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Can We Trust View-Through Conversions? An Experiment Reveals!

Can We Trust View-Through Conversions? An Experiment Reveals!

Because display ads tend to have low conversion rates, many advertisers (or their clients) are quick to question their effectiveness and profitability.The truth is, display ads can have a strong positive impact on your conversion rates—but oftentimes indirectly, making it hard to track or measure.

One metric designed to help us out with that is view-through conversions. Even still, many question the validity of this metric. Can we trust it? In this post, we’re going to cover

What view-through conversions are.
An interesting experiment conducted to test their validity.
Tips on how to track and use this metric.

To understand this PPC metric, it’s best to first define a direct conversion (or click-through conversion). If a user sees your ad, clicks on it, and follows through with obtaining the offer, this is called a direct conversion.

A view-through conversion, on the other hand, happens when a user sees your ad, does NOT click on it, but then later returns to your site (whether by organic search or direct) and completes any sort of conversion action then.

The view-through conversion is only counted if it occurs within a certain number of days after a user sees your ad. This is called the conversion window, lookback window, or attribution window, and you can set it to be anywhere from one to 30 days.

However, the more time that elapses between an impression and a conversion, the less certain it becomes that it was that one ad’s impression that influenced the conversion. After all, a person will encounter a lot of material in the 30 days after seeing an ad that could also play a role in whether they return to your site and convert.

As a result, shorter lookback windows are best for the most realistic and accurate data.

View-through conversions are important in understanding the true value of your display ads.

But can we trust view-through conversions? (experiment)

This question is by no means a new one, but when it came up for the folks over at PPC agency Teamedia, they took a unique approach in answering it.

When one of their clients saw that the Display remarketing campaign wasn’t generating many conversions, they requested to stop it and reallocate resources to more profitable ad types.

However, the client was only looking at direct conversions, and almost 50% of the campaign’s total conversions were view-throughs.

Even still, the client didn’t think that view-throughs should be counted while calculating the total campaign’s CPA; and without counting view-throughs, the campaign wasn’t meeting the target KPI.

The question

View-through conversions are a measure of how often seeing an ad influences a person to later return to your site and convert. But how do you know that a user is actually seeing the ad?

Yes, Google Ads tells us that an impression is considered a “view” when at least 50% of the ad is onscreen for at least one second. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a user has seen the ad.

How can we trust that these aren’t just fake or made-up numbers Google uses so we’ll keep running our Display ads?

The experiment

So, the folks at Teamedia set up an experiment to see whether view-through conversions were accurately measuring the influence of their client’s Display campaign on future website conversions.

After letting the original campaign run for 30 days, they paused it and then launched a clone of it, but this time with a completely blank banner ad. That’s right, blank white space, no headline, no description, no nothing.

And surprisingly enough, Google approved and served it!

So this way, if Google recorded any view-through conversions from this ad, Teamedia would know that this metric is not trustworthy.

In other words, since view-throughs say that seeing your ad influenced a user to go to your site later—any view-throughs from this invisible ad would be bogus since there was nothing to see.

The results

The original Display campaign (with the regular banner ad) generated 2,418,973 impressions and nine view-through conversions.

The test campaign (with the invisible ad) generated 315,677 impressions and zero view-through conversions.

Teamedia also checked the time lag report in Google Ads to verify that for the past 90 days, all view-through conversions happened within one day after seeing the ad (which was the setting they chose).

So:

Regular ad: 2,418,973 impressions, nine view-through conversions.
Invisible ad: 315,677 impressions, zero view-through conversions.
Conclusions

A few caveats:

This was, of course, a small experiment done for one campaign on one account.
View-through conversions will never be as certain a metric as click-through conversions, since there is no way to concretely measure a view (let alone any resulting subconscious behaviors) versus a click.
It’s possible that the absence of view-through conversions in the test campaign was simply due to the lower volume of impressions.
Regardless, we like Teamedia’s creativity of thinking here! And for the sake of this campaign, they could use these results to suggest to their client that view-through conversions can be trusted as an accurate indicator that the display remarketing ad in question was indeed influencing website conversions.

In other words, their client was thinking that the remarketing audiences they were targeting would return to their site and convert anyway, without the display ads. Teamedia used view-through conversions to show them otherwise, and then ran the blank banner ad test to show them that view-throughs could be trusted.

So if this experiment boosts your confidence in view-throughs (or even introduces you to them!), we have some tips on how to use your view-through conversion data.

