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View-through conversions

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# 1
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The AdWords help site contains a section that explains what view-through conversions are. The first sentence reads:

"A View-through Conversion happens when a customer sees an image or rich media ad, then later completes a conversion on your site."

My question is regarding the timing of the conversion. From the AdWords definition, I would think that the customer would have to complete a conversion after they viewed the ad, not before.

I launched a display campaign and on the first day it was active it displayed 20k impressions, 21 clicks and 7,335 view-through conversions. The count of view-through conversions dropped drastically in the following days.   When I looked at the conversion data in the "Conversions" section of the AdWords admin site and my Analytics, I had no conversions for the first day. It appears to me that the count of 7,335 view-through conversions are referring to customers that had made a conversion before seeing the ad. These conversions could have been triggered by either an AdWord tag for a previous campaign or an Analytics conversion.

Question: Are view-through conversions counted when a customer makes a conversion before or after seeing an ad?

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by CocoP (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: View-through conversions

Community Manager
# 13
Community Manager

Hi guys,

 

There's a lot of juicy stuff in this thread, so let me know if I'm missing the main questions.

 

It sounds like you're seeing a lot more VTCs than you are impressions. This can happen if you're using automatic placements. Some placements won't show impression data if the number of impressions on a given day are below a certain threshold and 0 clicks have occurred. This is only for automatic placements and not managed placements.

 

So you could see a high VTC number given the impressions count, but some of the impressions may not be reporting, if they're coming from automatic placements with low impressions/no clicks.

 

The VTC number won't be affected by this, however. It pulls from the conversion tracking setup and there's no de-duplication for conversions by user (if a user from one impression completes 10 conversions, 10 VTCs are counted).

 

And just to address a question from one of the replies: a VTC conversion would only be counted AFTER the user has seen the ad.

 

And to address another question: VTCs are a distinct metric in AdWords. They are not aggregated in your Conversions (one-per-click) or Conversions (many-per-click) totals because a click didn't happen. So that's why the number isn't going to match there.
And by default, you conversions in AdWords don't match Analytics conversion (either goal tracking or Ecommerce) in Analytics. You have to set them up so that they're tracking the exact same thing. And even then, discrepancies are expected.

 

Hope this helps!

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Jeff S
September 2015

Re: View-through conversions

Community Manager
# 17
Community Manager
Hi Jeff,

A couple things here:
(1) The VTC total isn't going to match the conversion total of 2 for that first week, because VTCs aren't calculated in the regular conversion totals in AdWords.
(2) If you were seeing these numbers of VTCs, then it would be coming from where your AdWords conversion tracking code is placed (not which Analytics goals are being tracked). But your main assumption is correct: if your Analytics goal is tracking the same thing as your AdWords conversion, then I would expect the conversion total in Analytics to (roughly) account for both VTCs and regular AdWords conversions.

I do hear that you don't think the code was placed in spots on the site that could yield such a high number of VTCs, so you may want to get in touch with our support team so they can look into your specific account to shed light on where those VTCs came from. Here's how you can reach us: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1385067

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Re: View-through conversions

[ Edited ]
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello Jeff !

 

They are counted after somebody sees an Ad and completes a conversion. What you are seeing must be an error since only a fraction of adwords conversions are preceded by impressions of "image ads" from display campaigns.

 

How long has it been since you installed the conversion tracking code .

 

Have you installed it long before enabling the Display Campaign ?

Do you have a search campaign too ?

Re: View-through conversions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Adrian,

Thank you for the quick response and your time.

1) I've had the Adwords tracking code embedded in my site for years, probably 3-4. About two months ago I started creating goals for conversions in Analytics.

2) Yes, the Adwords tracking code was installed long before this display campaign.

3) Yes, I've had active search campaigns in the past but not currently.

Re: View-through conversions

Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

As demonstrated in the experiment from the link bellow, with a blank display Ad, the view through conversions are only an attempt to attribute value to placements which do not have enough value with direct conversions. You wouldn't delete a placement if it has 1 conversion but on the "view through conversion" column it has 100 because it is assumed that "image ads" influenced other conversions to happen.

 

http://czarto.com/2013/05/29/calculating-the-value-of-your-view-through-conversions/

 

Only if 7000 conversions happened on you site ( from paid or organic visits) from the time you enabled at least 1 image ad , that counter for view-through conversions would have been right. But it cannot be. Maybe if you double-check it again in a few days the data will adjust like it happens for invalid clicks.

 

 

Re: View-through conversions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Adrian,

Yes, it must be that the numbers are incorrect. The campaign has been running for two weeks. After the first day the view-through totals per day dropped to 500-1,000. On a good day I'll have maybe 50 real conversions.

Thanks again for your help.

Re: View-through conversions

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Hi Jeff,

" 1) I've had the Adwords tracking code embedded in my site for years, probably 3-4. About two months ago I started creating goals for conversions in Analytics."

This means every AdWords-source conversion will be counted twice in both the Analytics and AdWords reports, once for the code and once for the goal. You should probably delete one other the other. If this is eCommerce and you are tracking the value with the AdWords conversion code, I would keep that one.

Did this error show up when you created goals? What's the comparison of goal completions to real conversions? How did you set up the goals (exact, head match, regular expression)? Can the URL of the goal completion page be the same for other pages? In some shopping carts, the URL stays the same all the way through the checkout process. This kind of setup would count a goal completion for each step in the check out process.

Just a couple ideas for you.

Best of Luck!

Pete

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: View-through conversions

[ Edited ]
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

@petebardo In what situations can view through numbers become higher than the number of tracked adwords conversions ? For example can view through be incremented even for organic conversions ?

Re: View-through conversions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
@petebardo

I see no evidence of conversions being counted twice in the Adwords or Analytics and they seem very accurate. My issue is that the view-through conversions counts are significantly higher than the actual conversion totals in either the "Conversions" report in AdWords admin or my Analytics

Re: View-through conversions

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor
HI Jeff S,

Just gave it a shot. I have no idea other than what I've already posted.

@Adrin, view-through conversions are from people who have seen the display ad but have not clicked on it. If they convert later from any source, including organic, that would increment the view-through count.

It makes no sense at all for the view-through conversion count to be higher than the total conversions for the same period. One thing I don't know is which date the conversion is posted with. For other AdWords conversions, the date of the conversion is reported on the date of the click. For consistency, I would think view-through conversions would be reported the same way. The documentation indicates all conversions are reported on the date of the original ad click, but in this case there was no click.

The part of this that is the most concerning is "After the first day the view-through totals per day dropped to 500-1,000. On a good day I'll have maybe 50 real conversions." That's 10 to 20 times the number of real conversions.

Sorry I couldn't be more help, Jeff.

Pete

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: View-through conversions

Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
Good , so a probable cause could be 7000 , 30 days old organic conversions that lead to the incrementation of the view through ? That is still unrealistic it would mean that at least 7000 ad impressions were served to 7000 different people who all converted. Does a view through get incremented for many per click conversions meaning that maybe 7 people ordered each 1000 products after an organic visit ?