AdWords Conversion Types
Why two? Why are they sometimes different and sometimes not?

Conversions remain one of the most important metrics to keep track of when running online advertising campaigns. Google has long offered a handful of conversion metrics, two of which were somewhat cryptically named.

There was apparently so much confusion about these two metrics that Google has decided to rename them entirely. “Conversions (1-per-click)” will be renamed “Converted Clicks”. This makes a little more sense, as the metric is meant to show how many of the clicks you purchased resulted in a conversion (or two, or seven hundred). Meanwhile, “Conversions (many-per-click)” will be renamed “Conversions”. This is also more intuitive, as it’s a measurement of how many total conversion events happened on your site, regardless of how many happened per click.

But Wait, There’s More Confusion

Not content with just making those two column names more intuitive, Google is also allowing advertisers to change the way their conversions are counted. So far as I can tell, this feature has not yet been rolled out to all AdWords advertisers. It does, however, appear in their official support site. That means it will likely be implemented soon.

AdWords Conversion Counting
Do you really want to count ALL of your conversions?

As an advertiser, the idea that I might not want to track every last one of my conversions seems like heresy. But in this case Google is just allowing advertisers the opportunity to avoid double-counting. When running a site, you may have multiple places for a user to fill out the same form. If a user fills out a form and continues browsing the site, they might mistakenly fill out the same form again on another conversion page. They might also fill it out more than once because they have multiple locations. For the purposes of lead generation, you might only want to count all those form submissions as a single conversion. Switching from “All Conversions” to “Unique Conversions” allows you to do just that. This is set at the individual conversion level, so you could set up two separate conversions and track both count types if you’d like.

Your To-Do List

When Google rolls out these changes, you’ll need to take a look at any saved or downloadable conversion reports you’ve set up and perform a single-click update on them. You’ll also want to take a look at all your conversions and decide whether or not you want to change how you count conversions. AdWords will default to “All Conversions” (the current setup), so if you’re not interested in Unique Conversions there won’t be any need to make changes.