A conversion is defined as a visitor to your website who becomes a customer, or who completes any other desirable action.  This is a great metric, because it starts to get you very close to metrics that affect ROI.  In fact, the conversions you measure should be evaluated and re-evaluated on a regular basis to make sure that they actually matter to your business.

Too often, businesses measure “non-conversion” traffic, and then report that data back to their team. For instance, they say, “total traffic went up” or “total ‘return visitors’ are increasing,” or they say, “we’re getting more traffic from Facebook.”  After about a week of reporting data like this, everyone loses interest.  In fact, sometimes, people lose interest after the first day.  It would be much more interesting to say something along the following lines, that “total visitors increased by 30%, but overall sales increased 150%, which we attribute to the fact that 100% of the new traffic came from three highly targeted keyword phrases.”

Conversions should be tightly aligned with your business goals, and your website should be carefully setup in order to measure how those conversions take place.