Ask the Expert: Tracking Conversions’s conversions engine tracks every step of your user’s content journey, up to their final converting action. We equip you with multiple attribution models, so whether you want to value the first piece of content that caught someone’s attention, the last one they read before they finally decided to make their move—or every piece of content in between—you can analyze what is driving results.

In this session you’ll get:

  • An introduction to Conversions
  • An example of how to measure the true impact of your content
  • Examples of how to align content strategies with business goals

Watch as Neil Powell, Solutions Engineer at gives you a close look at’s Conversions engine. He’ll answer your questions, and show you the benefits of adding content analytics to your CMS and content strategy. 


Neil Powell, Solutions Engineer,

Neil Powell is a Product Specialist at WordPress VIP representing the company’s analytics offering and providing customers with a 360-degree view of content to tie engagement directly to business goals.

Prior to his current role, Neil was an Associate Director of Unstructured Content at S&P Global within their Market Intelligence division. He was responsible for helping to drive strategy and platform development across S&P’s business news, research, and events analytics offerings. Previously, he spent eight years growing and leading a team of data journalists to create data-driven news and analysis for S&P clients’ daily consumption.

Neil has a B.B.A in Economics from James Madison University.



Hello everyone and welcome to today’s webcast. Our episode today is Ask the Expert: Tracking Conversions. I want to welcome everyone in. My name is David Cardell, I’m the Vice President of Marketing here at WordPress VIP. And just a little over a year ago we made an acquisition, and that is of And so we’ve been instituting this series and talking to our customers a little bit about what is and how it can support them, and really excited to welcome in Neil Powell, who is the solution engineer at

Today, Neil is going to step in and walking through a key feature, a core feature for that’s really applicable to anyone’s content strategy, and that is called our conversions platform. As I mentioned, Neil is a product specialist at WordPress VIP, representing the company’s analytics offering and providing customers with a 360 degree view of content to tie engagement directly into business goals. Prior to his current role, Neil was an associate director of unstructured content at S&P Global within their marketing intelligence division. He was responsible for helping to drive strategy and platform development across S&P’s business news, research and events, and analytics offerings. Previously, he spent eight years growing and leading a team of data journalists to create data-driven news and analysts for S&P’s clients’ daily consumptions. Neil has a BBA in economics from James Madison University. Neil, welcome today.


Hey, thanks David. I appreciate the intro. And so I want to welcome everybody to today’s webinar, focusing on’s conversion tracking capabilities. During our first Ask the Expert session, we covered an overview of’s capabilities and during that overview we discussed a major need for content creators and that’s the ability to tie their content to business objectives. And so over the next 30 minutes, we’re going to give you a deep dive of’s conversion tracking and it’s meant to do just that. So before we jump into the dashboard, I think we should start with why we want to tie our content to conversions.

Your site doesn’t exist in isolation. Your sites exist for a reason; they exist for your business and your business uses them to pursue and achieve their objectives. And this might seem like content 101, but in many organizations, content can be seen as a cost to be managed. There’s a certain amount of content needed on a daily, a weekly, or a monthly basis to drive brand awareness or educate your users or just capture the audience’s attention from various channels. People that I like to describe as content adjacent, they see it as a cost of doing business. It’s just something that has to be done.

For us as content creators and people that are in content focused roles, we know the power of content and we know that it has the ability to influence our customers in a way that nobody else really can or nothing else really can. So while content does educate, it does drive brand awareness, it can really do a lot of that heavy lifting in terms of influencing a user or a reader to drive some of those business objectives that our entire organization is looking to achieve. And so that could be things like starting a free trial or becoming a subscriber or just driving somebody to give their contact information to have a salesperson give them a demo.

So how do we really bridge this gap in the perception of content’s role within the organization? We need to tie it to business results. And so it’s rare that an organization has a full picture of how their content performs and how it drives business revenue. According to a survey from our recent Content Matters report, half of those teams don’t have business results tied to their content. 73% of them don’t have revenue goals with their content, and that’s not really your fault. Historically, analytics has been focused on metrics that don’t directly align with those business objectives unless your business model is a pay-per-click. It’s hard to understand how a page view translates to revenue. It doesn’t necessarily align with what your business is looking to do, and those pieces don’t translate.

