Coming up with your ad campaign took a lot of work. You had to define your audience and your message, design your landing page and creatives, and find a company to help get your ads online. That company probably had some specific requests that you scrambled to meet too. But now that your campaign is up and running, you get to reap the benefits of all that planning, through reporting.
Digital advertising boasts quite a few benefits over traditional advertising media. Not only is digital advertising inexpensive, easy to set up, and far-reaching, but it also offers opportunities to gather detailed performance data. Unlike placing an ad in a newspaper or magazine, your digital ad can tell you what kind of people viewed it, clicked on it, and potentially even who was persuaded to buy your product. The metrics you gather depend on the type of advertising you’re running and the tracking you have set up on your site.
When you purchase ad impressions, you pay on a cost per mille (CPM) basis: a price per one thousand ad views. Targeting and reporting abilities will vary based on the ad platform you use, but you will most certainly be able to see the number of delivered impressions and the number of clicks on your ads.
Your reporting will compare the number of impressions to clicks your ad received via a click-through rate (CTR). You should expect your CTR to be under 1%; in fact 0.5% is pretty great. If you get 5 clicks from 1,000 impressions, that’s 5 people who otherwise would not have visited your website right then and there. If you paid $5 CPM, that translates into $1 per click!
It’s tempting to overemphasize CTR. After all, it may be the only performance metric you have to work with, and generating visits to your website is absolutely an important goal! However, display advertising’s main benefit is exposing your brand and message to a wide audience. Display ads are like billboards on the internet: most people aren’t going to immediately patronize a business they see advertised while driving down a highway or browsing a website, but they are more likely to recall that business when they encounter it again or are in need of the product or service it offers. They generate brand awareness which can be difficult to measure but is invaluable to your company.
On the flipside, clicks can dramatically vary in quality. Users aren’t automatically going to make a purchase when they visit your site. They might not be ready to buy just yet, or they realize your product isn’t what they wanted. This is normal and to be expected. If your ad is misleading, users are going to lose interest in your site quickly and may even be angry that they were directed there in the first place. If your landing page does not communicate what your product is and next steps to purchasing clearly, or if it has technical issues, people will give up and leave too. Another common occurrence is users accidentally clicking on an ad. Many sites and apps place ads very close to other clickable content, so inevitably some people are going to inadvertently end up on your site and will immediately return to the original site they visited. You’ve probably experienced this before: it’s very easy to do this on the small touchscreen on your smartphone.
So, how do you see what users are doing after they click on your ads? That’s where a website analytics tool will come in handy! Google Analytics is an excellent and free option, and Enradius can help you analyze and report on your data. Once you dive into your site analytics, you’ll discover that CTR is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to campaign performance data.