Taking a look at View-through Conversions at Biddable World


By Chris Lee

Google’s View-through Conversions feature in AdWords is designed to provide insights on advertisers’ site visitors who may not immediately convert a call to action but respond at a later date.

“View-through Conversions are what happens when a customer sees an ad, and then later completes a conversion on your site,” according to Google. “Google allows you to track View-through Conversions, providing insight into the holistic value of your display campaigns. For example, when someone returns to your site through a bookmark, an organic listing or direct URL and converts after seeing your image or rich media ad on the Google Display Network, you can infer that the original display ad did indeed have an impact.”

According to the organisers of Biddable World, this has been a contentious issue in the world of advertising for as long as there has been advertising: what’s the value of someone seeing an ad? Some advertisers refuse to acknowledge view-throughs, while others embrace them happily.

Advertising is everywhere

Nathan Wood, head of international search at digital agency Fresh Egg, was on hand at Biddable World to dispel myths around View-through Conversions.

“You can’t escape advertising, it is part of who we are as people,” Wood told delegates. And advertising is not necessarily a dirty word, he argued, as people celebrate innovation and therefore like imaginative ads.

Yet online advertising is held up to far more scrutiny that other marketing disciplines, Wood added.

“Clients are happy to throw money at PR, print and TV, with assumed uplift,” he said. “The key is understanding what uplift is and where it comes from.”

View-through Conversions are not really conversions; instead they’re just part of understanding the user journey, Wood told delegates, and attribution is still an issue. As an industry, Wood argued that advertisers have been obsessed with last click attribution, a long-outdated form of measurement, in his view.

What works to drive long-term conversions?

According to Wood, cognitive bias is incredibly powerful as a means to drive conversions. That means that if people are familiar with a brand then they are likely to be more positive towards it. Humour is an excellent and proven way of generating positive brand recognition and retention, and therefore fostering cognitive bias among target groups.

More repeat exposure over the long-term also leads to more favourable reactions from audience, as Wood demonstrated with a graph of click-through rates (CTRs) over time.

For Wood, key takeaways for the audience were to keep an open mind when interpreting View-through Conversion data – be sure that there are no other factors that could be leading to website traffic spikes. It is essential that advertisers do not to make knee-jerk decisions but to keep testing, especially to make sure they are getting the most out of their display platforms.

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