Do Google AdWords View-Through Conversions Have Value?

August 5th, 2013 by Spencer Daniels

BLOG-viewthroughJPOGBefore we start dissecting Google AdWords View-through Conversions and their role in AdWords management, let’s first get a basic understanding of what a View-Through conversion is: A View-Through Conversion (VTC) occurs when an image or rich media ad is shown to an individual who ends up completing a conversionary action on your site without ever clicking on an image or rich media ad prior to the conversion. The window in which a View-Through Conversion can be recorded is defaulted to 30 days, but you can decrease the window to coincide with your marketing goals.

Here’s a real-life example of a View-Through Conversion: you’re on Forbes.com and you see an image ad for sporting equipment. You decide not to click on the ad, and continue browsing on Forbes.com. The next day, you end up visiting and making a purchase from the site that had displayed the sporting equipment ad to you on Forbes.com. This counts as a VTC because you saw, but did not click, on the image ad that was shown. It does not matter how you ended up getting to the site, whether organically, directly typing in the URL or even clicking on a search engine-based ad, as long as you didn’t click on an image or rich media ad and converted within the VTC window, it will count as a VTC.

The value of a View-Through Conversion is widely debated in the internet marketing world. Questions arise pertaining to the effect an unclicked image or rich media has on customer’s conversion path. Had the ad not been there, would they have gone to the website and converted anyway? Since they did not click on the ad, did they not like it? Did they even see it? Was the last click conversion purely a coincidence or did the ad play a pivotal role in the path towards a conversion? Unfortunately, we don’t have a definitive answer to these questions without the solution to the chaos theory or Doc Brown’s time-traveling DeLorean. What we do have is lots and lots of data that can be analyzed to find trends in Google’s Display Network View-Through Conversion behavior.

There were many ways to approach our data in hopes to find behavioral spikes in VTCs; I chose to focus on the size of an image ad and the correlation it had on their conversion rates and the corresponding VTC rates. I used data from seven ecommerce-based businesses, where the conversionary action is the purchase of a physical product, then segmented the data for three different ad sizes; 160×600, 728×90 and 300×250. I only included data from ad groups that had all three sizes and used the same ad theme for each size to avoid favoritism in ad copy style.

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By analyzing the data one thing becomes apparent: View-through Conversions do matter. The data reveals VTC rates and regular conversion rates follow the same trend line when segmented by ad size. If the conversion rates were higher for a particular ad size, then the VTC rates were also higher. This means VTCs are not random in relation to ad size. The greater the conversion rate, the greater the View-through Conversion rate.

Without acknowledging the plentiful uncontrolled variables, and there are many, we’ve determined that view-through conversions are not completely bogus. The data may be raw but it cannot be ignored. As time progresses and technology advances we will be able to obtain more concrete data (e.g. http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/06/see-full-impact-of-unclicked-display.html.) Until then, we will have to be satisfied that we answered at least one of the many VTC-orientated questions; does an unclicked ad have an effect on the path to a conversion? Yes.


Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Call Extensions

July 17th, 2013 by Steve Butler

BLOG-CallExtensionsAs time winds down to the “Courtesy Upgrade” of your Google AdWords account, here are a few things that we’ve learned along the upgrade way.  Some of these you may already know; others may be a revelation to you. Either way, I hope these tips and tricks help you through the Google AdWords Enhanced Campaign conversion process and simplify the required ppc management.

Click to Call: Some of you might want shoppers on Mobile devices to call only instead of visiting the website.  While that might makes perfect sense when someone is in the office to answer the phone, a visit to the website might be far more valuable after hours. Enhanced Campaigns provide us with the ability to direct mobile clicks to calls ONLY during office hours, and after hour clicks will all be routed to the website automatically.

To accomplish this, just visit the Call Extension tab in AdWords.  Once there, edit your current Call Extension (or add a new one) and click the Start/end dates, scheduling button.  From there, you’ll be able to modify the Call Extension to show ONLY when you actually want calls to be received. Here’s an example of this in practice:

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Convert all Google AdWords campaigns at the same time or not: My suspicion is that one or more of you have been in a situation where you’ve added a new campaign in the Enhanced format, but did not have time quite yet to upgrade the other Legacy campaigns.  Once you add that new campaign in an Enhanced Campaign format, Google will likely ask you to upgrade the Call Extension for it. All will be fine until the time that you get around to upgrading the other Legacy campaigns. We’ve found that the other Legacy campaigns that are upgraded at that future date will lose the Call Extensions that were associated with them prior to upgrade.

It’s an easy fix, but something to be on the lookout for. As soon as you upgrade the other Legacy campaigns, just enter each of these campaigns and add the new Enhanced Call Extension (created when you added that new campaign mentioned above) to each of your original campaigns.


Use Timing Parameters on Google AdWords Sitelinks

June 17th, 2013 by Jack ODonnell
Did you know you can set up Scheduling for your Sitelinks in your Google AdWords campaigns?
Let’s say if a customer orders by 2PM during a business work day, you are able to ship their order the same day.  You can set up a Sitelink that announces that fact – Your Order Ships Today — and use the Sitelink Scheduling feature to only have that particular Sitelink running from Midnight to 2PM during the work week.
When you Edit a Sitelink, you are presented with an option to Create a custom schedule for that Sitelink.  In this area, you can choose particular days or stretch of days, and also choose times of day when this particular Sitelink will show up to the searcher.  You can choose All days, Monday to Friday, or even set up a schedule for individual days of the week.
You could also design a custom landing page on your website that reaffirms this to a searcher who clinks on that Sitelink.  Perhaps even include a timer countdown on this customized landing page with a strong call to action to create a sense of urgency and get the user to complete their transaction.  This can be a good way to take advantage of your company’s efficiency and give a potential customer a strong feeling of satisfaction from their purchase.
You can also set a Start Date and an End date for your Google AdWords Sitelinks if you want to run a promotional special only for a certain time frame.   Again, you could create a custom landing page on your site to use in conjunction with this special promotional Sitelink to reinforce the special offer’s message.

BLOG-TimingParametersDid you know you can set up scheduling for Sitelinks in your Google AdWords campaigns?

Let’s say if a customer orders by 2 PM during a business work day, you are able to ship their order the same day. You can set up an AdWords Sitelink that announces that fact — Your Order Ships Today — and use the Sitelink Scheduling feature to only have that particular Sitelink running from Midnight to 2 PM during the work week.

When you edit an AdWords Sitelink, you are presented with an option to create a custom schedule for that Sitelink. In this area, you can choose particular days or stretch of days, and also choose times of day when this particular Sitelink will show up to the searcher. You can choose All Days, Monday to Friday, or even set up a schedule for individual days of the week.

timing

You could also design a custom landing page on your website that reaffirms this to a searcher who clicks on that AdWords Sitelink. Perhaps even include a timer countdown on this customized landing page with a strong call to action to create a sense of urgency and get the user to complete their transaction. This can be a good way to take advantage of your company’s efficiency and give a potential customer a strong feeling of satisfaction from their purchase.

You can also set a Start Date and an End date for your Google AdWords Sitelinks if you want to run a promotional special only for a certain time frame. Again, you could create a custom landing page on your site to use in conjunction with this special promotional Sitelink to reinforce the special offer’s message.