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Understanding Click Assisted Conversions and Why They’re Important

There have been situations involving AdWords which have left me baffled. A campaign has been acquiring conversions at a steady rate and I’ve wanted to reduce the cost per conversion further, by clearing up a few costly keywords which haven’t converted over a significant period of time. Then over the next few days I’ve noticed a decline in the total number of conversions. Theoretically only the cost per conversion should have dropped, so how on earth has pausing non-converting keywords influenced the total number of conversions?


The answer lies with click assisted conversions. Just because a keyword isn’t generating direct conversions doesn’t mean that it isn’t playing an important role in your campaign. Click assisted conversions help us to identify which keywords (and ads) helped along a sales path without actually closing the deal on the last click leading to the conversion. Let’s say someone carried out the following searches for example –


sports equipment > tennis gear > tennis footwear > tennis shoes > *conversion completed*


Everything prior to this final converting keyword, “tennis shoes”, can be counted as a click assisted conversion and ultimately played its part in helping the completion of the sale. Now, it’s possible that “sports equipment” isn’t going to assist with tennis shoes sales on a regular basis but you can see where “tennis gear” might help to initiate a sales path without closing the conversion. The important thing is to just quickly check this data before pausing a keyword as you might be surprised with your findings.


To check it out for yourself simply go to Columns > Modify columns > Attribution and then add “Click assisted conv.



about Scott Dunroe

I have been managing AdWords accounts for over 8 years now at an international marketing agency level and also as a freelancer. I am very passionate about Google's PPC platform and pretty much anything else that is Google related. My theory in life is to learn something new every day and this community is definitely a good place to do so; I would recommend anyone reading this to stick around as it's an excellent source of information with great people contributing to it.

Dave_Davis Top Contributor
August 2015

This is excellent @ScottyD

Probably the most important article in the monthly series. It still scares me how 1) We got by in the past without this data and 2) How still so few people understand this. 


While it takes a bit of time to wrap your mind around this and indeed attribution in general, these days, if you don't, you're leaving a lot of money in the table for competitors to hoover up. 


Thanks for a succinct explanation. Very well put. 

ScottyD Top Contributor
August 2015

Thanks @Dave_Davis! I cringe to think how many times I shot myself in the foot in the past by pausing relevant keywords which I just didn't think were converting.


I think it's something that needs to be made more aware to the average advertiser.

Faiz Woo
August 2015




ScottyD Top Contributor
August 2015

No problem @Faiz Woo! Smiley Happy

Oyediran D
August 2015
Seriously, this I don't know, but now I know. Thanks ScottyD for the post. This should be giving post of the month. Regards David
ScottyD Top Contributor
August 2015

Glad to hear it's helped @Oyediran D!

Victor A
September 2015

Hi Scotty, I also noticed a decline in the total number of conversions after deleting placement with low clicks. Please does your explanation about deleting keywords apply to placements as well?



Parveen Travels
October 2015

interesting article

ScottyD Top Contributor
December 2015

@Victor A, sorry for the delayed reply. There's no way to review this attribution for placements unfortunately (as you've probably already found out) but I do believe that having a display network awareness could have a same effect. A potential client could keep getting reminded of your website via banners as they browse the competition for example, then at a later time they might revisit your site to complete the conversion.

Mary M Badged Google Partner
December 2015

Hi Scott, I recently discovered attributions after having a similar experience cleaning up an account. I'm still testing it to find out if "click assisted conv." is the answer. Do you know if there is a way to see "click assisted conv." by device? 


There has been a big push by Google to find micro-moments higher on the sales funnel on mobile and I wonder if we can use this to do just that. Is there something I'm missing? How can we track a mobile search to a desktop conv.?


Thanks, Mary