Look­ing to gain insights on the kinds of pro­fes­sion­als who are vis­it­ing your web­site? Colum­nist AJ Wilcox walks you through set­ting up and mak­ing use of LinkedIn’s free Web­site Demo­graph­ics.

Have you ever want­ed to know what kind of pro­fes­sion­als are fre­quent­ing your web­site? Now there’s a way to do this, and best of all, it’s free. Let’s back up for a moment to set the scene.

One of the great­est things about using LinkedIn’s adver­tis­ing plat­form is that you can gain insights about the way that pro­fes­sion­als inter­act with your web­site and prod­ucts. You pay dear­ly for those insights, though, with clicks from LinkedIn Ads aver­ag­ing between $6 and $9 in most cas­es.

As of the sum­mer of 2017, LinkedIn pro­vides the same pro­fes­sion­al demo­graph­ic data on all of your web­site traf­fic, and not just traf­fic you’ve paid for.

Here’s what you can expect.

What you’ll get

For all of your web­site traf­fic that is car­ry­ing their LinkedIn cook­ie, LinkedIn will note the pro­fes­sion­al aspects of that user. After you’ve received enough com­bined user data for LinkedIn to feel that it’s not per­son­al­ly iden­ti­fi­able (300 peo­ple), you’ll be able to receive reports on your web­site users’ pro­fes­sion­al make­up by the fol­low­ing cat­e­gories:

  • Job title.
  • Indus­try.
  • Job senior­i­ty.
  • Job func­tion.
  • Com­pa­ny.
  • Com­pa­ny size.
  • Loca­tion.
  • Coun­try.

Curi­ous about the job titles that most often inter­act with your web­site? Or whether your con­tent speaks bet­ter to low or high senior­i­ties? Or maybe what size of com­pa­ny tends to vis­it your site most?

These are the types of insights we’ve always had on our adver­tis­ing traf­fic, and that we now have free on all traf­fic, despite where the traf­fic came from.

How to get access

1. First, you’ll want to cre­ate an adver­tis­ing account (don’t wor­ry — to use the fea­ture, you won’t have to spend a dime). If you’ve already got an account, sim­ply sign in via the same link. Nav­i­gate to your Cam­paign Man­ag­er dash­board.

2. Next, you’ll need to place the LinkedIn Insight Tag across all pages of your web­site (if you’ve already got an Insight Tag, skip to Step 5). Do this by click­ing on “Account Assets” and then “Con­ver­sion Track­ing.” Stay with me here — I know this part makes no sense, con­sid­er­ing we’re doing noth­ing with con­ver­sions.

Assets Conversion Tracking

3. Type the base domain you’ll be track­ing into the field under­neath “Which web­site do you want to track con­ver­sions for.” (If you have any sub­do­mains, you can enter them lat­er to track all areas of your site).

Enter Domain

4. Next, you’ll be met with a snip­pet of JavaScript gen­er­at­ed by LinkedIn for you to place on each page of your web­site. Place it any­where in the sec­tion of each page and click next on that screen.

5. The next screen will ask you to define a con­ver­sion, but this isn’t use­ful for us here, so sim­ply click “Account Assets” again and then “Matched Audi­ences,” and final­ly, “Cre­ate an audi­ence.”

6. Define your audi­ence seg­ment how­ev­er you’d like. I rec­om­mend build­ing one for all web­site traf­fic first and then build­ing any addi­tion­al seg­ments after­ward. Here’s an exam­ple of how to cre­ate the seg­ment for all web­site traf­fic:

Create Website Audience

7. And voila! Now that you’ve cre­at­ed audi­ence seg­ments, it’s time to wait until the first seg­ment records at least 300 vis­i­tors, and then your reports will start pop­u­lat­ing. Click Web­site Demo­graph­ics at the top of the page of Cam­paign Man­ag­er at any time to access them.

Making Website Demographics useful

The data that we get from these demo­graph­ics are cer­tain­ly inter­est­ing, but not what I’d call action­able in most cas­es. Here are two use cas­es, though, where you can direct­ly make use of the demo­graph­ic data.

