Ad Tracking: What Is It and How to Do It

At the time of Mad Men-esque advertising agencies, it was almost impossible to know the number of people engaged in a given advertising campaign. Advertisers spend money on media such as radio and print media, and hope that sales of the advertised product will increase. There was no reliable way to accurately determine the number of people involved in an ad or buying a product because of it. In fact, the term ROI (return on investment) was not even widely used until the mid-1960s.

A lot has changed since then. Advertisers now have access to a wealth of granular ad tracking data for each campaign they lead. As much data as most marketers need to spend a lot of time browsing dashboards to determine the points that really matter. Ad tracking has enabled marketers to more accurately measure, test, and review ads based on how users interact with their online campaigns.

What is tracking ads?

Ad tracking is the process of collecting data and information about the performance of online advertising campaigns. There are many methods that advertisers can use to collect this information, including tracking URLs, tracking pixels, and cookies. We will discuss these methods below

If you're new to online advertising, it's important to think long and hard about the statistics that determine the success of your campaign. Ad tracking now exists across different tools and platforms, and advertisers can collect data about everything from views and clicks to the impressions and behaviors of multiple sessions and websites.

The amount of data available can be overwhelming (without even distracting you from your goals), so choosing one or two KPIs will help you focus your efforts and make reporting simpler and more efficient.

As William Stentz, Director of Marketing Analysis at Carmichael Lynch, points out, "The right key performance indicators are simple, timely, essential to a project's success and are not financial in nature. However, you also need to add one, if you want it to be a powerful marketing indicator – it must be a key behavior you wanted to see Look at your campaign and ask yourself: What is the behavior I want to influence, not just something I can measure? "

We have written an article here that can help you determine which indicators to follow according to the objectives of your advertising campaign.

Once you've determined the stats you want to track for your ad, it's time to find the ad tracking method that's right for you. Your ad tracking methods vary depending on where you show them and the tools you use. However, some basic types should be kept in mind. It is important to note that the following ad tracking methods do not exclude each other. In fact, if they are used together, they can provide even more powerful information.

URL tracking

A tracking URL is a normal page URL for your website, with a tracking token added at the end. Here is an example of a landing page URL, associated with a tracking token (in bold).

Old regular landing page URL:

Landing page URL with a tracking token: ? Utm_campaign = test campaign & utm_source = email

As you can see, the URL of the page is the same in both cases, but in the second case, additional elements were added at the end. This additional item is your tracking token, also called UTM parameter.

How does this "extra material" help you to follow things exactly?

When a user clicks on a URL with a UTM parameter added at the end, he essentially sends a signal to your ad tracking tool stating that the URL has been clicked. The "source = _____" bit of the tracking token can provide information about where the user clicked on the link. Likewise, the bit "campaign = _____" can be used to signal to your tracking tool that the link should be compartmentalized as part of a campaign.

For example, if you were running the same ad on multiple websites and want to know which one generated the most clicks, you could set the two different websites as sources in the UTM settings of your links.

You can learn more about the tracking settings and how they work in this article.

Great for: If you manage a PPC campaign, send an e-mail, or place an ad on another website, tracking URLs are great for calculating the number of visits, leads, and of conversions that you're We generated your hard work.

Pixel tracking

A tracking pixel is a very small, often transparent, 1 pixel by 1 pixel image that can be placed in an email, an advertisement in the display, or just on a web page. When loading, it sends your tracking tool a message that a user has viewed the page.

Tracking pixels are also able to collect fairly comprehensive data about a user's activity and browser configuration – but you should never follow that information directly useful to the course of your buyer and offering a more personalized and personalized experience to your target users. .

When used correctly, pixel tracking can help optimize your ads and make them accessible to a receptive audience. For example, if you run an ad banner with a tracking pixel, you'll be able to collect information about the number of people who watch only the view, by clicking on your ad, which will help you determine if an ad has been actually successful (and better run again).

For context, here is the size of a tracking pixel (no, it's not that a speck of dust on your screen):

 Screen capture 2019-06-25 at 13:50 "width =" 246 "style =" width: 246px; viewing block; left margin: auto; margin-right: auto; "/> 

