View Through Conversions: The Most Important Metric You Probably Aren't Tracking

August 6, 2015

Do you pull off on the nearest exit whenever you see a highway billboard that catches your eye? Probably not. Just like you don’t make an instant purchase online when you see a banner ad.  Digital ads rarely lead a customer to act right away but they still play an important role in influencing future behavior. As a digital marketer, how do you know if an ad view one day leads to a conversion at another time?  Tracking and measuring view through conversions is the most effective way to quantify the impact of this common scenario. It takes into account that some ads don’t result in immediate decisions but still influence buyer behavior.

Why View Through Conversion Data Is Important

While click-through conversions get a lot of attention and can be easier to track, view through attribution is a valid metric that can help digital marketers understand the true value of their display campaigns.

Ad viewability and hover time are more strongly correlated with conversions than clicks or total impressions. -comScore, Inc. online advertising study

0.1% click through rate

According to HubSpot, the average banner ad has only a 0.1% click through rate. To put that in perspective, they point to these eye-opening stats:

  • You are more likely to complete Navy Seal training than click on a banner ad
  • You are more likely to get into MIT than click on a banner ad
  • The average person is served over 1,700 banner ads per month (do you remember any?)

By moving beyond click through metrics and factoring in view through attribution, you can quantify the benefits of engaging consumers with your brand throughout their journey. This allows digital marketers to:

  • Optimize campaign performance based on successful view through conversion rates
  • Determine the best sites and positions to advertise for maximum overall conversions
  • Gain insight into the connection between ad view and subsequent URL traffic and branded keyword searches

How to Maximize View Through Conversion Data

As digital marketers, you know brand awareness and impressions are historically difficult to tie to the bottom line. Complicating matters is the expectation from the C-Suite to show ROI and Cost Per Action. The ability to accurately track and report on this metric will improve future campaigns and the bottom line.  

If you buy AdWords and haven’t set up conversion tracking, this guide from Google will get you started. Keep in mind, according to Google, the last impression will get credit for the view through conversion and automatically excludes conversions from people who have also clicked your search or other display ads.  

Get a bigger picture in Google Analytics by clicking on “Multi-Channels Funnels” under “Conversions”. Make sure you are linked with your AdWords and using proper tagging for your URLs.  

The best solution for maximizing view through conversion data is a marketing analytics tool that allows you to dive deeper into conversion data by analyzing each customer’s path to a purchase. A marketing analytics platform gives you the ability to:

  • Measure the impact your social media channels have on brand awareness
  • Track and report on all of the touchpoints that lead to a sale and see how they correlate with one another
  • Find the right mix of touchpoints and how to use them in each channel

The ability to accurately track impressions with view through conversion data also allows digital marketers to measure true return on advertising spend. By ignoring this data or using outdated methods for measuring impressions, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to improve future campaigns and optimize your marketing budget.

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