All about conversion tracking II
HOW TRACKING SCRIPTS WORK
In part one of this series on conversion tracking, we reviewed the difference between “conversions,” “conversion events,” and “conversion tracking.” In this post, we’ll look at how conversion tracking works, specifically when using tracking scripts.
When you start to set up a conversion tracking model on your web site, you might feel overwhelmed by all the choices that are available. Different systems offer various choices, but there are basically two approaches to tracking conversions – log files and tracking scripts.
We’ll focus on tracking scripts because that’s how most third-party technologies record events.
WHAT IS A TRACKING SCRIPT?
A tracking script is simply a piece of code you put on your site to record all conversion events. While there are multiple methods and configuration parameters that can be used, most tracking scripts use browser cookies to track website activities.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
The diagram above shows a five-step scenario for how tracking conversions and user activity might work on our own searchforce.com site.
Here’s a possible sequence of events:
1.) Visitor searches for a keyword and clicks on www.searchforce.com
2.) Tracking script code installs a cookie on the user’s web browser with a unique visitor ID
3.) The click is recorded by the tracking system
4.) User fills out a form to download a whitepaper
5.) Second tracking code captures the success of an event (whitepaper download), which is also recorded by the tracking system
6.) If the same user returns to the website and performs another conversion event(signup for newsletter) and if the tracking cookie is still in the browser, then the event will be recorded and it can be linked to the initial click.
So the tracking script is simply a mechanism for placing cookies on a user’s web browser, configured to record specific conversion events as they occur.
However, the method for delivering tracking scripts and the configuration options available can vary widely from one solution to the next.
In the next post in this series, we’ll discuss the options that two publishers offer (Google and Microsoft) – and the options available on the SearchForce platform.