However, if you don’t have a complete understanding of your content’s revenue impact, you’re always going to be seen as a cost center to manage. And so what we want to do is help tie your content to those conversions so we can begin to understand the ROI and how you contribute to the business goals and success, create a content strategy that maximizes those business results and ultimately prove the worth of your content and help you advocate for your content needs.

And so with that all being said, why don’t we jump into the dashboard and talk about some of the workflows and how you can leverage to really understand the conversions and the user behavior that your content is influencing. And so I’m going to stop my webcam here, give you a little bit better screen, and then we’re going to share the dashboard. So you should be looking at the dashboard now. And like we covered in the overview, this really is the analytics tool that’s powering the content engine and the content strategy of over 12,000 sites. And so we’re able to see engagement with your content across both real time and historical views here, and we can just quickly drag and drop across a time series and then see engagement with your content across a variety of metrics.

And so we have metrics across all pieces of the funnel in terms of the top of the funnel, things like social referrals or search referrals, how we’re capturing their attention, bringing them in. If we want to engage with that audience, we can start to see things like returning visitation, total engage time, how we’re nurturing them, how we’re educating them. And then we have the conversions piece, which is that influence. So how we’re taking our content and getting it in front of them and fulfilling a user journey to drive or influence some sort of action or behavior. And that’s really where we’re going to focus a lot of our time today, or almost all of our time today.

And so if I click on the conversions, you’re going to start to see all of those converting activities tied to your articles here. And while you can see this on an article by article basis across a lot of these sections of the platform, what we’re going to do is we’re going to live in our conversions view today. And so really, this is the same thing that we saw in the pages section, where you have a time series where you can quickly drag and drop. And what we’ve done is we’ve started to aggregate those conversions across all of your content. And you can see things where we’ve done some aggregation across the conversion type, and then we have specific conversion events here. And so as you aggregate and select your time series, you can click into this label and start to see what content is making up those converting activities, influencing that behavior, driving them to take an action.

Now with, we have a few different attribution models that I want to cover really quickly because really this is the main differentiator where, in your martech stack today, you might have something like a first touch or a last touch attribution model that’s giving credit to pages or content that’s influencing behavior. But with we have a couple different attribution models that are more content focused, more content centric. And so the first is our last post touch attribution model, and this gives credit to the last piece of editorial content that influences a behavior. So if I look at a blog post and I read that story and then maybe I click a form fill to sign up for a newsletter, we’ll give credit to the blog post instead of that newsletter form, right? Because we believe the content influenced the decision to take that action. We also have a linear attribution model, and this is really I think’s secret sauce and the big differentiator between us and other pieces of your analytics stack that can provide an conversion attribution.

And so the linear conversion is a multitouch, multi-session conversion model. And so what that means is the conversion number here that you see is more of like a conversion score. What that does is the higher the number, the more frequently that piece of content is in the user’s journey to take an action, the more influential it is, the more frequent it shows up in each of the journeys across your website. So you can start to understand how everything works together to drive a behavior. Content is an ecosystem. Different pieces of content fulfill different needs. Certain ones capture their attention, certain ones bring them in, educate them, make them familiar with the products and services you provide. And then certain things are the final piece to capture that information, compel them to take an action. And you can see all of that credit here. And so if we scroll down, we can look and expand our range and see roughly 20 pieces of content have influenced two or more conversions.

Now, if we switch this to one of the last touch attribution models, we’re only giving nine pages credit. So there’s a huge gap in what we’re seeing in terms of the pages that influence the decision. And so with the linear attribution model, you can start to see that complete journey, understand what’s working to drive those behaviors, and then start to strategize on, how do we tie those things together? How do we optimize them across the channel and the campaigns to get them in front of the most people and to convert the most new users? Also, you can start to look long-term and strategize and understand what topics are successful to inform your content calendar. And so those are a couple of the things that I’m going to do today.

So besides just seeing what’s working and saying, okay, this has the highest number, so we need to get this in front of people, we can also start to dive deeper into our strategy. And so if I’m at a SaaS company and I’m looking to drive demo request of our product, let’s start to look and see, where are those things working, and where am I capturing the right people? What I can do here is I can start to click into the referrers, and this is going to show us where that traffic is coming from. So over my observe period, we can start to see where are the most effective channels for us to organize, for us to promote our content. And if I’m looking at social, I can start to understand, okay, let’s see, Reddit, Facebook, they’re the most of our attributions. These are our most effective places. I guarantee, well, I don’t guarantee, but I think there’s a high likelihood that some of these places that are driving a lot of your conversions aren’t necessarily ones that you’re seeing the most traffic.