AdWords hack

The beau­ty of LinkedIn Ads is that you get tight con­trol over the pro­fes­sion­al qual­i­ties of your traf­fic. This is espe­cial­ly help­ful when con­sid­er­ing that traf­fic that comes from Paid Search or SEO chan­nels draws users who are active­ly look­ing for some­thing, but you have no con­trol over whether that audi­ence is qual­i­fied to buy from you.

Now, con­sid­er using Web­site Demo­graph­ics on your Search traf­fic. You can tease out aspects like Senior­i­ty and Com­pa­ny Size to see what per­cent­age of Search vis­i­tors are actu­al­ly in your tar­get demo­graph­ic. For instance, if AdWords brings in most­ly traf­fic between one and 10 employ­ees when your ser­vice tar­gets those with 200+ employ­ees, it may inform your future paid search bud­gets.

Who converts hack

Con­sid­er cre­at­ing an audi­ence for every stage of the fun­nel. For instance:

  • All Web­site Traf­fic.
  • Land­ing Page Traf­fic.
  • Con­vert­ers.

Now you can com­pare the dif­fer­ence in users between each step. For instance, com­pare All Web­site Traf­fic vs. Land­ing Page Traf­fic to see if you’re dri­ving high­er-qual­i­ty indi­vid­u­als through your paid efforts than are com­ing from oth­er sources.

Now, com­pare your Con­vert­ers audi­ence against Land­ing Page Traf­fic. If you find a pat­tern in what type of per­son tends to con­vert, that could be worth dri­ving more of those types of folks to your web­site through paid ads (sure­ly, this is the moti­va­tion for LinkedIn to release this fea­ture for free).

For instance, if you notice that man­ag­er-lev­el pro­fes­sion­als are the ones doing the con­vert­ing, and con­ver­sions are much more rare from VPs-and-above, that might guide you to con­cen­trate your resources on the low­er-lev­el folks.

Other uses of the LinkedIn Insight Tag

Maybe you’re won­der­ing whether it’s worth going through the rig­ma­role of plac­ing anoth­er pix­el on your web­site for this demo­graph­ic data. Nev­er fear — there are two oth­er poten­tial ben­e­fits you’re get­ting by plac­ing it:

1. Conversion tracking

For any­one adver­tis­ing on LinkedIn, it’s real­ly help­ful to have con­ver­sions report­ing with­in the plat­form so you can eas­i­ly see the cost per lead and con­ver­sion rates of your paid traf­fic. With the Insight Tag on your web­site pages, this is as sim­ple as defin­ing what page actions define a con­ver­sion, and your tag does the rest.

2. Retargeting

Retar­get­ing ads are incred­i­bly use­ful for mak­ing the most effi­cient use of your web­site traf­fic by keep­ing your brand top of mind after they’ve left. The same Insight pix­el you’ve placed on your web­site is capa­ble of build­ing your audi­ences to retar­get through LinkedIn Ads.

And sur­prise! Retar­get­ing audi­ences are built exact­ly the same way you’ve already built your seg­ments for Web­site Demo­graph­ics, so if you want to retar­get any of those seg­ments, all you have left to do is launch an ad.


Keep in mind that all of this is based on cook­ies being stored in the brows­er, and those cook­ied users being logged into LinkedIn.

Most devices car­ry cook­ies, but be aware that iOS devices (Apple iPads and iPhones) do not store them. That means that if you have con­sid­er­able mobile traf­fic, about 50 per­cent of that traf­fic won’t be account­ed for in your report­ing.

Also, traf­fic is clas­si­fied only after audi­ences are set up, so even if the tag has been imple­ment­ed for a while on your site, you won’t start get­ting demo­graph­ic report­ing until after you’ve cre­at­ed these audi­ences and then received at least 300 qual­i­fy­ing vis­i­tors.

website demographics

To sum it up

LinkedIn’s free Web­site Demo­graph­ics fea­ture is pret­ty sim­ple to set up and very use­ful in a vari­ety of ways. Set it up as soon as pos­si­ble so you can start cat­a­loging all of your web­site traf­fic from now on.