Conversions vs Converted Clicks – How To Measure Success With AdWords Campaigns

If you do not measure conversions in one way or another, you are not measuring the success of your AdWords campaigns. But what should you look at – conversions or converted clicks? What do those numbers really mean? Depending on your goals, should you track one or the other? Read on…

Now that your AdWords campaign is up and running, you will start collecting data on its performance; which is paramount to making sound decisions on what to keep and what to discard in said campaign. While click-through-rate or cost-per-click figures can individually help you discover which keywords or ad groups outperform others, they will not give you a correct feedback on the success of your campaign. To do so, you have to setup specific conversions in the system and look at those numbers in the long run.

Conversions & converted clicks

First of all, let’s make it clear what converted clicks and conversions mean within AdWords.

Converted Clicks = Unique Customers

This is “the number of clicks that convert within your chosen conversion window (typically 30 days)”.  So, if a customer makes two separate purchases after clicking on an ad, they will register as one Converted Click.

Conversions = Total Conversion Actions or Total Sales + Unique Leads

The new settings here give advertisers the flexibility to set the way conversion actions are counted by All or Unique.

There is an interesting and visual explanation from Google below:


Each time a paid visitor performs an action you track as one of your goals, they will be counted as a Converted Click. If this individual then converts again during the conversion window (which is by default set at 30 days), he/she will not accrue the Converted Clicks total.

At the same time, when an individual comes to your website after having clicked on one of your ads and converts multiple times (let’s imagine you track forms being filled, calls from website and purchases as conversions), the conversions total augments each time.


  • Jerry clicks on your ad and buys a blue widget from your website. You have converted that click. Converted Clicks = 1; Conversions = 1
  • 7 days later, Jerry comes back to your website and signs up for your newsletter. This initial click had already converted but you track newsletter signups as conversions. Converted Clicks = 1; Conversions = 2
  • The same day, Jerry downloads 3 white paper PDFs from your website and calls your office. You track downloads and calls from website as conversions. Converted Clicks = 1; Conversions = 6
  • And so it goes…

To make it simple, consider that Converted Clicks total equals Unique Customers and that Conversions total equals how many goals were reached during that timeframe; according to your settings.

The difference between One-Per-Click conversions and Many-Per-Click conversions

Now that we have outlined the difference between converted clicks and conversions, we need to make sure your campaign settings are set to measure what you want them to do and this is where the conversion count comes into play.


When creating a new conversion in your campaign, you have to decide how you are counting them to get the best insights from those numbers. Obviously, if you are interested in lead generation totals, you should go with Unique in the above screenshot. However, if you want to know how many forms were filled or calls were made in total, you should go with All.

Let’s go back to our example above with Jerry converting on your website after having clicked on an ad. If you have selected All as your way of counting conversions, Jerry will generate 6 conversions in total:

  • 1 sale
  • 1 newsletter signup
  • 1 website call

However, if you have decided to go with Unique Conversions, the total generated by Jerry will only be 4, as Jerry is only responsible for 4 different conversion types:

  • sale
  • newsletter signup
  • PDF download (even if Jerry downloaded 3 of them)
  • website call

Those conversion settings clearly offer more flexibility when it comes to assessing your campaign success. However, they have to be understood and mastered in order to be meaningful.

Should you need help or assistance with conversion setting or anything SEM related, feel free to get in touch. We would be more than happy to assist you in getting the most out of your paid efforts and attain your goals.

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