So if we look here in our first section, let’s just do a quick confirmation of my hypothesis here. Let’s go to page views and let’s look at social. For us, Reddit isn’t even topping 5,000 page views, but we’re actually seeing it contribute to a high number of conversions. And so is there something that we want to do to help increase this exposure? Can we start buying more ad space on Reddit? Can we start trying to organically promote across different subreddits? And so this is something that’s not necessarily obvious because you’re seeing higher levels of traffic on other social networks. So you’re thinking, hey, my content is doing well here. But with our conversion model and the capability to tie it to those channels where the conversion originated, you can start to see what channels are truly effective. And that’s not always going to be the places where you have the most page views.

So what you can start to do is you can start to align your content across those social channels that are really converting, really driving those business objectives, not necessarily the ones that are the most page views, but you can start to create content, draft pieces there, start to increase your exposure and ultimately continue to double down on that success, right? Shift your strategy. Find places that are really driving those business objectives, not necessarily just looking at page views.

Beyond just your social channels, where they’re working, we can also start to understand how our campaigns are impacting those pieces. And so while we talked about social, in the previous example, search was the biggest referrer and channel for our demo requests on the dashboard. And so as we look to see our campaigns, we can start to understand our efficacy. And so we launched this product, and so our launch promotion drew a lot of conversions, but as we’re looking across our AdWords from the initial launch and then the follow on AdWords each month with Google, we’re starting to see diminishing returns there.

So it’s something for us to potentially dig into and say, okay, if we want to continue to drive that conversion from search, what do we need to do for our AdWords for the next month? February is an all-time low and it looks like March really hasn’t started off that well. So do we need to change the AdWords that we’re focusing on? Is there anything that we can update? Or alternatively, do we want to start to shift to another campaign? Maybe something like our newsletter campaign driving more conversions organically, not necessarily having to pay for those AdWords. How can we increase the content within our newsletter? Is there more paid promotion that we can do or more promotion that we can do there through email to assess the efficacy of that and drive more conversions? You can also click into the campaign details here and see each piece of content within that campaign that’s working.

We can see both the aggregate conversions, as well as the converting visitors, but what I really like about this is the potential to assess the percentage of total traffic of that content piece. So what we do is we put it into a percent of total and we start to say, okay, 5%, 6% of your converting visitors come from this piece of content. So you can really quickly see and assess efficacy of your content within that campaign and start to put it within the whole and say, is this successful? Is this successful against the average? If it’s not successful against the average, let’s get that out of our newsletter. If we’re doing any sort of monthly follow-ons, quarterly follow-ons, let’s make sure to not curate that content there. And so let’s start to leverage the channels that are working effectively, the campaigns that are working effectively, and let’s only promote content that is working within those pieces.

And so we’ve taken a look at our channels, our campaigns, and so we can start to assess where we want to spend our time, where we want to spend our ad budget, how we can potentially reduce that customer acquisition cost, right? Paying for ad space doesn’t necessarily scale infinitely, and so we want to look to drive those places that are the most effective and then potentially increase our organic. But how do we also inform our content strategy going forward?

So if I go back to our conversion section here, and let’s say I’m trying to continue on that demo request line. If we go into our tag section, we can start to understand how the topics that we’re writing about are driving aggregate conversions, but also on a per post basis. So what’s my ROI on each additional article? And our keywords and our tags can work within your taxonomy. So they could be things like topics that we’re writing about or they could be aspects of your content, like how does a case study versus a resource guide versus an ebook truly drive conversions?

And so what you can start to do here is look at the topics that are driving the most conversions in aggregate, but also on a per post basis and start to inform your content strategy going forward and driving the next piece that’s going to give you the next bit of ROI and the most incremental increases to your content. And I think this is really foundational in giving you a data-driven content calendar. I think it’s extremely common when you’re talking about planning out your next week or your next quarter or your next year to say, okay, I think these topics are going to do well. This is what we’ve done in the past that I feel like has worked, or this is what sales or marketing is asking for today.

