Conversion is a definite process in which a visitor to a website is guided into carrying out a concrete action. A class conversion is, for example, a purchase, a download, or registering for a newsletter. Conversion rate optimization is a sub-discipline of search engine optimization and online marketing. In affiliate marketing, payment of publishers is mostly done based on successful conversions.


There are different KPIs that are used to measure the success of a website or a marketing campaign. Conversion as a unit for measuring the success and the associated conversion rate has established itself in many areas. This is because conversions can easily be measured and evaluated using common web analysis tools such as Google Analytics. Furthermore, more comprehensive tools can be used to outline the path to a conversion through the so-called customer journey across different platforms and devices.

Today, the so-called conversion tracking takes place through user labelling using a cookie. However, many web groups, including Microsoft, are looking for labelling methods that are more secure. Conversion tracking is used both by web masters and affiliate networks to review performance. The latter use conversions made in the affiliate program as a basis for their payments to publishers.

After a conversion has taken place, the post-conversion marketing starts.


Types of conversion[edit]

Multiple conversions can be specified for a user journey. Every click by a user to access advertising material or a newsletter on the website counts as a conversion. On the website itself, every conversion represents a clear action such as filling out a contact form, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading, or the classic purchasing of a product.

Conversion as a KPI[edit]

The conversion rate is the measure of the conversion. This can be calculated using a simple formula and is given as a percentage.

Conversion rate = Number of executed actions / ((Number of all visitors)*100)

There is usually no ideal value for the conversion rate as this is highly dependent on the overall performance of a website. All marketing measures that contribute towards increasing the conversion rate are referred to as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Measuring conversions using Google AdWords and Google Analytics[edit]

Anyone who uses the Google AdWords advertising program can use it to define their own conversions in order to measure the success of their SEA campaigns. Here, there are different conversion goals to choose from, such as purchase, call or registration. A prerequisite for the measurement of conversions is the implementation of the corresponding tracking code on the landing page. For e-commerce, this is most often the order completion page.

Google Analytics can also be used to define conversions as the so-called “goals”. Goals can, for example, be a certain amount of time spent on the page or even the sending of a particular form. These goals can then be exported to the Google Adwords account and used to measure the conversion of the advertising program. Linking of Adwords with the Analytics account is necessary for the export.

Importance for Online Marketing[edit]

For webmasters as well as advertisers and agencies, conversions are scalable parameters when measuring success. This is because, among other things, they enable fair reimbursement of agency services based on success. However, in the case of a conversion that is not directly related to the purchase of a product, site owners should also pay attention to how the conversion took place. This is due to the fact that actions such as downloads and newsletter subscriptions can, in extreme cases, result from automated bots aimed at manipulating the conversions. A crosscheck via the customer journey or sources that led to the conversion is, therefore, always appropriate. Therefore, with this analysis, the entire conversion funnel will be considered, and not just the conversion itself. That's we refer to an conversion funnel, that includes all relevant steps that are necessary for the conversion.

The chance of a conversion can be raised significantly if the user is able to access the sought product much faster. Therefore, with search engine optimization, you should always be careful to ensure that your website has short loading times, a sensible navigation as well as high quality content.