How Floodlight counts conversions

Floodlight activities correspond to specific events you’d like to track, such as the completion of a purchase or a visit to a web page. A conversion is when a user performs the action after seeing one of your ads.

How conversions are counted

A conversion takes place when a user sees or interacts with an ad, then performs another action, such as visiting the advertiser's web page or completing a purchase. A conversion can be recorded on the basis of a click, an impression, or a Rich Media event.

Whenever anyone visits a web page with Floodlight tags, a Floodlight impression is generated. Campaign Manager 360, Display Video 360, or the new Search Ads 360 checks each Floodlight impression to determine whether the user saw or clicked on one of your ads within the specified conversion window. 

Conversion windows

A conversion window is a period of days for which an impression or click is considered relevant for Floodlight reporting.

A conversion is counted whenever a Floodlight impression is triggered by a user within the specified conversion window. For sales activities, Floodlight might count more than one conversion per event. For example, you can set up Floodlight to count the number of items purchased as the number of conversions for a single event.

Counting methods

For every Floodlight activity you create, you set a counting method. This specifies how Floodlight should measure conversions on your site. The new Search Ads 360 automatically sets the counting method for a Floodlight activity based on the conversion goal.

There are two conversion counting methods, each with its own options:

  • Counter activities count the number of conversions associated with an event. This could be the number of times that users have visited a particular web page after seeing or clicking on one of your ads. There are three ways to define a conversion for counter activities:

    • Standard: Counts every conversion.

    • Unique: Counts the first conversion for each unique user during each 24-hour day. 

    • Per session: Counts one conversion per user per session. You can define the length of a session for your site. 

  • Sales activities track the number of sales made or the number of items purchased. You can also capture the total value of each sale. There are two ways to define a conversion for sales activities: 

    • Transactions: Counts all conversions, plus the total number of sales that take place and the total associated revenue.

    • Items sold: Counts each conversion, plus the total number of items sold and the total associated revenue.

You can track both visits and sales data on the same web page or app by setting up two different Floodlight activities. Alternatively, you can use a single Floodlight counter activity and use custom Floodlight variables to track sales data.

View-through and click-through conversions

In reports, conversions are divided into view-through and click-through conversions, depending on the user action that led to the conversion. Since you can't click an ad without first viewing it, how does Floodlight deal with conversions that are click-through and view-through?

Floodlight considers clicks to be more significant than impressions. Therefore, to avoid double-counting conversions, Floodlight counts a conversion as click-through if the user clicked on one of your ads within the conversion window for clicks, even though the activity is also view-through.

Conversion vs transaction metrics

Conversion metrics count conversions, while transaction metrics count events. Depending on how your Floodlight is set up (for example, as a sales activity), there might be multiple conversions, but one event, for a given transaction. This is because while conversion metrics also capture the value of the event (for example, quantity of items sold), transaction metrics only count the event (the shopper completed a purchase). Note that modelled conversions aren't included in Floodlight reports.

Post-Rich Media event conversions

Along with view-through and click-through conversions, Floodlight can be used to track conversions that take place after a user triggers an exit event within a Rich Media creative. Exits are the events that take place when a user clicks on or otherwise interacts with the creative in a way that takes the user to a new web page.

Rich media interactions are viewable in the path to conversion report.

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