But if you don’t have that analytics to back it up and you’re not looking at something like conversions where you’re actually influencing behavior and the business objectives, you’re not really working with the full picture and the full business objectives in mind. So you can start to say, hey, we’re going to write this resource guide because we’ve seen it drive similar conversions for other products in the past. Or, we know that we need to fill out and write more on these three topics because they’re the topics that are driving the most conversions per post.

And so you can really start to drive the business objectives within your content strategy and back that up with numbers from the dashboard to say, hey, this is what’s working, this is what’s not working. And you can also click into these topics and see the articles. So when it comes time to say, hey, I’m going to write five more pieces this quarter around case studies or resource guides, you can start to look at those case studies or those guides or those eBooks, they’re truly driving the most success. See the channels for those specific pieces of content, see the campaigns that really drove all those conversions. And you can start to put a fine edge on what’s working for your content calendar, where you want to distribute, what topics you want to write about, and what campaigns do you want to use to support that and vocalize that content that you’re creating.

And so those are three main areas of the conversions dashboard that we can start to understand our contents performing, so we can see what’s working. We can see the channels that are working, we can see the campaigns that are working, we can see all the content that’s working together with that linear attribution model. And then we can also inform our future strategy with the topics with the tags that are working. But how do we stay on top of that? How do we stay up to speed? How do we prevent ourselves from dashboard watching? And so we can start to do this with a couple of different pieces, both our reports and our overview.

So the overview is where you come to the dashboard, it’s your default landing page when you log in or when you click on the URL within your WordPress CMS and actually create an article. But what we can do is we can overhaul this to be conversion focused. And so right now what I’ve done is had a similar setup to what we talked about in the introduction to, how we can look across each aspect of the funnel to drive content within each of those goals that we had, whether that’s capturing new people, keeping them around, or ultimately driving or influencing some behavior. But we can really gear this towards conversions.

And so if I click the cogwheel up at the top, we can start to set our timeline, select conversions, and we’ll keep it for the month. We want to see how we’re doing over time. And then we can select each of our column sections here and we can manipulate that. So, let’s see. If I want to understand where the most efficient channels are, I can look at our referrers and I can change this to a conversion piece, and I can do the same thing as I talked about before. And I can grab demo requests. I can also take a look at the tags and start to inform future strategy. So what do I want to write about next week? What do I want to write about next month? So I can keep this conversions piece and I can select those demo requests.

And then finally, what we can do here, is we can keep that linear attribution, we can select demo requests here, and we can see the individual articles. So what I’ve done is I’ve set up the dashboard, which is going to update in real time, to be focused on those conversions, focused on the business objective that I care about, which is creating content that gets people to drive that demo so we can get in front of them, so we can influence them. And what we’re seeing is, we’re looking to understand where are our referral sources, what’s working well, what’s not. If these are things that I’m focused on with my AdWords, with my SEO, this is good, Google’s at the top. If we’re focusing somewhere else, we can start to see where that ranks up. If there’s something that’s trending, maybe we can start to say, hey, is this a referral channel that we want to start to invest more in? Can we do more here? Can we continue this return?

As I move into the tags, like I said, we can start to inform our strategy. This is what’s working this month. Do we need to follow on? Do we need to create more case studies? Do we need to create more resources? Is there something that we need to do to add into that to make us more efficient? Or, can we apply this to other areas? If this is working for demo requests, can some of this content work similarly for another action that we’re trying to influence?

And then at the end, here are the pieces that are actually driving those demo requests that’s making up all of these figures that we’re seeing from the referrers, from the tags. And so we can start to say, hey, how do we get this in front of more people? How do we make this more efficient in our user journey, either across the website, across our email campaigns? How do we feed that to the demand gen, to the sales team, to make sure they’re putting that out in front of people? And ultimately, how do we drive each piece of content to meet those business objectives that we care about? So how do we influence more revenue? How do we lower our customer acquisition costs? How do we have a data informed strategy for our future content calendar?

Now, outside of the overview page, you can also look at our report. So we can really quickly create a report. So if I want to see how I’m doing overtime for a conversion label, we can do that here. I can set this to repeat monthly, let’s just say the first of the month. And what I’ll do is I’ll set it up for the first of the month to see the last month, and so we can start to assess our performance. And what I like about this is we can both push this up to other members of our leadership, or we can push this down to make sure everybody is on the same page and that we’re all working together to drive the same pieces.

