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Track Conversions to Keep your Retargeting Campaigns Accountable

Published: June 13, 2014

Author: Molly Shotwell


You’re using retargeting to advertise to your lost customers? You’re off to a great start!
But are you tracking your conversions within your retargeting campaign? It’s essential that you do to ensure your campaign stats are in sync with your actual sales/conversions. To create a conversion, consider what actions you want visitors on your website to take. They can be: purchasing a product, filling out an application or lead gen form, or registering for an account.
Let’s look at Perfect Audience’s conversion set-up process as an example.
First, we’ll create a conversion goal. This is how you can tell your retargeting platform (in this case, Perfect Audience) where to look for the conversion. Typically, this is done by pointing to your Thank You or payment confirmation page, but there are a variety of ways to track conversions.
conversion goal
I want to track any purchase made on my site, so I’ll call this conversion goal “Purchased Something.”
Next, I need to tell the system how to know when a conversion occurs.
Path: I’ll use this if I want to track a simple URL for my conversion. On my website, a purchase is finalized when the user lands on www.mysite.com/ordercomplete.html — so all I need to enter here is /ordercomplete.html. Note that I do not include the domain name! (This may change by vendor).
Querystring: Very similar to the Path type, this is used if my website is set up to use URL query strings as its URL structure. You’ll know your site is set up this way if your URLs look something like “www.yoursite.com/?p=cart&orderID=132” So, if you wanted to track that URL, you would select the Query String type and enter this in the box: p=cart&orderID=132
Javascript: Perfect Audience has a tracking API to trigger conversions based off of custom Javascript events on your website, like when someone clicks a specific button. This is a more advanced feature that does require some coding knowledge. To learn how to use this tracking option, take a look at our documentation.
Regular Expression: If I wanted to track a specific subdomain, like blog.yoursite.com, I could do this with Regular Expression. This is a bit of an advanced feature as well, but you can use this to tell the system to look at the full URL of a page, including the domain name, for very specific tracking. Take a look here to learn how to set this up.
Next, I enter a Revenue Value for the conversion. This is how much the conversion is worth to you. I get paid $50 when I sell something, so I entered $50 here. It’s important to enter a correct value here, since this is what the system uses to calculate your conversion stats to measure your ROI! If you’re an e-commerce retailer and your sales vary in total price, you can pass through a dynamic revenue value for each conversion.
Finally, I need to decide if I want the conversion to trigger every time it occurs, or only once per user. If you’re tracking sales, you’ll likely want to use “Count every conversion.” But if you’re tracking something the user can only do once, like signing up for an email list, “Count once per user” might be a better option.
I’ve just created a conversion goal. I assign it to the campaign I’m running, and I can now view conversion stats.
In Perfect Audience, this is an example of what your dashboard might look like.
Note these columns – CTC, CTC%, VTC, VTC%, Conv
CTC: Click-Through Conversion – A visitor is shown your ad, they click on it, and then convert.
CTC%: Click-Through Conversion Rate – The number of clicks that have converted divided by the total number of clicks your ad received.
VTC: View-Through Conversion – A visitor is shown your ad, they do not click on it, but later return to your site and convert.
VTC%: View-Through Conversion Rate – The number of View Through Conversions divided by the total number of impressions.
Conv.: Total number of conversions.
(If you’re not sure about VTC, don’t fret; I’ll cover that shortly.)
Our dashboard also has a Conversions tab that gives you more details, including revenue information. Your Conversion Manager will list any conversions along with detailed info about the conversion:
conversion manager
Most retargeting platforms track two types of conversions – Click Through and View Through. By default, Perfect Audience tracks both types of conversions for a 30-day window, and attributes 100% of the revenue value for the conversion to each type. We use these settings along with your conversion stats to calculate your CPA, among other stats.
CPA is often a key indicator for campaign performance, but without any adjustments, it can be inadequate in measuring how much your campaigns assist with achieving your conversion goals.
For this reason, Perfect Audience gives you the ability to set a Conversion Attribution Rate for your site’s post-click and post-view conversions.
Update your conversion attribution
These percentages represent the value your company places on the ad view or ad click that precedes a customer converting on your site. I can change them to whatever I’d like. If I don’t want to track a certain type of conversion, I enter 0 days in the conversion window.
With these steps, you’ll be tracking your conversions and stats like a marketing pro in no time. If you’d like some detailed instructions on conversions in Perfect Audience, head over to our Tutorials page.
Happy Retargeting! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to support@perfectaudience.com with any questions.

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