Floodlight conversion tracking

Make preliminary decisions

Advertisers use Floodlight because there's information they want to capture. Before you begin, you'll need to think carefully about what information you want to gather. You'll need to implement Floodlight tags on the webpages where you can collect the information you're most interested in.

Once you've made that decision, you'll also need to work with your DFA contact person to make a number of technical decisions about how your Floodlight tags will be implemented. Some of these settings will affect all of your Floodlight activities together, while others will affect only individual Floodlight activities.

Dynamic tags

You can choose to use dynamic tags, which integrate third-party tools for tracking website activity, enabling the notification of third parties in real time whenever there's a conversion. By enabling you to insert HTML code dynamically into Floodlight-enabled webpages, dynamic tags make it much easier to use third-party tracking services and keep the relevant code up to date. It's especially useful if you do affiliate marketing, where website publishers get paid based on the number of conversions they send your way.

There are two types:

  • Default tags are delivered whenever the Floodlight tag is served.

  • Publisher tags are associated with a particular website. When a user visits your Floodlight page after clicking on one of your ads, DART delivers the publisher tags associated with the site where the user clicked. (If the user has clicked on your ads more than once, Floodlight works with the most recent click.)

If you want to use these features, be sure to send the HTML code to your DFA contact person as your Floodlight activities are being created.

To use dynamic tags, you need to be able to deliver an Iframe to your webpage. If there are technical limitations that prevent you from serving Iframes, stick with image tags instead.

Image tags

In most cases, it's best to use the default Iframe format for your Floodlight tags. However, if there are technical reasons why Iframes can't be served on the advertiser's webpage, you can request image tags instead. You can use image tags for all of your Floodlight activities, or just for particular activities. Keep in mind that when you use image tags, dynamic tags can't be served for that activity.

Cache busting

Cache busting is the practice of including a random number in tags to prevent browsers from caching them. By preventing caching, you can ensure a more accurate count of conversions.

In certain types of Floodlight tags, you'll need to insert a random number dynamically when the tags are served to ensure that conversions are counted correctly. These types include:

  • standard counters, which count every visit

  • unique counters, which count each unique visitor per 24-hour period

To make it easy for you, DFA can generate Floodlight tags that include a script for generating the random number (see code examples). The most commonly used script format is JavaScript, but you can also choose to use ASP, JSP, PHP, or ColdFusion. If you prefer, you can use your own code to generate and insert a random number.

Cache-busting scripts are used only with counter activity tags, not with sales activity tags, because the order ID is used to make sales activity tags unique. Similarly, for counter activity tags where the counting method is per session, no cache-busting script is used because the session ID is used to make the counter activity unique. In these cases, you don't need to insert a random number.

Generating XHTML-compliant tags

If your website requires XHTML-compliant code, you can ask your DFA contact person to enable this option. (See code examples.)

  • For Floodlight tags that don't use cache busting or that use JavaScript cache busting, XHTML-compliant tags add <p> and </p> tags around the image tag.

  • For Floodlight tags that use JavaScript for cache busting, in addition to adding <p> and </p> tags around the image tag, cache busting also modifies the script to make it more readable. The tradeoff is that the script uses a slightly more complex method.

  • All other Floodlight tag formats are already XHTML-compliant by default, so this option is not needed.
If you're not sure whether you need XHTML-compliant tags, you probably don't, and it's simpler to go without.