What is Conversion? And What are the Different Types Available?


If you are tracking conversion, how will you know what's performing well and what's not?

By Ahmed khalifa

You have a website, right?

And when you have visitors to your website, you want them to carry out specific actions on your site… right?

Buy, download, contact you… you know, the standard actions.

Some people might say that they are not selling anything so there is no point of tracking conversions. Others simply don’t know whether they have any kind of conversion to track.

I even had a client in the past who was building an online community, but because she was not “selling”, she didn’t feel that there was anything to track.

I’m here to dispel that myth.

Unless you have a private website that is just for yourself, like an online diary, I’m here to tell you that online conversion is important for all businesses.

But let’s take it back to basics and discuss what a conversion is and the different types of conversions that you can track.

What is a Conversion?

I’ve seen and heard a lot of ridiculous corporate-style definitions of conversion, like: “when a business’ marketing message has reached your target consumer which then turns their behaviour to visit your website and ends with an online goal completion”.

Honestly 🙄

To put it simply: a conversion happens when a visitor has arrived on your website and completed a desired goal. These goals can vary, such as buying a product or filling out a form.

Once you start seeing conversions, it then opens up a whole new world of data that can determine whether your actions are bringing in the results that you desire.

But, every website has its own conversion, so to get an idea of what yours could be, the next section outlines the different types of conversions by site type.

Why Should You Track Your Online Conversions?

Most, if not all, analytics platforms allow you to track conversions, though some are more difficult than others.

But if you are using Google Analytics, you can set up your goals tracking very quickly, start measuring your online performance and work on analysing and improving conversion rate.

And when you can measure what’s working and what’s not, that’s when the magic really starts to happen.

Because then you can combine conversion rate with other important data, like time on site, sources of traffic, types of browsers and devices, locations of customers, etc.

To help you, here are several scenarios with ideas on how you can combine those types of data:

  1. You have noticed that conversions are good on Firefox but very bad on Safari. Why is that? Perhaps you need to test it out, see how your website runs on different browsers and decide whether you need a developer to help fix it.
  2. Most sources of traffic bring in good conversion, but your paid traffic is the one that really brings in the highest conversion. With that in mind, maybe it’s time for you to increase your effort on paid traffic since that’s currently working very well for you.
  3. On specific days of the week, you don’t see a lot of conversions. So you might want to check whether you should increase your effort for those days to see if it will increase your conversion rate. Or maybe it’s telling you to save your time and money, and focus on those days that are working well for you instead.

Whatever it is, having access to conversion data can do wonders for your online performance because you can find little fixes that can make a big difference to your business.

Related Article: How to Set Up and Track Goals & Conversions on Google Analytics

What are the Different Types of Conversions?

Let’s have a look at a list of possible online web conversions depending on the type of website you have.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will give you a good idea of what your definition of conversion could be.

E-Commerce (i.e. online shops):

  • Purchases completed
  • Going through the steps in the checkout funnel
  • Products added to basket/cart
  • Contact forms completed
  • Discount downloaded

Publishers/Content Creators/Bloggers (e.g. online newspapers/publishers, fashion bloggers, content writers):

  • Pageviews to articles with adverts
  • Clicks on adverts
  • Clicks on affiliate links
  • Ebooks downloaded
  • Clicks on videos
  • Contact forms completed
  • Newsletter subscriber confirmed

Software/App Company (e.g. Skype, Slack, security scanners, browser extensions):

  • Free trial/demo request completed
  • Full software purchased
  • Software downloaded
  • Contact forms completed

Service Providers (e.g. plumber, marketing agency, hairdresser, car garage):

  • Contact forms completed
  • Service order completed
  • Phone call leads
  • Buying guide download
  • Online course order completed


  • Donations completed
  • Purchases completed
  • Volunteer form completed
  • Phone call enquiries

Notice how most of the goals above are to complete a specific action that you want your visitors to carry out, like purchasing a product, downloading an ebook or even to go through a specific funnel.

So, if you have a goal that is tracking visits to a specific page, there needs to be a reason why that is a goal for you.

If there is an advert on that page, perhaps that will be fine (though it will be difficult to put a value on that). But if you just want people to visit that page, ask yourself what kind of impact that will have on your business.

Too many times I have seen people making a 'homepage visit', or 'time spent on a blog post', as their goals without really thinking about their overall business goal.

But that is not what you should do.

New client told me their old agency was telling them they were getting conversions, but they didn't see the sales coming in. Well, I just gained access to Google Analytics and...... pic.twitter.com/T9DlXQvjxJ

— Joe Youngblood (@YoungbloodJoe) March 19, 2019

So before you start tracking any goals, look at it from a business perspective. Work out what goals will have an impact, either directly (purchases) or indirectly (downloading a free guide), on your overall business goals.

If you have worked that out, then you can start tracking them and measure your online success.

As the saying goes, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”.

After that, you can look at what can have an impact on your conversion rate and how you can improve it.

If you are going to ask me what a conversion is for your site, then I can’t help you. What is classified as a conversion depends completely on you, your website and your overall business goal.

Find out what the ultimate goal is that you want your visitor to do when they arrive on your site and then work out whether that goal will help with your overall business’ goal.

Because let’s face it, tracking the number of people visiting your blog or homepage will not directly correlate with increasing your revenue.

But tracking the number of contact form leads, or the number of free demo requests will definitely have more of an impact on your business’ objective of increasing revenue or increasing the number of leads.

So my question to you is whether you have worked out what your online conversion is and whether that will have an impact on your business.

Let me know in the comments below.

Related Article: Read More Guides on How to Make the Most Out of Google Analytics