How to Measure Performances on the Google Display Network

Sat 24 March 2012 13:59, Gabriel Goldberg

Focus on the metrics: how to measure the performances of campaigns on the GDN ?

Targeting Google Display Network (GDN) serves many different purposes than targeting Google Search Network.  Among other uses, advertisers target the GDN to communicate promotions, introduce a new product, reach a new audience, re-enforce their brand or to stay top of mind. To put it simply, Search is generally focused on conversions while Display is oriented towards branding.

One of Google network biggest strength is the ability to measure the performances of the campaigns via different key metrics. For Search, the number of clicks, the conversion rate, etc. are the most popular metrics. But, because the GDN offers other possibilities than the Search Network (push vs. pull, conversion vs. branding), the GDN has its own key metrics. GDN is a branding tool and therefore requires to focus on branding key metrics. The key metrics used to measure and assess the quality of GDN campaigns can be divided into three big families.
How to Measure Performances on the Google Display Network

1.    Distribution/reach:

Volume of impressions: the number of impressions represents the reach of your display campaign. Remember that with the GDN you can easily define frequency capping in order to control the number of times your ad appears to a particular user/customer (for example maximum 5 impressions per user per day).
Number of pages or domains where you ads appear: this metric represents the diversity of the places where your ads were shown. This metric complements the first one because the combination of the volume of impressions (for example 1.000.000) and the number of places where the ads were displayed (for example 5.000) gives an idea of how many people were reached by the message.
Reach & Frequency: this shows the number of unique visitors who saw the ad and how often they were in contact with the ad. For example, over a given period your ads may have been seen 3 times by 1.900.000 people and 8 or more times by 800.000 people.


2. Quality/attractiveness:

CTR (click-through rate): The CTR is a good indicator of the quality and attractiveness of the message pushed to the audience. We consider a good CTR on the GDN to be around 0,10%. For example, the CTR can be used to compare the attractiveness of several ads.
Relative CTR: is a good indicator of the quality and performances of your ad compared to the competitors The relative CTR is obtained by dividing your CTR by the average CTR of all advertisers on the placements where your ads are shown.. If the relative CTR is lower than 1 it means that the campaign, ad group or display ad performs more poorly than the ads of competitors who entered the auction on the same websites. A relative CTR above 1 means that your CTR is better than the average CTR of all competitors who entered the auction for the same ad spot.


3. Impact/later interaction:

View-through conversions: are similar to post-impression conversions. A view-through conversion occurs when a user views a display ad on the GDN and later complete a conversion but without having clicked on the ad. This metric shows the impact of viewing the ad on the conversion. From the number of view-through conversions you can calculate metrics such as view-through conversions per 1.000 impressions.
Impact on the brand searches: as a result of display campaigns, you can assess the variations in the volume of searches on your brand name. This can easily be measured via the impressions on brand keywords if you have active campaigns on the Search Network.
Only for specific targeting (such as Remarketing) the conversion rate would also be a key metric to observe on the GDN.
Happy measuring!

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