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What Is View-Through Conversion Window?

February 11, 2021 DJ Team

View-Through Conversion Window

Most businesses are tracking click-through conversions, where a user clicks an ad or other link, gets to your website, and makes a purchase or contacts your sales team.

But there’s also a possibility to gain insight into the behavior of consumers who haven’t clicked a link at all. This is called view-through conversion tracking.  When someone sees your ad, then makes a buying decision, this means they viewed your ad from a distance, then followed through later on their own. Hence, view-through!

You might be wondering, “how do I track view-through conversions?” The answer is as much about your analytics tools as the time frame you give the customer to take action. The time period between when someone sees your advertising for the first time and makes a purchase is called your view-through lookback window or view-through conversion window.

Let’s explore more about view-through conversions and how long in your buying cycle to look back and give credit to content they didn’t click on.

What Are View-Through Conversions?

We’ll start by examining the difference between view-through conversions vs impression.  You can think of a view-through conversion as the next step after an ad impression. When customers see, but don’t interact with your ad, their activity is still tracked through a tool like Google Analytics or DemandJump. If they later go to your website and complete a contact or transaction without accessing any of your other content, this is counted as a view-through conversion.

View-Through Rate Formula

Your view-through rate (VTR) is a specific kind of marketing conversion rate. So, how is VTR calculated? First, it’s important to recap that if the user clicks on any of your display or search ads, they will no longer be considered a view-through conversion, even if they have scrolled past many ads before their first click.

What counts as viewing the ad to begin with? Google’s Active View technology tracks the impression of a display ad if at least 50% of the ad is on-screen for one second or more. That might not seem like much, but if the customer ultimately goes to your site to make a purchase without consuming any other content, it’s still valuable to know this brief exposure might have contributed to their decision. Ads that appear as part of Gmail are not tracked for view-through conversions.

View-through conversion tracking is also relevant for video marketing. A lot of times, the ads before videos on YouTube or other streaming services are skippable. If the ad loads and is skipped partway through, or is offered as a thumbnail and not clicked, this counts as an impression. If the ad is watched for 30 seconds (or watched in completion if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) that is called a view.

In this case, the terminology can get a little confusing—but what’s still ultimately important is if the consumer views the ad and takes no action versus being inspired by the content to click through.

view-through lookback window

What is a Good View-Through Rate?

If you have a high click-through rate, you are necessarily going to have a low view-through rate. That is because your display or video ad is working and inspiring clicks! But especially for video ads or animated display ads, the metric of view-through rate is important as well.

For YouTube ads specifically, a 15% view-through rate is good. This means 15% of users are watching some or all of your ad, then visiting you to make a purchase or buy something later on. Your view-through conversion window is how long you keep a record of their view. Did they see the ad a week ago? A month ago? You can learn a lot about the buying cycle of your target customers by experimenting with the view-through window.

When it comes to dynamic banner ads and other display ads, you might be surprised to learn that click through rates have been steadily decreasing since 2019. Since Q1 of 2019 the effectiveness of display ads has decreased 40% or more year-over-year, to the point where the average was only 5 clicks for every 10,000 impressions, according to the last available Doubleclick data from Google. This means view-through conversion tracking for display ads is more important and valuable than ever—though what a “good” VTR is depends on each company’s ad performance, goals, and overall success at marketing conversions. This is where a comprehensive marketing attribution solution becomes very important.

Easier View-Through Conversion Attribution with DemandJump

One of the things we think is most interesting about view-through conversions is the potential to see which of your ads are making the strongest, most lasting impression on consumers.  Even if they aren’t clicking a display ad or video ad, knowing that they viewed it before making a buying decision lets you know the ad is convincing. At the same time, you can spot and fine-tune the underperformers who might be draining the efficiency from your budget.

DemandJump helps view-through conversion attribution in a number of ways through our one-stop dashboard. Our cross channel analytics platform helps you see the performance of all your ads in real-time.

The consumer insights and competitor insights integrated with DemandJump help you make informed decisions about how to edit the content of your ads to appeal better to consumers and their habits today. And deciding the next campaign to tackle is also easier with content recommendations powered by machine learning and competitor analysis.

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