So if I do this and I run the report, what we’re going to see really quickly and easily is an HTML report that’s going to aggregate the conversions across the month, compare that to prior months so we can start to say what’s working, what’s not working. And then you’re going to see a breakdown of your content. What have you done? What are the conversions? How many converting visitors? Any new posts that you have, how is that contributing? Those channels that I talked about, where’s your success? The campaigns that you’re running, what’s working, what’s not working? And the cool thing about this is, it’s HTML, so you can click through into it. So if you need to explain this, explain more pieces, you can go directly into your content and into the dashboard and then say, hey, this is what’s working, this is what’s not working, and this is why.

The other thing that I really like about this too is you can start to support this with other pieces. So you can look in Salesforce and you can see the ARR of these accounts that you’re driving, the leads that you’re driving. Couple that with your content and you can start to say, hey, I’ve driven eight demo requests for this month. We typically convert two or three of them, and the average contract value is around 40,000. So I’m here to, the content that I’ve created that I’m here to do day in and day out, that’s helped influence around a hundred thousand in ARR for the month. So you can start to tie those pieces together, start to show your influence from your content, and ultimately start to create closer ties to those business objectives.

And that really is the demonstration of’s conversion capabilities today. The goal is to level up those conversations from, how many page views did our content get to, how content is driving those business goals. We’re trying to shift that narrative from a cost to be managed to a revenue influencer. We know our content is powerful, we know what our content can do, but the problem has been showing that link, and our linear attribution model helps you show that link.

And so what we want to do is we want to drive those business objectives that contribute to the bottom line, show those channels, those campaigns that are the most effective at converting our audience to increase that ROI, drive down your acquisition cost for customers, and then ultimately create a data-informed content calendar that resonates, that helps support those business objectives, and that you can point to and say, hey, this is why we’re creating this content. This is the purpose of this content. I think we’ve got some time left over for Q&A, so I’m going to turn it over to David and see if we had any questions come through the demonstration.


Wonderful. Neil, thank you for walking through that. And folks, yes, please keep the questions coming into the little Q&A widget there. We’re here to answer your questions, anything that you want to know about what Neil covered. I realize that time went by quick, but we’ve got about four or five minutes here, Neil. So let’s tap into a few things here.

One of the big ones that have come up here, and I think just kind of walking through it folks, their first time kind of seeing it, but let’s get down to brass tax. What are some examples of how some of our customers are actually using conversions, and more specifically, WordPress VIP customers that may want to take a look and start using conversions? Can you cite some examples there?


Yeah. And so I think a couple of the really common ones are just one, understanding how your content is driving something like a lead capture, like a demo request. But then the other piece is also how your content is driving subscriptions and what content is truly getting people to sign up for a monthly, a weekly, a daily subscription. And so what we can really start to do here is because it’s at an article by article basis, a lot of what our WordPress VIP customers are doing are saying, okay, here are the five articles that really do the job in getting us to drive a subscription model. Let’s make sure that they’re always in our newsletters. Let’s curate those together for the month, the week, whatever. Let’s put these pieces of content together to work in concert to truly influence behavior.

And so what you can start to do is say, hey, these are our heavy hitters. These are working. Let’s give them more airtime. Let’s give them more space. Let’s curate them in a newsletter. Let’s get them in front of more people. Let’s put them in our email campaigns because these are what’s working. And you can update that month over month and you’re constantly feeding basically your greatest hits. And so what you can do there is really get that in front of people, convert, and make sure you’re putting out the content that is the most compelling, in front of the most people.


Well, thanks for that, Neil. One that actually just came in, we kind of started just here at the bottom. This is sort of interesting and this is getting into when you’re thinking about revenue overall. I think we we’re thinking about marketing here a little bit, but just kind of shift that over a little bit to sales a little bit. I know this comes up quite often, I know with me. Does the tool allow to push the conversion value so that it’s both sales and revenue generating?


