Conversion Tracking: The Basics

Conversion pixels let you track the success of your campaign by reporting back when the user completes an action on your website after arriving through an advertisement. Not only will conversion tracking tell you how many times this action has been completed, but it will also allow you to attach a dollar value to that action for revenue reporting. Once conversion pixels are placed, you can see how many conversions are generated from each site, placement, banner, etc. Conversion pixels can be used to track actions such as these:

  • User makes a purchase.
  • User signs up for your site.
  • User submits their e-mail address.
  • User arrives at your “goal page.”
  • Any other event or action on your website.

How It Works

A conversion pixel is a short line of code that advertisers place on their conversion pages (“thank you” pages). Basis DSP keeps track of the impressions and clicks that occur for your campaigns, and these events are tied to a user ID (such as a cookie ID, mobile advertising ID, etc.).

When the user clicks one of the ads in the campaign, a cookie is placed on that user’s browser. That cookie records the time, domain, placement, creative, etc. that the user clicked.

Later, when the user arrives at the advertiser's thank you page and the browser loads the conversion pixel, the Basis server looks up the user ID for the list of impressions and clicks that have occurred for the user recently. If there is a match between a conversion pixel and a campaign, the conversion is attributed to the most recent “touch” (impression or click) that occurred. Click trumps impression – that is, if a click occurs but another impression occurs after, the conversion will be attributed to the click. As a result of this process, you can see the number of conversions which occurred as a result of the last touch being on a particular site, exchange, ad, placement, etc. This information, along with the revenue generated from that conversion, is available in your campaign statistics.

See Setting up Conversion Tracking for the step-by-step process.

Primary Conversions

A campaign might want to track multiple conversions that take place. For instance, after clicking on an ad, a campaign might redirect the user to a landing page. From that landing page, the user may click a link that takes them to the purchase page, and finally, once a purchase is made they see the order confirmation page. You could create a separate conversion for each page you want to track and include all three in your campaign.

Setting a primary conversion lets you choose which of your conversions is the most important (in our example, that might be the order confirmation page). The campaign tracks the primary conversion separately while tracking other conversions together. See Primary Conversions.

Viewthrough Conversions

Viewthrough conversions are counted for users that have seen your ad even if they did not click it. While clickthrough conversions can only be attributed to a single ‘last click’ event, viewthrough conversions may possibly be attributed to many views of an ad which could have occurred on multiple sites.

Basis DSP counts a viewthrough conversion (VTC) for every time/place the ad was seen. When you set up conversion tracking for a tactic, viewthrough conversions are enabled by default.

Dynamic Conversion Values

If the revenue value of a conversion will not be the same every time, you can send the conversion value when you call the pixel. See Tracking Conversions with Dynamic Values.

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