Gauge brand awareness

There are many different ways to measure brand awareness, such as through branded search volume, social media mentions, and more. But if you see your view-through conversion rate increasing without having made any changes to the copy and creative of your Display ads, this could be a sign that your brand awareness is getting stronger.

Measure memorability

This post provides some insightful tips on using view-through conversions. The first is that eye-catching ads may produce direct conversions, but memorable ads can lead to those indirect view-through conversions. So you can use this metric to run A/B tests and identify which ads are more “sticky” than others.

Rhyming is a psychological copywriting tactic that can make your ads more memorable. (Image source)

Get a feel for your audience’s shopping habits

The second insight from the article cited above is that view-through conversions can help you understand your audience’s shopping habits. You can get a feel for which of your products or services your audience buys spur of the moment (click-through conversions), versus which ones take more time for a decision (view-through conversions).

Optimize placements

View-through conversions help us to identify if some display or video placements are more powerful than others. For example, let’s say you have the same display ad running on two different pages, each one with the same click-through conversion rate. They’re performing equally, right? Not necessarily. If one placement is showing more view-through conversions than the other, you’ve just identified  placement optimization opportunities.

Image source

How do you track view-through conversions?

So all we have left is, how exactly do you track view-through conversions so you can make the above optimizations?

As long as you have conversion tracking set up, you can see view-through conversion data in two different ways.

Google Ads analytics

On Google Ads, you can modify your columns so that it appears in the “Campaigns” view.

This is the tool Teamedia used to measure view-throughs in their experiment.

Google Analytics

In Google Analytics, view-through conversion data is available through the GDN impression reporting feature.

Go to Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels

If you want detailed reports and deep analyses on view-through conversions, you would need additional conversion tracking software. However, either of the two methods above should suffice in being able to optimize your campaigns according to this metric.

A creative approach to view-through validity

For many PPC metrics, different advertisers have different viewpoints on them, depending on their experiences as well as the industry, account setup, and overall marketing strategy of the business being advertised.

And by their nature, view through-conversions have always been on the more fuzzy side of things.

But Teamedia’s approach—using view-throughs to demonstrate the value of a Display campaign, and then running a blank campaign to demonstrate the value of view-throughs—was a great one in determining the validity of this metric to their campaign.

Thank you to Zinaida Pchelintseva and her team at Teamedia—a performance marketing agency specializing in paid acquisition for SaaS businesses.

