12 December 2023

Master guide for conversion settings in Search Ads 360

Marbles falling through funnel

In summary

  • Conversion setting is a feature within the new Search Ads 360 (SA360) UI which allows advertisers to have their campaigns target either Google Ads or SA360 owned conversion actions.
  • Whilst simple in theory, incorrect conversion settings, alongside confusion regarding the conversions their campaigns are targeting, are two of the biggest issues experienced with the adoption of the new SA360.
  • The following master guide will provide an explanation of conversion setting in more detail - going through what each conversion setting does, and use cases for each option alongside a recommendation.

SA360 conversions

In line with the Google Ads method, the New SA360 Experience uses the account-level and/or campaign-level conversion settings to populate the default “Conversions” and “Conversion Value” columns that are used by bid strategies. Getting those settings right is the single most important piece of QA that SA360 users need to get right.

With 3 different conversion setting columns and with each combination pointing at a different conversion source, it is easy to get confused.

Understanding conversion columns

Settings can be observed at the campaign level of hierarchy by adding the following columns which should appear in the UI as the screenshot below.

Conversion columns

Conversion setting

The conversion setting column indicates which conversions will be used by the platform to optimise performance and will return with one of the listed values.

  • Search Ads 360: Campaign is targeting conversions indicated in the “Conversion goals” column.
  • Google Ads: Campaign is targeting conversions indicated in the “Google Ads conversion goals” column.
  • Google Ads and Search Ads 360: Campaign is targeting conversions included in both the “Google Ads Conversion Goals” and the “Conversion goals” column.

Note: At time of writing, this option returns the text value “Search Ads 360” in the conversion settings column. As such, it is not recommended to currently implement due to the potential for creating additional confusion.

Conversion goals

The conversion goals column indicates the “Search Ads 360” owned account default or custom conversion goals the campaign is targeting.

The Google Ads conversion goals column indicates the “Google Ads” owned account default or custom goals the campaign is targeting.


The conversions column shows the count of the conversions included in “Conversion goals” a campaign has facilitated.

Client account conversions

The client account conversions columns indicates the count of the conversion volume generated by “Google Ads conversion goals” the campaign has facilitated. This can alternatively refer to other engine accounts conversions outside of the Google architecture (i.e. Microsoft UET tag conversions).

How are SA360 conversion columns connected?

The following table indicates how each column interacts with one another within the SA360 UI, how to tell what conversions a campaign is targeting, and how many of said conversions have been recorded.

For example, if the conversion setting is SA360, then the campaign’s bid strategy will be optimising towards the conversion actions labelled in the “Conversion goals” column, and the conversion volumes will be reflected in the ”Conversions” column.

Conversion setting connection table

Conversion setting and goals review process

The following guide provides a step-by-step process of reviewing conversion settings and goals in the new SA360.

Step 1: Navigate to the Sub manager > Tools & Settings > Conversions

Step 2: Review and confirm all account default SA360 owned conversions used as primary and secondary are set as desired. As with Google Ads, SA360 now automatically divides your conversions into certain conversion categories (e.g. purchases)

Step 3: On the campaigns tab at the sub manager level, check that the conversion setting for all your campaigns are as desired. The conversion setting can be changed in bulk by clicking on the square to the left of the campaigns you wish to change and clicking on the “Change conversion settings” button in the edit menu.

Change conversion setting bulk edit in UI

Step 4: For campaign specific conversion actions, navigate to the campaign level > Campaign settings > Conversion goals

Campaign conversion goals in UI

Step 5: Select the conversion setting to determine if a campaign uses the account default goals, or campaign specific custom conversions from the following:

a. SA360 conversions
b. Google Ads conversions
c. SA360 and Google Ads

Step 6: The settings can also be changed in bulk at the campaign level:

a. Select all campaigns you wish to change the conversion setting of
b. Select edit above your campaigns
c. Select conversion settings from the drop down menu
d. Change conversion settings for all selected campaigns

Conversion goals setting in UI

Louder’s ranking of conversion settings

Rank Conversion setting When to use Ranking reasoning
1 SA360 Optimising exclusively to Floodlights, Google Analytics, or Adobe Analytics conversions. Simple setup, Google Ads and Microsoft Ads campaigns both using the same suite of conversions, reduces complexity.
2 Google Ads Optimise towards conversions which aren’t available in SA360 Conversion settings i.e. clicks to call. More complicated setup than SA360 setting as it is more likely to cause issues.
3 Google Ads & SA360 If you want to use Floodlights and Google Ads conversions, but are unable to share Floodlight conversions with Google Ads. Limited / internal restrictions only use case

Louder’s recommendation

Setting up your search campaign correctly can be daunting. With so many features available nowadays it can feel almost endless. Louder recommends having an experienced Search specialist team on your side to help ensure your setup is ready for maximising performance.

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About Alex Byrne

Alex is a Digital Advertising Specialist at Louder. In his spare time, he enjoys reading classic novels, meditating and training at the gym.