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Display advertising Key Performance Indicators

After almost 7 years in the digital advertising industry, one thing still gets me; most agencies do not understand the key performance indicators for different digital mediums. Agency after agency, continue to measure click-thru rate (CTR). At the end of campaigns, these same agencies cannot explain variances in CTR from one campaign to another, so they simply blame the website for a lack of performance.

This lack of understanding could be setting businesses back. First, let’s discuss display advertising and the purpose it serves. Second, the number one key performance indicator. Third, how to validate your website traffic is getting to the right audience.

Display Advertising is About Awareness

Display advertising is an awareness platform no matter how targeted it is. Going back to college marketing, we all may remember the 4P’s (Price, Product, Place, and Promotion). Consumers need to be aware of the 4P’s if they are to become motivated to purchase your product. The easiest way to think about this, if someone doesn’t know a product exists, can they search for it? The answer is no. If they are unaware of your promotion, are they guaranteed to purchase this month, etc.? Maybe.

What is the Key Performance Indicator of Display Ads?

So what is the key performance indicator of Display ads? This depends on how you are paying for them, Cost Per Thousand (CPM), Cost Per Click (CPC), or Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). If you are paying a CPM, then serving to your target audience is your key performance indicator. Thus, if an agency is measuring clicks, you could miss your target audience in the future. How does that work? Let’s start with creative, a poor call to action would typically result in a poor CTR. Better yet, what if your promotion isn’t enticing enough? That too might result in a poor CTR. However, despite all of this, you could be serving your ad to the right people, they just are not motivated to click it.

UTM Codes for Display Advertising

Ok, the campaign is running and delivery is my new KPI. How do I know I’m hitting the right people? This is where Google Analytics (link) comes into play. Every display campaign should be tagged with a UTM code (link), allowing you to gauge audience information for those who do click. Using analytics, you can now see information specifically about your campaign under: Campaigns>All Campaigns. Click the campaign and you will see everything about it sessions, % new sessions, new users, bounce rate, etc. Last, of all, add a secondary dimension. My favorite is User>City. Now you can see where your traffic is coming from. You may have an issue if most of your traffic is coming from somewhere outside your selected geo-radius. I see this a lot with programmatic advertising solutions.

Data-Driven Digital Advertising

Compiling this data and tracking it over time is a lot of work, here at Actuate Media, it’s just part of the partnership and the value we bring to the table.

Actuate Media is a digital advertising agency in Seattle, WA. Our team has run hundreds of digital advertising campaigns nationwide including PPC Search Marketing, SEO, Display Advertising, Video Advertising, and more. We are proud to have completed Google Partner’s Specialist Challenge and we are Google Adwords & Analytics, certified specialists. Our agency implements a data-driven approach connecting advertising results and analytics, aggregating the data for future analysis allowing our partners to make smart advertising decisions in the future to gain a competitive advantage.

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