Conversion tracking in Digital Advertising

Conversion tracking in Digital Advertising

06 October 2022 |

Data, Insights, Privacy

The What & the Why

Spout Social has a simple yet effective definition for the act of conversion tracking – “when a brand monitors the actions consumers take toward the completion of a business goal”. The prevalence of digital advertising activities places increasing importance on accurate & effective conversion tracking – as conversion actions are the lighthouse of digital ads. 

Most medium & large business owners know that data is power, yet on average, 80% – 90% of organisations’ data is unstructured and stays an untapped potential. For digital advertising specifically, the first step to unleashing the power of data is to ensure the most valuable data points are being captured in a standardised & effective manner. Before a marketing campaign is launched, marketers need to make sure they can record users’ key interactions correctly across marketing channels, from different data sources, and throughout a full conversion journey.

A 3-minute breakdown of conversion tracking

The conversion tracking process does not always focus solely on sales and leads. Any user interaction that is measurable, trackable, and valuable to the business can be considered a conversion. Some examples of the most frequently tracked actions in digital ad campaigns are ad clicks, on-site interactions, sign-ups, enquiry submissions, and phone calls.

While tracking methods vary based on the type of user interaction, we can group these interactions into three main simplified categories based on how they are implemented: 

  1. Digital conversion actions that require a tracking tag (aka tracking code) to be added to the website’s code – such as ad views, clicks on ads, on-site clicks & lead form submissions. This tracking code comes from either an individual ad platform or a tag management platform that can be integrated with many ad platforms at once.
  2. Conversion actions that happen digitally or can be tracked digitally, but do not require a tracking tag such as Calls from ads, Mobile App downloads, or Store Visits tracked using digital map technology.
  3. Conversion actions that don’t happen online or can’t be tracked digitally, (often called offline conversions) Such as in-store purchases or enquiries, which require manual data uploads to be attributed to the existing digital user record.

    The more channels used in the marketing funnel, the more implementation efforts are required to consolidate conversion data across platforms. For this reason, tag management platforms like Google Tag Manager and Campaign Manager 360 are used for efficient conversion data aggregation.

Laying down the groundwork for successful conversion tracking

While conversion tracking for digital campaigns is usually set up by professionals, there are several things that marketers in general could do to set their digital assets up for success and make the most out of their advertising budget. 

When it comes to conversion tracking, ADMATIC’s specialists summarised the three key takeouts as below:

  1. Start by setting up basic website analytics & data collection tools correctly, and monitor both traffic & conversion data regularly once established.
  2. Find a balance between the number of conversions you can track, and the number that you practically need from each advertising platform to gain actionable insights. Too many conversion tags can slow down site performance, take up extra set-up time, and overcomplicate reporting processes. 
  3. Always take into consideration privacy protection protocols and legal requirements when it comes to tracking and collecting user data. Unfortunately, the recent data breach in Australia re-emphasised this.

Get tracking! 

The digital media industry is moving faster with countless new possibilities every day. Emerging technologies and automation have progressively transformed the way we advertise to broad audiences, and helped us overcome the gaps of information that used to disrupt data in the past. More than ever, advanced conversion tracking played a vital role in digital advertising, from guiding AI-based smart optimisations to successfully gauging each channel’s impact on the business results, 

Reach out to an ADMATICian today for advice on your current conversion tracking process, and more!