View-through conversion reporting on the Google Content Network

Last year we’ve written in our company blog about view through metrics, and apparently Google has listened 🙂 Last few days I discovered a cool new column in my Google AdWords panel called “view through conversions“.

These conversions, are, as Google states on their blog conversions which occurred on the target web site within 30 days of a display ad impression, in the content network. Yes, you are reading correctly – Google is reporting on conversions which occurred due to an Impression, not a Click.

This is simply HUGE.

Running display campaigns usually brings lower conversion rate and higher acquisition costs than search campaigns (except from very specific verticals). This does not mean that display does not work, it simply means that search is more goal oriented and that the display activities are geared more towards awareness and reach, and usually contribue to increase the search volume.

For example- An airline would launch a special sale on their website, and promote that sale in many online channels. In our standard conversion attribution models, we will see that the display campaigns show impression, clicks and very little to no sales at all.

However, the search volume (impressions, clicks, conversions) would amazingly soar. The soar in searches and search based conversions is much related to the fact that users see the ads in the diaply formats, assimilate the message and then when the time is right, they would search for the product or the brand, and convert.

View through conversions will let us, as campaign managers optimize our media plan not only by those display outlets which convert directly, but those which influence the audience to convert.

As website in the google content network may send clicks and lack in conversion rate or acquisition cost – but influence with its impressions on latent sales which may arrive due to direct traffic, search, email campaigns etc.

I highly recommend adding this metric to your KPI list.


Google AdWords Conversion tracking: Site Stats logo is now optional

Google AdWords
Google AdWords

I just received an email from Google AdWords stating that the annoying “stats by Google” box on the conversion pages will now be optional. This seems a really good move on their part.

Continue reading “Google AdWords Conversion tracking: Site Stats logo is now optional”

Brian Clifton on Web Metrics & His New Book

“the vast majority of web content is made up of poorly optimised websites. By that I mean poorly optimised for visibility (visitors can’t find you via the search engines) and poorly optimised for the user experience (leading to low conversion rates). These two are closely related and web analytics is the key to unlock the potential of both.” (Brian Clifton)


I just read a very good interview with Brian Clifton.
For those of you who don’t know who Brian is, he is (was) the Head of Google Analytics in EMEA, holds a Phd, a veteran to the web marketing industry and the author of the new book: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics.

Brian is now leaving Google and going back to be a Senior Strategist for Omega Digital Media – the company he founded back in 1997.
The interview is very interesting, and I just wanted to quote one sentence (at the top of this post) I feel is the essence of web analytics or Web Metrics as some call it).

Web Analytics is the place where most optimization techniques are reflected, where they can all be measured, demonstrated and leveraged. When wanting to show a client their SEO or Usability is not good enough, simply review their analytics. On the other hand, to know the problem of web sites – simply look at their web analytics – you will find the most intreaguing business aspects strengths and weaknesses of their operation. It’s not all about how many visits did I get yesterday vs. the day before – it’s the basic analysis of your business, thrugh the eyes and behavior of your customers.

Web Analytics: More on Time on Site Calculations

Following Avinash’s great post I’ve already mentioned yesterday, I re-read the entire post and more than 3o interesting comments.

The main problem as Avinash explains, is that we can’t actually calculate the time on page and time on site where we don’t have an “exit” mark.

This basically means, that most of our “bounces”, “zero” time on site and “short visits” (depending on your software verbiage) are related not only to those who close their browser right after entering your page, but to those who viewed 1 page, perhaps even for a while – but didn’t go any further.

Well I say delete them!

The problem with zero time on site

The zero time on site is screwing up the entire time on site statistics of your pages.
Here’s an example for a website we manage where the average time on site is 91 seconds.

Average Time on Site - All VisitorsAverage Time on Site - All Visitors

Looks fine to the untrained eye: 91 seconds and 2.2 pages per visit – So is this the correct number? Continue reading “Web Analytics: More on Time on Site Calculations”

Web Analytics: How Time on Site is Measured?

Avinash Kaushik (see his RSS on my homepage 🙂 ), the author of “Web Analytics – An Hour a Day” and “Occams Razor” blog, wrote an excellent and comprehensive post on the methodology behind “time on site” and “time on page” metrics.

For all of you who always wonder how this is calculated and how come sometimes the numbers don’t seem too logic – Avinash exaplains the method from A to Z in a simple and logic way. Highly recommended! Continue reading “Web Analytics: How Time on Site is Measured?”