A big recent change to Google AdWords will dramatically change the way you optimize your campaigns. Specifically, the change is impacting view-through conversions (VTC). This may seem like an overly technical thing that most Google advertisers may have never even heard of, but it is actually something useful for campaigns of all sizes. We all know what a conversion is. People buy something on your website or fill out a form -- Google AdWords sees that as a conversion.
For the sake of making this simple, every conversion is a product purchase. View-through conversions are nearly the same as a regular conversion except that right before buying, people saw an ad, didn’t click on it but bought the product anyway. In other words, with VTC, people buy after seeing an ad but not clicking on it. That’s the main difference between a VTC and a regular conversion. In regular conversions, a click is a necessary for it to count.
VTCs have existed for a long time on Google. What has changed is the time window that Google uses to track between people viewing and people buying. Up until March 29, 2017, Google would tell you if there was a VTC for up to 30 days. It's now been reduced to one day.
For example, let's say you Google “fuzzy socks” and click on a www.fuzzysocks.com ad, but you don’t feel like buying anything. Then, you go to another website and see the remarketing campaign for fuzzy socks and decide you need them and can’t live without them. You go to www.fuzzysocks.com and purchase the socks. That counts as a conversion.
Then there is this scenerio. You Google “fuzzy socks” and click on a www.fuzzysocks.com ad, but you don’t feel like buying anything. You go to another website, see the remarketing campaign for fuzzy socks and ignore them. Two weeks later, you decide you need the socks and can’t live without them, so you go to www.fuzzysocks.com and make a purchase. That would count as a VTC up until March 29 because the purchase happened within 30 days of you originally viewing the ad. Now, it all has to happen in one day in order to count as a VTC. What does that mean for businesses? It makes a huge difference for businesses if people make a purchase or and fill out a contact form.
VTCs are essential to calculate the success of your campaigns. Here are the five reasons why every business should use VTCs as their main metric for all of their campaigns.
1. VTCs give you more accurate ROI calculations.
If you can use VTCs to determine whether a keyword or an ad is converting well, you might end up having more conversions in your account at the end of the day. The cost per conversion will be lower, and the margin calculation will be different. The calculation that you use to allocate how much you want to spend in advertising will be different as well. This is important for ROI because in the end, it will determine how much you spend during the campaign.
2. The new model actually makes sense to have it in your calculations.
Because it’s not 30 days, now it directly correlates to the work you are doing in advertising. Not only is it much more relevant, it would be a mistake not to include it because it’s a direct consequence of the adwork that you are doing.
3. Mobile to desktop or vice-versa? You can tell!
By including VTCs in your campaigns, you will be able to see, for example, whether somebody is converting from a desktop after they saw an ad on mobile without clicking the ad. Google has launched cross device conversion tracking so if you click on mobile but buy on desktop, they can still track the conversion. This change allows businesses to track conversions across devices.
4. You won't doubt your keywords again.
Keywords that you may be underestimating in terms of importance may be just the ones that bring you business. VTC data gives you the opportunity to evaluate things at a much better scale.
5. Display ads may be a wise branding move.
Because they are getting VTCs, but not direct conversions, it may be a good idea to keep placements running even though they don’t get that many clicks. They are helping you increase the overall amount of sales.
Overall, VTCs will definitely help businesses. You'll have a competitive advantage when it comes to getting better conversions at a lower cost.