If you want to measure the performance of your digital marketing campaigns, then you need to know how conversion tracking works. Here’s a quick blog post to introduce you to what it is, why it’s important, and the basics to get you started.
What is Conversion Tracking?
Conversion tracking can be defined as the act of measuring how often someone completes a specific action after they are exposed to some form of marketing. That specific action is referred to as a conversion and is often tied to the business goals of a company, such as a lead or a sale.
Here’s a specific example:
You’re browsing your social media feed when you see an advertisement for a new pair of shoes.
If you eventually purchase that pair of shoes online, that purchase is counted as a conversion. For an ad platform to know that the same user (you) saw the ad and eventually purchased that pair of shoes, conversion tracking needs to be implemented on your website.
Why is it Important for Marketers?
Without it, the ad platform will not be able to see any actions that the user has taken on a website.
This means that marketers won’t be able to measure the performance of specific digital ad campaigns, especially if that campaign is meant to drive purchases or leads on the website. If marketers don’t know how well their campaigns are performing, they may end up pouring more money into a campaign that simply doesn’t work. After all, how would a marketer measure the ROI of a campaign if conversions aren’t counted in the first place?
Conversion tracking also helps ad platforms in optimizing campaigns. For example, Google Ads has a setting called “maximize conversions.” This setting allows Google Ads algorithms to show ads to users who are more likely to convert, based on data collected from previous conversions. Hence, if there are no conversions collected due to issues with conversion tracking, Google Ads won’t be able to run its campaigns as efficiently as possible.
How Does Conversion Tracking Work?
Usually, conversion tracking is a piece of code that should be added by a developer to a website to track those actions. That code is specific to each ad platform or analytics tool. For example, Facebook Ads has the Facebook Pixel; LinkedIn has the Insight Tag while Google products (Google Ads, Google Analytics, Campaign Manager) use either the gtag or the Floodlight tag.
Regardless of the platform, conversion tracking codes work the same: they send data to the ad platform’s server after a user completes a conversion on a website. The ad platform server then compares the data received from the code with the data it has about users that have seen or clicked an ad. If those two data points align, then the ad platform will credit the conversion to the ad and/or campaign.
In addition, because each ad platform has its own conversion tracking code, many marketers use tag management systems instead. A tag management system, once added to a website, allows marketers to add conversion tracking for different ad platforms without needing to write a single line of code. Examples of these systems include Google Tag Manager, Tealium, and Adobe Experience Tags.
Conversion tracking is an integral part of modern marketing because it helps you understand what your customers are doing on your site. It is a critical tool that will help you measure the ROI of your marketing efforts.
With conversion tracking, you can see how many people are converting on your website and what elements may be driving them to take that final step in the purchasing process. It’s essential to accurately track how people are interacting with different parts of your website and what they do when they reach specific conversion points. The information you collect will help guide future decisions on content strategy, keywords, call-to-actions, and more.