Yeah. And I think this is something that we didn’t necessarily show within the dashboard, but we have the capability within your dashboard to segment based off your audience. And so what you can do is you can basically flip a switch and say, I want to see the entire dashboard for a certain persona. And so what you can do is you can start to segment your audience out into personas, pass that information along to, and you can start to feed that information to the sales teams for their specific personas.

And I found this extremely, incredibly valuable. I used this at S&P. And so what we would do is we would break those industries out, those personas out, and I would give the sales team a report each week and say, hey, here’s the content that’s driving the most conversions. You need to make sure that you’re reading this and you need to make sure that you’re giving this to your prospects. You can use it to build rapport, you can use it to keep them updated, but ultimately this is the most compelling content that we have. This is what’s actually being read by those personas. So use it, put that out in front of them, drive that, educate yourself, make sure you’re up-to-date on the topics because this is what people are actually reading. This is what’s actually taking them to do something with us. Let’s continue to push this forward and move this forward.


Awesome. And we want to be mindful of folks’ time, so let’s get one more in real quick here.




Let’s do a quick three for today. Does integrate with any CRM tools to track conversion? That’s always a big one.


Yeah, and so that’s a piece that I mentioned in terms of understanding those personas, and so we can work with some of the CRM tools like HubSpot to pass along certain aspects of your personas and serve them up in audience segments. We can also use HubSpot to create something like a super lead for a conversion. So you can say, hey, I want to fire a conversion event if a user downloads an ebook and registers for a webinar and I want to call that a hot lead. And then you can tell HubSpot to only pass us that information once a lead has done those two, three variables that you want. And so it’s really great to build a target buyer or a target user audience where you can start to say, hey, this is the content that’s driven that super lead.


Awesome. I’m going to ask one more because it just came in and I’m trying to be fair to folks that are piping stuff in, and let’s just do that.


Sure, yeah.


Does provide custom methods for developers to utilize the ability to push data from custom plugins?


Yes. And so what we can do there, we have an API tool, so it’s not in the dashboard, not what I showed today, but we do have the capability to utilize our API to push widgets. And so if you wanted to have a most popular widget that was actually driven from a methodology that was the most converted article or something like that, that drove a behavior for a demo request, you could feed that in. And so we have an API, it’s lightweight, it can power those widgets, and that’s definitely a piece of our offering that we have. And that can be driven from something as simple as the most popular conversions or it can be done on a user-by-user basis for a truly personalized recommender.


Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, folks, we’re at the half hour mark. I want to be mindful of everyone’s time. I am going to say to our valued customers here, we do want to make sure you get a fair shake in terms of taking a look at and conversions, really just adding to your technology stack. So for the folks on the line, if you can take just a moment here, I am going to push a quick poll question. We want to be sort of mindful of your time. Would you like to take a look at Do you want to take a look at it a bit further? We do have our product specialists like Neil that are on hand ready to help you, ready to show it to you, at least have a conversation with you. You’ve made an amazing investment at WordPress VIP, we want to help you to keep evolving on that investment so we do want to ask if you want to take a look at, no pressure. Just feel free to answer our poll question here and we will get in touch with you. So you’re on for just a second or two here. Looks like we’ve got a critical mass. I’m going to go ahead and close that.

Appreciate the response there. Neil, thank you for your time today. Any lasting thoughts you want to leave with our audience?


No, thanks David. I mean, I think conversions really are a major game changer in terms of turning your content from a cost center to a revenue driver and really starting to speak the same language as a lot of the rest of the business. So if you’re not utilizing for conversions, utilize something. We’re definitely best in class in terms of conversion tracking and providing the best path for the user journey. But please, please, please, I think the more you can tie your content to business objectives, the more you’re going to be able to sing your success, have a more data informed strategy, and ultimately support the business. Content’s a great influencer. Let’s make sure that we’re using it in those ways and driving those business objectives forward.


Great, great. Thanks again time, again Neil. And thank you for sharing this with everyone. For everyone else on the call that’s remaining, we’ll be sure to get a recording out to you as well as giving you guys an update. So we’ll be back here in about, what did we say, Neil? Three weeks time, we’ll be back. That is April 13th. We’re going to be back here talking about benchmarking traffic a bit, so we have a new topic in here again, showcasing the platform, how it can help you, and how it can make you make more better informed business decisions. That’s all for today, folks. Like I said, we’ll get a recording out. Everyone, have a great afternoon.