Spotlight Tagging


Spotlight Tagging

Spotlight Tagging allows advertisers to capture and report on the activities of users who visit their website after viewing or clicking on one of the advertiser's ads.

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Five Types of Tags

  1. Pageviews: Records the number of times that a visitor either clicks or views one of the advertiser's ads on an IB site then views a specific spotlight-tagged page on the advertiser's website. This number includes multiple page views by the same user.
  2. Daily Visits: Records only the number of unique views per day that an advertiser's spotlight-tagged page receives from users who also view the advertiser's ad on a LAKANA website.
  3. Transactions: Records the number of purchases that visitors who view an ad on a LAKANA website make, along with the amount of revenue that each purchase generates.
  4. Items Purchased: Records the number of items that users who first view an ad in a LAKANA website purchase.
  5. Custom Counters: Enables LAKANA sites to define activities specific to their respective business needs. Counters can be filtered by unique browser sessions. This tag allows for the elimination of multiple page views that occur during the same browser session.

Best Practices

  • Have a clear objective when spotlight-tagging visitor activities and, based on that objective, choose specific user behaviors to tag to generate useful reporting data. Too many tags will result in a lot of data, but the data may be unfocused and difficult to interpret.
  • When considering a Spotlight Tag, please make sure the client is able to place the tags on their website. If they cannot, make sure they know who can (e.g., their webmaster or IT person). LAKANA is unable to place tags or supply technical support for clients.

How it Works

The following example illustrates one possible use of Spotlight Tagging, following the process from the user's first viewing of the ad through the generation of a report.

  1. A web user views an ad on a LAKANA site. The DFP ad server reads the user's DoubleClick cookie. If there is no cookie, a new one is created.
  2. Later that same day, the user visits the advertiser's website, which contains a registration form that the user has to fill out.
  3. To count how many users view the form, the advertiser has put a Spotlight tag on the webpage. The tag requests an invisible 1x1-pixel image from a DFP ad server, which enables the server to detect and count the page view. As part of this process, the ad server checks the user's DoubleClick cookie to see whether the user has previously viewed or clicked on the advertiser's ad. In this case, the pageview is counted as a post-impression activity.
  4. The user submits the form and is taken to a webpage that confirms the user's email address. This second webpage contains a different Spotlight tag, which enables DFP to record a second post-impression activity.
  5. The advertiser visits the QueryTool to generate reports on the Spotlight Tagging activities in the advertiser's website. The QueryTool can report on each Spotlight activity separately or present the information in aggregate.


While DFP captures all visitor activity on a page containing a Spotlight Tag, activities are reported in DFP only if they are performed by a user who:

  • Clicks or views one of the ads on your website and then accesses a spotlight-tagged page (on either your website or the advertiser's, depending on the implementation)
  • Performs an activity on a page containing a Spotlight Tag (on either your website or the advertiser's)
  • Performs an activity within the specific time period of clicking and/or viewing one of your ads.

If all three of these rules are met, DFP includes activity on the spotlight reports in the QueryTool. Post-impression and post-click activities can be reported if a user views or clicks on an ad and later performs an activity on a spotlight-tagged page. We would need to have a separate spotlight tag for each activity they want to capture. Each Spotlight Tag will generate a 1x1 pixel call and track activity.

Lookback Windows

Spotlight activities are recorded for visitors who have previously seen or clicked on an ad within a specified period of time, called a lookback window. When a visitor loads a page containing Spotlight tags, the ad server accesses the visitor's DoubleClick cookie and checks to see whether the ID is a match for any previous impressions or clicks on within the lookback window. If no match for the cookie ID is found, the record of the activity is discarded.

The maximum and default lookback window for LAKANA Spotlight Tags is 30 days. The lookback window can be modified, but cannot exceed 30 days.

Sharing Spotlight Tagging Activities

Spotlight activities between advertisers can be shared. Sharing spotlight activities is useful when there are multiple advertisers in DFP that actually represent only one advertiser.