S&P, NASDAQ Snap 3-Day Skids Amid CPI and Earnings Reports

This story originally appeared on Zacks

SPECIAL ALERT: Remember, the October episode of the Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session is now available for viewing! Don’t miss your chance to hear:▪ Sheraz Mian and Jeremy Mullin Agree to Disagree on whether the market top is in or has further to go  ▪ Kevin answers questions covering the recent pullback, and where we go from here in Zacks Mailbag▪ Sheraz and Jeremy choose one portfolio to give feedback for improvement▪ Market conditions from both fundamental and technical views▪ The full list of top-performing stocks over the past 30 days▪ New stocks added to the Zacks Ultimate portfolio▪ And much moreSimply log on to Zacks.com and view the October episode here. And please let us know what you think of these monthly episodes. Email all feedback to mailbag@zacks.com.The market had a lot of stuff to process on Wednesday from hot-button issues like inflation and the tapering timeline, but the S&P and NASDAQ still managed to snap their three-day losing streaks. Meanwhile, the country’s largest bank provided a solid start to earnings season.  The CPI report was the big news of the day, especially as global supply chain issues exacerbate the inflation problem and threaten to limit the economic recovery. Consumer prices jumped 0.4% in September and surged 5.4% year-over-year.These results are abnormally high, but they’re only slightly worse than expected by about 0.1% for each time frame. So we were spared the super spicy number that could have wreaked havoc in an already skittish market. In fact, one of our editors called this a “goldilocks” result.  Meanwhile, the Fed minutes from the September meeting were released, which showed the Committee getting more comfortable with tapering. In fact, it could begin as soon as mid-November and end in mid-2022. As with the CPI number, there was really no eye-bulging surprises here. Investors already knew that inflation is on the rise (but hopefully transitory) and that a taper is right around the corner.As a result, the market fought back from some early sluggishness. The S&P rose 0.30% to 4363.80, while the NASDAQ was the big winner with an advance of 0.73% (or about 105 points) to 14,571.63. Both of these indices ended three-day skids that began on Friday with that disappointing jobs report.And then there’s the Dow. The index recovered from an approximately 250-point deficit early Wednesday, but doesn’t get to join its counterparts on the plus side. It ended the day at 34,377.81, which means it was down by less than a point! Technically, it’s now on a four-day losing streak.The CPI and Fed minutes overshadowed the start of earnings season on Wednesday, but we’re just getting started with these reports. And it was a pretty good start with JPMorgan (JPM) announcing a solid quarter that included a positive earnings surprise of nearly 25%. As you might expect though, shares of the banking giant were down 2.6% in the session.Our Director of Research Sheraz Mian made JPM a focus in his latest Earnings Trends piece entitled “Solid Start to Q3 Earnings Season”.Tomorrow’s major reports among the financial giants include Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Citigroup (C) all before the market open. Other noteworthy reports include Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) and UnitedHealth (UNH), among several others.In addition to the earnings reports, Thursday will also include the weekly jobless claims number and the PPI report. So get ready for another day of inflation and earnings. Today’s Portfolio Highlights:Home Run Investor: Energy prices are soaring these days, so Brian thought this was a good time to add exposure to the oil & gas E&P space. On Wednesday, the portfolio picked up Northern Oil and Gas (NOG), a company based in Minnesota that should capitalize on plunging winter temperatures in the Midwest. NOG topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the past four quarters… and still managed an average surprise of 19% in that time. In other words, the beats are big and the earnings estimates are rising, which explains its status as a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The complete commentary has a lot more on the addition of NOG, as well as the subtractions of Stride (LRN) and Euroseas (ESEA).    Surprise Trader: Sometimes the lower expectations of a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) can “catch the market off guard with a good earnings number”, especially if it has a positive Earnings ESP. That’s what Dave was thinking when he added Heartland Express (HTLD) on Wednesday. The company is part of the Transportation – Truck space, which is in the Top 10% of the Zacks Industry Rank. HTLD doesn’t announce the date of its earnings report, but it usually comes around the second week of October. Therefore, the editor is expecting it very soon. The stock has come down considerably off the 52-week highs and is now near support in this $16 area. Dave added HTLD today with a 12.5% allocation, while also selling Costco (COST) after failing to get a post earnings drift higher. The complete commentary has more on all of today’s moves.  Stocks Under $10: Given the surge in oil of late, Brian wouldn’t be surprised if we see $100 per barrel or more soon. If that were to happen, it would be bad news for the portfolio’s transportation names. Therefore, the editor eliminated the service’s exposure to the space on Wednesday by selling Diana Shipping (DSX), Corporacion America Airports S.A. (CAAP) and Pangaea Logistics (PANL). DSX was the big winner with a 14% return in about four months, while CAAP brought a little over 5% in just under six months.Value Investor: It was another good session for InMode (INMD), as this radio-frequency medical technologies company gained 13.8% on Wednesday after providing a third-quarter outlook that was ahead of Wall Street expectations. INMD has actually been on a tear ever since Tracey added the name back in April 2020. The stock is currently the best performer in the portfolio by a wide margin with a surge of more than 600% since inception! INMD is also one of the biggest winners over the past 30 days by rising 39.4%.All the Best,Jim Giaquinto
Recommendations from Zacks’ Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks’ private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we’ve made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks’ portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we’ve predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to “test drive” Zacks Ultimate for FREE > >  Zacks Investment Research

Nutrien (NTR) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

This story originally appeared on Zacks

In the latest trading session, Nutrien (NTR) closed at $70.48, marking a -0.2% move from the previous day. This change lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.3%.

– Zacks

Prior to today’s trading, shares of the producer of potash and other fertilizers had gained 15.69% over the past month. This has outpaced the Basic Materials sector’s loss of 2.71% and the S&P 500’s loss of 2.37% in that time.Wall Street will be looking for positivity from NTR as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be November 1, 2021. In that report, analysts expect NTR to post earnings of $1.20 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 421.74%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $5.76 billion, up 37.04% from the year-ago period.For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $5.01 per share and revenue of $25.22 billion, which would represent changes of +178.33% and +20.92%, respectively, from the prior year.Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for NTR. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company’s business outlook.Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 1.55% higher. NTR is currently a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).Valuation is also important, so investors should note that NTR has a Forward P/E ratio of 14.11 right now. This valuation marks a no noticeable deviation compared to its industry’s average Forward P/E of 14.11.Investors should also note that NTR has a PEG ratio of 1.76 right now. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock’s expected earnings growth rate. The Fertilizers was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.48 at yesterday’s closing price.The Fertilizers industry is part of the Basic Materials sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 37, putting it in the top 15% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.
Zacks Names “Single Best Pick to Double”
From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.
You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it’s poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up > >Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Nutrien Ltd. (NTR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here.