See the full Impact of Unclicked Display and Video Ad Impressions using Google Analytics

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | 9:00 AM

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Every customer journey is different — a customer may see your display or video ads, receive an email, and then click through to your site from a search ad or organic search listing. Often, viewing display ads can attract your clients’ interest in your product and brand even if no click occurs. Traditionally, measurement technology separated out impressions or “view throughs” from clicks, but this separation missed out on valuable data on the impact of display advertising.

Thanks to our integration with the Google Display Network (GDN), Google Analytics can now break down the separation between clicks and impressions and give a more complete view of the customer journey. When a user views display ads on the GDN, or video ads on YouTube, and later visits your website and converts, these interactions with your brand can now be captured in Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels reporting.

GDN Impression Reporting is now available through limited whitelist. You can sign-up through this form to participate. Please note that we cannot guarantee access, but we will do our best to provide this feature to as many users as possible. Please also note that this data will only surface in the Multi-channel Funnels reports in Google Analytics. For more information on how to enable the feature in GA please see our help center article.

Read on below for more tips on how to make the most of this new feature.

How does Display fit on the conversion path?
By enabling GDN Impression Reporting in Google Analytics, you can learn how your display impressions assist your conversions.


In the Multi-Channel Funnels Overview Report you will see two additional conversion metrics. Impression Assisted Conversions shows how many of your conversion paths were touched by a display impression. Rich Media Assisted Conversions shows how many of your conversions had a rich media interaction on the path to conversion. Rich media interactions are user interaction with YouTube or rich media ad formats, such as ad expansion, video control (such as play, pause, and resume), or switching a video ad to full screen.

With the new Interaction Type selector you can now immediately filter your reports based how your users interacted with your marketing.

  • Select Impression to see conversion paths from customers who saw your GDN display ads but did not click on them.
  • Add Direct to the mix, to see who saw an ad and then visited your site directly to convert on a relevant transaction or Goal.
  • If you want to focus on Rich Media interactions, you can select this interaction type to see how your users convert after interacting with your rich media and YouTube ads.

How do I quantify the impact of display on the conversion path?
In the Multi-Channel Funnels Top Conversion Path report you can see two new path elements, which indicate the presence of a display interaction. The “eye” symbol indicates a pure display impression from a non-interactive display image. This means a user has been exposed to your display ad on the journey to conversion, without clicking on it. The “movie” symbol indicates a user has interacted with one of your Rich Media ads, such as a YouTube video ad.

Now you can see how many conversion paths, and how much associated value, has been driven through paths which benefited from a display impression or rich media interactions. To better quantify your brand targeted display efforts, consider breaking out these campaigns using custom channel grouping.



Assigning partial credit to valuable display interaction touchpoints
You can use the custom model builder from the Attribution Modeling tool to assign partial credit to these display events. Consider giving these events on the user’s conversion path more credit, and compare this against your baseline model.

We also added a new set of dimensions to help you define valuable custom segments for your analysis. Want to see how many users are watching your TrueView video ads fully? Just create a custom segment using one of our new dimensions, TrueView. The full list of new dimensions is:
  • Above the Fold: This dimension uses the Google Above the Fold measurement solution. The value is “Yes” if the ad was in the visible area of the screen when the page was loaded.
  • Video Played Percent: The value can be “>=25%”, “>=50%”, “>=75%”, and “100%”, allowing you to see how much of a video ad was watched.
  • TrueView: If a user has watched more than 30 seconds of an ad, or watched the ad completely, this will have a value of “Yes.” This is a payable event.
Enabling GDN Impression Reporting in Google Analytics
Once we have whitelisted your account, please ensure you have successfully linked your AdWords account to your Google Analytics account. Linking accounts takes just a few moments. Under ‘Data Sources’ > ‘AdWords’ you can then see an entry for each linked AdWords account. In the row there is a toggle switch named ‘GDN Impression Reports’, which turns the display impression data from the Google Display Network On and Off. Data is recorded from the time the switch is turned On.


We hope these new tools will help you understand the full impact of your display campaigns through Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution. Sign up today for GDN Impression Reporting in Google Analytics.