<p> <strong> Great for: </strong> Pixel tracking is extremely useful for tracking the success of your online campaigns at every step of your conversion path, and can help you understand how users interact with each other. with your ads and help you optimize every step of your journey from initial contact to final purchase. </p>
<h3> <strong> Biscuits </strong> </h3>
<p> Cookies can help you better understand the behavior of users on your website during multiple activity sessions. Marketers must obtain the explicit consent of users before using cookies to track their activity. When explicit consent is given, cookies can be used to personalize the experience of a user. Here is an overview of cookies if you want to know more about the technical aspects of their operation. </p>
<p> From the point of view of tracking ads, cookies are the driving force behind most ad retargeting campaigns. Cookies can be used primarily to create a user profile based on the activity and web habits of someone, and advertisers can leverage this profile to deliver consistent ads to people's centers. 39, interest observed by the user. They can also capture information about the user's browser settings, location, and preferred language. </p>
<p> <strong> Great for: </strong> Cookies are ideal when you want to show user ads aligned with their web browsing activity, or retarget them with ads that match products they're interested in. Cookies can also be used. to create a personalized experience for your website users based on their previous interactions with you – for example, you can create an abandoned cart email when users put items in their shopping cart and then leave your website. </p>
<p> Now that we've covered some basic ad targeting terms, let's take a closer look at how ad targeting works on some of the biggest ad tracking platforms and how you can use it to create your own ad. stronger and more effective campaigns. </p>
<h2> <strong> DoubleClick ad tracking </strong> </h2>
<p> If you've ever noticed an ad for a product that you saw weeks ago and is following you on the Internet, it's probably the result of DoubleClick ad tracking. DoubleClick, acquired by Google in 2008, is an ad management and delivery platform that allows marketers to launch advertising campaigns across multiple channels. </p>
<p> Online publishers use DoubleClick primarily to rent advertising space on their websites, while agencies and advertisers use it to serve ads on websites where their target audiences move from time. </p>
<p> In 2012, Google renamed its DoubleClick products as the Google Marketing Platform (formerly DoubleClick), Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) and Google Ad Manager (formerly DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange). </p>
<p> Google offers advertisers different options for tracking ads when they create campaigns on the platform, most of which rely on the use of cookies. </p>
<p> According to Google, "The cookies themselves do not contain any personal information.According to the settings of the publisher and the user, the information associated with the cookies used in advertising can be added to the Google Account. of the user. " </p>
<p> These generic cookies may collect information about the time and date when you viewed ads, the specific webpages that you were on when you viewed an ad and your IP address, which may help the customer. cookie to determine where you are. </p>
<p> Although cookies do not contain any personally identifiable information, Google may link information obtained through cookies to personally identifiable information associated with your Google Account (which includes your browsing and search activities when you are connected to Google) . for most of us, it is almost always). </p>
<p> Google operates two main types of cookies: proprietary cookies and third parties. </p>
<p> <strong> Proprietary Cookies </strong> are deleted (ie, assigned to a specific user) by the owner of the website you are visiting. Information collected through proprietary cookies can help publishers better understand your site activity and ad performance. </p>
<p> <strong> Third-party cookies </strong> are abandoned by an advertiser on a website containing their ads. These cookies send advertisers information about the performance of their ad campaigns on all the websites on which their DoubleClick ads are displayed. </p>
<p> More than 11.1 million websites are currently showing ads on Google's AdSense network. If you visit a website on the network, the information collected through a DoubleClick advertising tracking cookie will be aggregated and used by other websites and advertisers using AdSense. </p>
<p> This consolidation of cookie information creates an extremely rich data pool for Google advertisers, who can track ads that you serve on millions of websites. </p>
<p> To start tracking ads with Google, you need to have a Google Marketing Platform account. Depending on the size of your business and your particular needs, you will have the choice between a business account (capable of managing large advertising campaigns on multiple websites and media) or a small business account, with more targeted and specialized ad tracking tools. for the rapid growth of the company. </p>
<h2> <strong> Facebook advertising tracking </strong> </h2>
<p> Advertisers on Facebook can use different ad tracking strategies to optimize ads for their audience. The Facebook tracking pixel is one of the most common methods. It works the same way as the basic tracking pixel described above and can be used to follow the path taken by someone who is looking at an ad, going through the visit of his or her website. purchase of a product. </p>
<p> When an action occurs on a page where a tracking pixel has been set, the pixel will "fire" and return that information to your Facebook Events Manager account. The information collected via the tracking pixel can also be used in creating personalized audiences for future ad campaigns. </p>
<p> For example, you can use the collected data via a tracking pixel to create a personalized target audience targeting users who have viewed a particular page of your website involving a purchase intent, such as a pricing page. We wrote an article that describes in more detail how the tracking pixel works if you want to know more about the different uses and how to configure it. </p>
<p> While the Facebook pixel can offer advertisers valuable insight into how ads influence specific actions on their websites, it's not the only way to track ads on the social network. </p>
<p> Another option for tracking ads at your disposal is to add UTM settings to the links in your ads. As we saw earlier, tracking parameters use extra code on a URL to "trigger" when a user loads the link. On Facebook, they can be used in Ads Manager to better understand what ads you are broadcasting are generating what types of traffic. </p>
<p class= Originally published on Jul 10, 2019 16:56:00, updated on July 10, 2019


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