On April 18th, the AdWords blog announced the inclusion of a new feature in the conversion tracking tool-set. This new feature gives advertisers the ability to customize conversion reporting with conversion types, otherwise known as Actions. Instead of tracking conversions as a cumulative total, advertisers can now track various actions independent of each other.

You can now define the actions that are most important to your business and track conversions on each of those actions independently.

Conversions can now be segmented as one of the following types:

  • Leads
  • Purchase/Sale
  • Sign-Up
  • Pageview
  • “Other”

Within each conversion type, you can create any number of actions. For example, let’s say you are selling neck ties for Father’s Day. This is a limited time offer and a very specific sale. So, you would click on “Create a New Action” and select “Purchase/Sale” to choose the right conversion tracking code. Input “Father’s Day Neck Ties” as the action name for reporting. To complete the setup, you would then place the tracking code on your purchase thank you page. Once visitors to your site begin buying your Father’s Day neck ties, these conversions will show up in AdWords appropriately labeled!

Conversion Tracking, Actions/Types

The process works much the same way for Leads, Sales and Sign-Ups. However, with Pageviews, the conversion tracking code placement is a little different. In this instance, you would actually place the code on the page you want visitors to see. Let’s say you have a page full of important content located deep in your site. You’ve done all the right things to direct your visitors to this page, but you’re just not sure. Use this conversion type to track the number of pageviews on this deep content in your AdWords account. Using the “Other” option leaves conversion tracking open to your imagination (tracking RSS feed subscriptions perhaps?).

If you need more detailed data, you can attribute values to each action. Going back to the Father’s Day neck tie reference, you could tell Google that the sale of a tie is worth $20 to you. By dictating this value, your reports will keep a tally of value based on the number of completed actions. If you have dynamic values (say in an ecommerce shopping cart), you can input your dynamic variable to track revenue cent-for-cent. Once you have everything set up, you can run reports based on conversion types and mine all kinds of delicious data!

Conversion Tracking, Action Reporting

The ability to track these conversion types and specific actions can be attributed (in part) to the work Google did in creating the Pay-Per-Action (PPA) program. PPA works on the premise of indicating a dollar amount each action is worth, and of course you pay that price when the action is completed. Google has basically just turned this reporting capability around so that advertisers can have greater visibility in their traditional PPC endeavors. I feel that this is a great way to dig deeper into AdWords conversion data (though you can get much of this same data using Google Analytics and goal funnels). Good luck setting this up – and don’t forget to let me know if you have any questions!