Running display campaigns and trying to understand their effectiveness? I’m betting there are two key performance indicators (KPIs) at the top of your list: click-through conversions and view-through conversions. Today’s post quickly defines the two and then offers some insights on understanding/valuing each.
Click-through conversions are king! They represent customers who actually clicked your display ad and then converted on your website. This is the exact same way most savvy marketers manager their pay per click campaigns on AdWords and Bing Ads. If your display ads perform from a click-through conversion standpoint (at or below your target CPA), you are golden. This is the way you should be measuring things because the ads inspired immediate action.
View-through conversions, by contrast, are a bit more fuzzy. These “conversions” mark customers who saw your display ad and did not click it directly, but navigated back to your site via another channel and ended up converting. One could argue that the display ad impression(s) helped inspire the eventual conversion. However, since there was no direct interaction with the ad unit, one could also argue that the conversions would have happened anyways.
So, how do you place a value on view-through conversions? First and foremost, try to drive click-through conversions and leverage that data as the primary reason to run your display campaign. However, let’s say you’re above your CPA target on a click-through perspective or simply want to help add more context around the value of your campaigns? I have two tips…
Tip one involves a little work. You will want to run two display ads 50/50. The first one is your normal ad. The second one should be a random public service announcement unrelated to your business. From a view-through perspective, which one performs better? If you can prove the first one (the ad for your business) drives more view-throughs, you have proven the power of view-through conversions for your business.
Tip two is a little easier. Sophisticated display advertising platforms allow you to look at view-through conversions by time elapsed since the display ad impression. Did the conversion happen one hour after the customer saw your ad? Or, did it happen seven days later? If you see that most view-throughs happen quickly after the customer sees your ad (versus after more time has elapsed), this helps prove the power of the view-through in assisting conversions.
Hope these quick tips help out and best of luck with your display advertising campaigns!
Image of Full Potential © iStockPhoto – iqoncept
Time and Attendence Solutions says
I think click through is the best way to know about the ones who actually clicked on the keywords. Thanks for sharing all the stuff with us.
PPC Agency says
I tip my hat to you for writing this. I think that this is one of the best breakdowns I’ve read on the difference between Click-Through Vs. View-Through Conversions. You are right, the View-Through Conversions can get difficult to track, one must be an Excel ninja with strategic reporting skills 🙂
Those suggestions for reporting performance numbers are top notch as well. I might just use them to audit a few campaigns. Thanks for the great tips!
PPC Ian says
Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Time and Attendence!
PPC Ian says
Darren / PPC Agency,
Thank you so much for the comment and for reading! I truly appreciate it and am so happy the post was helpful. 🙂 Hope the tips help out, and thanks for stopping by!
All the best,
Very nice information IAN, I actually never thought about View Through Conversion.. This is something new for me , Thanks for Sharing this..
PPC Ian says
Thanks for the comment, Kashif! Very much appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed the post!
Alex Czarto says
A great method of calculating the value of your VTCs is to run an A/B test: Show your ad to 50% of the users, and a blank or PSA ad to the other 50%. Then calculate the additional lift produced by your actual ad vs the placebo.
I did a writeup on my results here: