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Dec 10

What is an advanced conversion in digital marketing?

When a user comes to your website, you want them to do something. This can be as simple as signing up for an email list, to something a little more tangible like buying a product or booking a trip. Conversions are king, but they’re not one size fits all. What happens when a run-of-the-mill conversion doesn’t quite capture the ROI you need to prove? You guessed it—throw in some advanced conversion strategies and prepare to impress your boss. In this post, we’ll go over:

  • Advanced conversion strategies
  • Benefits of using advanced conversions in digital marketing
  • Advanced conversion examples: use cases

Advanced conversion strategies

Standard conversions have a habit of only allowing advertisers to see insights on how many people landed on a specific, internal URL, like a thank you page or shopping cart (which we’ll cover below). Advanced conversion strategies, however, allow marketers and advertisers to keep track all of all of the following ways that a consumer landed somewhere they wanted them to land, which means better, more accurate data. Who doesn’t want that?

Benefits of using advanced conversions in digital marketing

Advanced conversions allow advertisers to track conversions in a more powerful way. Rather than just relying on reports to measure less granular things like page views, you can track and optimize for standard conversions like when a user visits a URL, or optimize for advanced conversions like external URLs, clicks on an element with CSS ID, clicks on an element with CSS Class, or clicks on an element with a custom CSS Selector.

This is all helpful for tracking when a consumer clicks on a specific call to action button, fills out a form, etc. Plus, in Choozle, our development team has worked hard on coming up with ways to make it easy for self-service clients to implement, making it extra easy to get down to the nitty-gritty with their advanced conversion strategies.

Advanced conversion examples: use cases


1. Visits to an internal URL (standard)

When an internal URL is the conversion point for a campaign, this will direct traffic to an internal URL such as a demo signup “thank you” landing page. Clicks to an internal URL will include tracking in your Choozle Smart Container Tag (or another tracking pixel) that will pass the conversion back to the campaign it’s tied to.

2. Visits to an External URL (advanced)

When an advertiser does not have access to place the Choozle Smart Container Tag on the URL of the conversion page, an external URL conversion event can be set up. The URL leads a user to a third-party platform to perform the conversion. Learn about some examples our team sees quite a bit below.

Examples of external URL conversion tracking

  • Event promotions – Ads will click through to a page with information about an event or concert but the final conversion, where the visitor actually purchases the ticket, will be on an external site like Ticketmaster or Eventbrite (where the advertiser doesn’t have the ability to place a conversion pixel).
  • Financial/Banking – These sites will often advertise for loan or credit card offers, but when the visitor actually goes to apply for an offer, they will most often be redirected to a secure, third-party site to apply for approval.
  • Colleges/Universities – Colleges will run retargeting campaigns to recruit new applicants, but they want to make sure they’re not targeting currently enrolled students. If they only have access to place the Smart Container Tag on their main site and not the student portal, they could just set up an advanced conversion on the “log in” button on that page and use that to identify and exclude current students.
  • PDF Downloads (whitepapers, infographics, etc.) – We see this one a lot with B2B technology clients. They’ll want to record a conversion when a visitor downloads a whitepaper or similar resource from the client’s website. The problem we see most often, however, is when a client clicks the button to download the whitepaper they are taken directly to the .pdf rather than a thank you page (where a conversion tag can fire). Keep this in mind when setting up your .pdf conversions.

Another option lives in the CSS of a conversion element. These advanced conversions are meant to provide advertisers with the most flexibility possible. Visits to a URL will accommodate 99 percent of the External URL situations above, where clients can simply insert the “href=” destination of the external link. The three CSS conversions, below, provide the ability to identify a page element using any aspect of the element’s CSS. For certain conversion elements that may share the same CSS ID or Class as other elements on the page, users can implement advanced CSS Selector declarations to identify exactly which element they’d like to track.

3. Clicks on an element with CSS ID, CSS Class, or CSS Selector (advanced)

  • A great example of this would be a high-end resort’s website. Knowing their audience, the advertiser could guess that someone will only be booking there once a year, and since cookies expire after 90 days, they’d want to exclude anyone who has booked a room for any prospecting or retargeting efforts. That’s where this advanced conversion comes into play—It can be used to track button clicks such as “confirm booking”, which would then allow them to exclude those converters from their targeting strategies.
  • These can also be used to identify when several of the same events should be tracked as the same conversion event. For instance, if you have a “download” button at the top of a form and again at the bottom, which contains the same piece of content, you’d want to count them both as the same conversion.

Advanced conversion rate optimization

Not landing the numbers you thought you would with your conversion-based campaign? First, you’ll need to go back and make sure everything is set up as it should be.

Was a conversion URL added to your campaign upon setup? If so, is it in the right spot? If not, add it. Next, make sure whatever tracking mechanism you have set up, such as your Choozle Smart Container Tag, is configured properly. And lastly, consider all your options: Can other target audiences be tested? Can your creative and/or landing page be improved? (PS–Change those out at least every three months or so to avoid burnout.) How about your call-to-action; Is it compelling?

If, after all of that, your numbers still aren’t where they should be there are a few other options for advanced conversion rate optimization. To start, it may not be a bad idea to divide your conversion goals into hard and soft conversion categories so you can better optimize for each. There are also a few noteworthy ways to keep track of advanced conversions and opportunities for optimizations in Google Analytics.

We’re always here for you. If you need help implementing or optimizing for your advanced conversion strategies, we’re just a click away.

About The Author

Kate Marshall is the Marketing & Communications Manager at Choozle, a programmatic advertising technology company based in Denver, CO. In her role at Choozle, Kate leads efforts in content marketing including writing for and managing the company's blog, social media, and various SEO and PR strategies. Outside of the tech world, Kate is a certified yoga instructor and uses her personal brand to get real about mental health and wellness.

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