What Is Conversion Tracking? How Does It Work on LinkedIn?

April 19, 2017

Imagine watching a baseball game at night. Instead of banks of bright lights, though, there’s just a single spotlight over home plate. The rest of the stadium is pitch black.

You can see the ball come in, see the batter connect and start to run…but after that, it’s a mystery. It would make for a frustrating game, especially if you were the scorekeeper. Or providing color commentary.

In the past, marketers have frequently ended up playing baseball in the dark. The content we create could be leading to conversions, raising awareness, etc., but we were challenged to prove a direct connection.

Digital marketing has made it possible to turn on the lights. Marketers can now trace how their content contributes to goal completion—in fact, they’re increasingly held responsible for doing so. Conversion tracking is the technology that makes it possible.

What Is Conversion Tracking, Anyway?

Conversion tracking means using software to see when customers take specific online actions after viewing your ads. Many sites that show digital ads offer conversion tracking, including most social media sites and Google through AdWords.

Essentially, you tell the platform (LinkedIn, Google, etc) what you consider a “conversion,” install a piece of code on the web pages you want to track, and the platform takes it from there. If a customer views your ad and then takes the defined conversion action, that action will show up in your reporting. That way, you can correctly attribute the ad’s role in the conversion.

What Kind of Conversions Should You Track?

“Conversion” doesn’t always mean “became a paying customer,” or even “signed up for a demo.” A conversion can be anything that moves a prospect closer to a purchase decision in a concrete, meaningful way.

If your goal is to increase your blog audience, a conversion would be signing up for a subscription. If you’re capturing leads, then registering for a webinar or downloading an eBook would be worth tracking. Any time you have a link in an ad that leads to a landing page, you likely have a conversion to track.

How to Use LinkedIn Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is built right into your LinkedIn Campaign Manager dashboard. This video provides a quick overview of the process: 

It takes just four quick steps to get conversion tracking up and running:

1. Tell Campaign Manager Which Website to Track. Usually this is your company’s website, but it may be another URL depending on how your web presence is structured. You will be tracking conversions wherever your assets, landing pages, and lead capture forms are posted. Just put in your high-level domain and you can track the whole site. For example, entering “linkedin.com” would also track “business.linkedin.com” and “linkedin.com/blog.”

2. Add the LinkedIn Insight Tag to Your Site. This is the piece of code that does the actual tracking. It won’t affect the performance of your site, and the data it collects isn’t shared with third parties. It simply lets LinkedIn keep track of visitors who come to your site from one of your LinkedIn ads.

3. Define Conversion Actions. This is where you define what a conversion means to you. Once you have the tracking tag in place, you need to let the software know which actions count as a conversion. Create a “conversion action” for each campaign goal. Give each conversion action a specific, descriptive name. Setting a value for the action will allow for even more detailed reporting.

4. Add Conversion Actions to Campaigns. Use Campaign Manager to associate each conversion action with a specific campaign. You can create new campaigns, or add them to existing campaigns. Campaigns can also support multiple conversion actions.

Once you have your campaigns running with conversions being tracked, you can analyze and optimize your campaigns with much greater insight. Instead of losing track once the batter connects with the ball, you will be able to see all the bases and the outfield, too.

Ready to get started? Learn more about Conversion Tracking.