Getting Through by Click and by View


Two of the key measuring sticks for advertisers running online ad campaigns are click-through rates and view-through conversions. Of the two, view through conversions are more important to advertisers, yet both metrics are used interchangeably to a fault by many marketers. Let’s learn the differences between these two below, and see how web users interact with ads, from the initial click and view to the conversions.

Click-Through Rates

Click-through rates (CTRs) measures the percentage of users who clicked through your link on your email blast, social message or display ad, compared to the total number of web visitors who viewed these elements. CTRs are measured by averages, by format (PPC) and other ways. Recent stats show that about 90% of clicks come from 5% of Web users. The majority of web users are not inclined to click on ads, but they are still used by advertisers, even though CTR rates are not an accurate measure of ad effectiveness.

There is also PPC CTR, which is the click through rate for your PPC ads. The higher the amount of click-throughs for your PPC ad essentially means that a large percentage of web users clicked your ad. The general formula for CTR is this: Click-through rate = Total PPC ad clicks on Ad/Total Ad Impressions.

Basic CTR shows the rate of ad clicks to the average impressions in your AdWords campaigns. This formula works in AdWords across your individual keywords.

Click-Through Conversions

When visitors see your ads, they click on it. Those who follow through to convert make up your click-through conversions. That’s the percentage of those clicks that converted compared to the total number of ad clicks received.

High percentages of click-through rates on ads have numerous benefits for advertisers, including a higher overall quality score, higher impression shares (how often your ad is served), lower CPC costs and more favorable ad rankings from Google.

View-Through Conversions

View-through conversions (VTCs) are more important in the overall marketing mix. VTCs happen when a web visitor is shown your ad, and doesn’t immediately click on the ad, but later returns to your website for a conversion.

This metric offers better insights to marketers about the responses of their targeted audiences. Maybe they didn’t click on the ad, but they indeed converted at your site later on. That’s the ROI of view-through conversions that matters most to help marketers. VTCs bring more value to clients and help marketers deliver better ROI on display ad campaigns over a longer period.

The view-through rate is calculated by total number of view-through conversions / total number of impressions.

View-through conversions benefit brands in several ways:

  • - View-through conversions show advertisers that their display ads *are* working, though maybe later in the customer’s journey through the sales funnel. View-through conversions matter more for those who are higher in the funnel, and thus more apt to look seriously at a purchase on your site.
  • - VTCs can help lift a website higher in search rankings. When display ads turn into conversions, that shows that the ads are relevant and helpful to users, and thus deserving of a higher ad ranking.
  • - View-through conversions also show advertisers different considerations about the impact of some of the ads. The results can impact how a web user later decides to visit a site for a conversion, how the audience shopping habits are changing, the quality of the ad placements, and more.

To see how your display ad campaigns stack up against other industry leaders, click over to Google Display Benchmarks for a variety of measurement opportunities.