Your online business is built on conversions, where plain-old visitors convert into profitable customers. In online advertising, a conversion is the action a customer takes that your business values. For example, some common conversions include purchases, newsletter signups, form fills, and more. Your PPC and display advertising campaigns are successful when they draw in visitors that complete these conversions.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.
With traditional advertising, you’re forced to measure results on a very high level. You see this in John Wanamaker’s famous quote: “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” But the beauty of online advertising is that you can directly track and measure the results of each ad. You can now identify the effective half and the wasted half and you can stop wasted ad spend.
But the beauty of online advertising is that you can directly track and measure the results of each ad.
Conversion tracking is a tool that reports what happens after someone clicks on your ads. Rather than simply bringing visitors to your website, you want to follow that visitor to watch for conversions on your site. In identifying conversions on your website, conversion tracking reveals which ad elements (keywords, ads, campaigns, etc.) are most effective.
You sell shoes online, and when visitors complete an order, they reach an order confirmation page.
You want to see which of your keywords, “buy shoes” or “shoe store,” lead to more purchases. To do this, you would install the conversion tracking pixel onto your website by pasting in a code snippet and creating a conversion goal with the URL of the order confirmation page. Whenever a customer completes an order, conversion tracking will report which keyword led that customer to your website to order.
Over time, you may find that the keyword “buy shoes” leads to many more orders than “shoe store.” You can then invest more of your ad budget to “buy shoes” while pulling your money out of the keyword “shoe store.”
Conversion Tracking Options
Google AdWords, Bing Ads & Facebook Ads each offer a conversion tracking pixel that will report on conversions within their native interface. Using a network’s native pixel can enable advanced features like automated bidding that uses conversion data to make adjust bids. LinkedIn Ads, however, does not offer native conversion tracking.
If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, you can create “goals” to track conversion across your traffic sources, but you’ll need to tag all of your URLs with custom UTM parameters. You’re also limited in your ability to use Google Analytics data to make automated changes in other networks.
Because of this, we developed our own conversion tracking pixel that can span across all networks, including LinkedIn Ads. With our pixel you can create as many conversion goals as you like without leaving our interface. It also gives our system insight into which campaigns are performing better in order to provide budget reallocation recommendations. AdStage also tags your URLs with UTM parameters for you. The AdStage UTM structure is completely compatible with Google Analytics, so you can build and track GA goals alongside AdStage easily.
Installing the AdStage Conversion Tracking Pixel
To install the AdStage pixel, you or your webmaster will need to add the code snippet (available here) just before the closing </head> tag on the pages you want to track. We recommend including the code snippet in a template that applies to all of the pages on your site. Once the pixel is set up properly, AdStage will begin tracking actions and conversions on your site from users who have clicked your ads and you’ll be able to see the data populate on your dashboards.
Here is an example of the conversion tracking code snippet:
Tracking Custom Events
AdStage conversion tracking also supports virtual page views, which enable you to track conversions when the user doesn’t actually navigate to a new page. Once you’ve installed the standard AdStage conversion tracking snippet, you can trigger a virtual page view by inserting the following code in your form submission:
_as('send', 'pageview', 'http://example.com/virtualpageviewurl')
Then you can create a Head Match URL Destination Goal within AdStage for the path /virtualpageviewurl to track your sign-ups.
We’re hard at work on more custom event tracking, so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s a feature you’d really like to see us add to our conversion tracking pixel.