Conversion Tracking: Definition and Types

One of the things that differentiates online marketing from other forms of traditional advertising is that in the case of online marketing you can track the performance of your campaigns. Digital marketing platforms, like ad networks, for example, lets you see exactly what is working and where you need to improve. 

But before you analyze all the information, you need to learn some basic concepts. You also need to find a conversion tool that is reliable and is also compatible with the platforms you use. 

In this article, you will learn what conversion is and how you can measure it. It also highlights the types of tracking mechanisms available and how they can be beneficial to you. 

So, let’s dive deeper to know!


Conversions And Conversion Rate

As a marketer you must have come across the terms, conversions and conversion rate. 

“Briefy, a conversion is defined as any user action that you want to measure, for example a signup for a newsletter, completing a purchase, filling a web form; basically any meaningful action a user may take once they have been exposed to your ad.”

Every time someone successfully responds to one or more of your CTAs, you can count it as a conversion. 

You may have more than one conversion per click or marketing opportunity. For example, you can count filling up a contact form as one conversion. But making a purchase can be considered the biggest conversion out of all. 

Some of the popular conversions are: 

  • Link Click
  • Submitting a form
  • Reaching a particular page
  • Installing an app
  • Downloading a PDF file
  • Adding products to cart
  • Completing a purchase

Conversion rate (CR) is defined as the percentage of visitors that are completing a desired goal. This number is calculated by dividing the conversions by the total number of clicks received. This value is generally expressed in a percentage and it may be used to measure the efficiency of certain parts of your campaign. 

CR= (Total Conversions/Total Clicks) X 100

However, keep in your mind that successful conversion rates may differentiate depending on the industry, ads type, and other factors. If you want to improve the overall performance of your ads, you can set a benchmark and raise your goals at regular intervals. 

What Is Conversion Tracking?

Now that you know what conversions and conversion rates are, let’s understand  conversion tracking. Conversion tracking helps you to see the types of conversions you are getting, where they are coming from, and other useful information to get the most out of your marketing budget. 

Using conversion tracking tools can help you know what your customers are doing after they have interacted with your ad. You will also know the ads that are bringing you paying customers. 

Besides, you also get information to build buyer personas in addition to the knowledge into purchase patterns of your customers which include: 

  • Device, OS, and browser version being used
  • Location
  • Day / Time
  • Internet service provider
  • Language
  • Connection type

Tracking your conversions is an important indicator of the success of your campaigns. Even when you are spending a lot of money and getting good business, it does not indicate that your campaign is performing to its maximum potential. 

When you track your conversion, you will understand the components of your campaign that are generating revenue and the components that are just exhausting your resources. 

Optimizing Your Campaign with Conversion Tracking

The best thing about conversion tracking is that the information you collect can be used to optimize your campaign. When you combine the performance statistics with consumer data, you can build a campaign that focuses on converting. 

Historical Benchmarks

The foremost thing you should do when you implement conversion tracking is creating a benchmark. When you know that you have secured sufficient conversions, take a screenshot of your campaign’s performance. You can then use it as a parameter to compare your progress at least every 60 to 90 days. 

A/B Testing

An effective way to know what captivates your audience’s attention is through A/B testing. You need to implement different versions and split traffic equally between them which will enable you to see which combination appeals to your audience the most. Then, you can use the data to duplicate the same structure and concept into other ads and areas of your marketing strategy. 

Determine The Ads That are the Most Profitable

Companies that invest a lot of money on advertising should specifically be aware which ads are the most profitable. When you track your conversions, you can see a breakdown of the ads, ad groups, and campaigns that are producing the most income. 

Measure ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is one of the enigmatic-yet-necessary parameters that is not easy to understand. Conversion tracking makes it simpler for you as you can see the profitability of each ad individually. You can then distribute the resources you have available and identify traits that money makers have in common.

Separate Traffic Based on Parameters

When you track your conversions, it allows you to separate traffic based on parameters such as OS type, location, and device type. You can utilize this information to build separate campaigns and distribute your resources and maximize your reach. 

Implementing Promotions

When you implement, along with A/B testing, it can benefit your campaign in two ways. To begin with, promotions help you in building your sales funnel and land conversions in the form of sales, downloads, or subscriptions. Other than that, you can collect information to create multiple buyer personas and build ads that will probably engage. 

 Improved User Experience

Engaging with your audience is everything about user experience, particularly if you are dealing in the gaming, dating, and entertainment industries. Conversion tracking can help you in setting the right tone, figuring out layout, color scheme, and other elements that work best for your customers.

Types of Conversion Tracking

S2S (“Postback”)

Though there are several different types of conversion available, the two most popular are server-to-server (STS) and pixel tracking. 

Server-side is the most reliable type of tracking as it depends on the advertiser’s own servers. This type of tracking traces sessions generated when a user clicks on an ad. S2S authenticates a piece of information (transaction ID) which allows you to see all actions that lead to a conversion. Also, you can view any actions taken once the user converts, which gives you a better understanding of their decision-making process. 

You can rely on S2S because it:

  • Provides more accurate tracking
  • Extremely flexible because it permits more conversion detection options
  • Compatible with mobile devices

However, the server-side tracking is more difficult to set up. The process requires you to have a certain degree of technical knowledge as the advertising generally needs to code the requests using HTTP. 


Pixel conversion utilizes a piece of code that relies on the user’s browser in order to collect information. This conversion method uses cookies because they can store session values, which it draws easily from a customer’s browser. 

Setting up pixel tracking is comparatively easy to S2S. This method involves pasting a piece of HTML code on the page you want to track and it is all set to go!

Though it is very simple to set up Pixel, you should be aware that pixel tracking:

  • Is not compatible with mobile devices. 
  • Is more vulnerable to fraud because it is based on browser (can be manipulated easily)
  • May not track all conversions due to pixels no firing

Third Party Tracking Service

The data that you collect through conversion tracking can help you make remarkable changes. But a tool that provides information and presents it in a logical way can help you make the apt decisions in no time, rather than spending time going through the information manually.

However, it is important to know that every tracking service doesn’t work with all the platforms, so you need to research their compatibility before making a decision. 

Here are some of the trackers that can come handy to you: 

  • Voluum
  • Thrive
  • Adsbridge
  • BeMob
  • PeerClick
  • TrackingDesk
  • NewBidder


Using these conversion tools, you can analyze all the information and make the right decision about your ad campaigns. Spot the potholes in your marketing campaigns and bridge the gap using the information you collect through these tools!