View Through Conversion Metric in Google Adwords

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

On September 30th, Google announced the introduction of a new converison metric in Google Adwords. The new metric is called View Through Conversion and aims at offering more visibility on the performance of banner ads in the Google Content Network.

Why this metric

Ads in the Google content network usually do not perform as well as ads in the search network (some exceptions might exist) or more exactly, they do not perform in the same way.

Ads in the search network targets users searching for products or information. In this scenario, the user is the instigator; he "asks" for some sort of information and expect "answers". If your ad is relevant to the user query, he is more than likely to click on it and if your product or information matches what he is looking for, he is more than likely to purchase or convert.

Ads in the content network or more generally display ads are a bit different. In this case the user is "browsing" and not actively looking for specific information. The banner ads or text ads are here to entice him to click. As the user intent is not the same , the click-through and direct conversions are usually lower than in the search network.
However, banner ads offer more opportunities for brand exposure (branding) than search. You will be able to display your brand in a better way (image/flash) and in locations where you are more than likely to reach your target audience.

Even if it does not translate into a direct conversion, branding (banner being displayed) can result in a user searching for your brand in Google or even go to your website later on and buy your product. These indirect conversions will not be recorded under display ads or content network in your analytics report even if branding has probably contributed.
The View Through Conversion metric actually fills this gap and allows you to measure the number of conversions, which resulted from a banner being displayed.

How to use the View Through conversion metric

The main purpose of the metric is to measure the "indirect' impact of banner ads. If someone has viewed one of your banners and not clicked, but has converted in a 30 day period (whatever medium is used for the conversion), your banner will be attributed a view through converison. You can then measure the impact of each banner and optimise them accordingly.
While not perfect (the results still need to be interpreted with caution), this metric offers a good way to measure your ROI and justify your banner display spending.


Bryan said...

Haven't tried adwords yet cause don't have the $$$ for it. Reading through your article, this is a great feature that they've added.