways?

My question to you is, these additional goals and values are more of a Analytics play to help determine the funnel, rather then an ROI play in which one should truly use if possible for Adwords ( when spending money).

If i were setting up the account, I would continue using the values and goals for Google Analytics, but not import those into Adwords. Allow Adwords to only track a true ROI money exchanging hands conversion so you can truly get a grasp on Cost per acquisition and ROAS.. When one "muddies" the waters so to speak by counting and utilizing not ROI events in Adwords they don't get a true concept of ROI. These data points can easily be viewed in Google Analytics for evaluation, but easily lead to bad decision making for utilizing any type of Conversion optimization bidding in Adwords.

The Conversion optimization bidding is an estimated assumption based on large data ( but doesn't mean Money exchanged hands).

In My opinion, I would stick with a Sales only Conversion Model and base my bids off of a ROI model, cost of acquisition, ROAS.
When you have such a High Revenue product you have a lot of room to truly manage the account on a CPC model and make adjustments that matter based on modifiers. I always say trust your own judgement over a "computer" spending your money especially if I have true sales data ( and not a speculative lead gen) If you know what you are doing, you usually win in the end. ( JUST MY OPINION).

I am Interested to here how other would tackle your issues.

Re: Question about conversion tracking and ROAS bid strategy

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
Hi Kyle,

The conversion optimizer adds complexity to your question. I can't really answer that part of your question.

What I wanted to suggest is you can segment your reports by conversion name. That would give you a better idea of the relationship between the conversions, I think. It could help you determine which ad groups or keywords produce better leads that result in sales. You could then adjust your bids accordingly.

Best of Luck!

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Question about conversion tracking and ROAS bid strategy

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Eric,


Those would be ideal solutions, except I NEED to track leads and micro-conversions as conversions. This is a fairly small business, and we only sell 5-6 of our product per week (on a good week). And most of those come from referrals and SEO, there's very few sales we can attribute to Adwords at this point. Adwords needs a lot more conversion data than that for an ROAS bidding strategy to function well. I understand what you mean about it being more of an Analytics play, but we use Adwords solely for lead generation, nobody directly buys anything from our site. We have a very niche product. So, we DO spend money with Adwords to obtain leads, which is why I really wanted an ROAS bidding strategy even without direct sales.

The system I have is my workaround - I can't input sales often enough, but we capture 8-10 leads just in Adwords per week, so if I pretend those are actually worth something, then I have plenty of data. If an interest form converts at ~33%, and the sale is worth $3,000, then you could kinda make the argument that (statistically) it's worth $1,000 to us when someone fills out that interest form. In any case, we don't do any online sales, all of our sales happen over the phone. People couldn't directly convert from an Adwords ad even if we had enough volume.  To even track sales, I had to have the forms they fill out grab their GCLID, the GCLID into our CRM for that person, and then manually upload the sales conversion later (if there's a sale).

Here's my issue though (and if there's no way to fix this, that's fine, my method definitely DOES work, at least to some extent, even with this problem): I had someone get captured as a lead, except they performed three separate conversion actions (they downloaded a tool kit, asked for a review, AND filled out a form). So instead of $1155 (for only the most promising type of lead creating event, I don't care if they did other actions that have a lower sales conversion %), it's counting ~$2,000 in value from the three conversions for the same person.

Ideally, if a lead can be created in multiple ways, and a prospective customer does ALL of the types, we'd only want Adwords to count the "best" one for ROAS purposes. That's what I was trying to see if there's a way Adwords can do it. Like I said, if not, it's pretty rare someone performs an action to create a lead in multiple ways, so the vast majority of the time Adwords only has 1 conversion per lead. As long as my sales conversion rates are backed by solid data, this will still (more or less) let me set up an ROAS system without having enough "real" sales conversions to do so.

If I'm wildly wrong here, definitely let me know! And thanks for your input so far.

Re: Question about conversion tracking and ROAS bid strategy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Pete,

Thanks for your advice. I certainly could do that, except with an ROAS bidding strategy Adwords takes a lot more than the keyword itself into consideration. It uses time of day, device, and I'm 99% sure it uses information about the potential click-er that I can't even access. So I'd have to manually do a LOT of bid adjustments, and even then I'd be less efficient at it than Adwords can (theoretically) be.
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by Mini-CM (Community Manager)
December 2015

Re: Question about conversion tracking and ROAS bid strategy

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
One idea may be to track how much conversion value has already been attributed to a user via a cookie. You could then use that figure to decide how much a new conversion adds to that value and only submit the difference to an AdWords conversion. e.g. if a user is at a conversion value of $1155, and then buys, you allocate sale value minus 1155 to the conversion.