We know different campaign goals often require different success metrics. If you want to drive online purchases, you probably look at the total number of sales, so if one person buys three items from your web site, you'd want to count three sales. But if you're measuring leads, you may care more about unique leads, so if the same person fills out a lead form three times on your site, you'd want to count them only once.

To make it easier for you to manage campaigns with a variety of advertising goals, in the coming months we're updating AdWords conversion tracking metrics in the new AdWords interface and other AdWords account management platforms (such as AdWords Editor and the AdWords API).

Today we've taken the first step by clarifying the conversion terminology on the AdWords Report Center and conversion tracking tool pages. "Conversions" columns are now labeled Conversions (1-per-click), while "Transactions" columns are now called Conversions (many-per-click). The current AdWords campaign management pages display 1-per-click conversions, so if one click leads to multiple conversions, they're counted only once. On the other hand, many-per-click conversions count each conversion that occurs after a click on your ad.

Here's an example to explain the difference: Let's say you're selling gardening supplies online and you've set up conversion tracking on your "Thank You For Your Purchase" and your "Newsletter Subscription Confirmed" pages.

If a customer clicks on your ad, buys a bag of peat moss, then subscribes to your newsletter, you'll see two many-per-click conversions, but just a single 1-per-click conversion in your account. If the same customer returns to your site a few days later and buys a trowel (but doesn't click on one of your AdWords ads to get there), you'll now see three many-per-click conversions, but your 1-per-click conversions will still remain at one.

By focusing on many-per-click conversions, you may be able to more easily compare AdWords campaign performance with the performance of your other online advertising campaigns, since a large number of online ad serving and search campaign management tools (such as DART for Search) use many-per-click conversions as the default conversion metric.

You can learn more about the new terminology, as well as get guidance on when to use each of the different conversion metrics to measure success, in this Help Center article.

Over time these metrics will also be released to AdWords Editor, the AdWords API, and the new AdWords interface. We'll also improve conversion tracking for display advertisers through the release of view-through conversion tracking for campaigns on the Google Content Network.

We hope these reporting enhancements to conversion tracking will make it easier for you to manage campaigns with a wide variety of advertising goals.