Advertising Impressions & How to Track Them: A Guide
Ad impressions can be one of the most confusing digital marketing metrics to understand and track. Here's a guide to help you track impressions.
Most AdRoll clients use Google Analytics to track and measure performance. Because different marketing analytics tools use different tracking methodologies, it can sometimes be confusing to understand how your AdRoll campaign data is populating in Google Analytics.
Take the following three steps to make sure you're getting the most out of both platforms when measuring the performance of your AdRoll campaigns:
Analytics tools use slightly different methods, which result in slightly different counts but typically reveal the same overall trends. If your dashboards are showing wildly different data, it’s probably because you have varying attribution settings and windows. These are the defaults across AdRoll, AdWords, and Analytics:
There's a lot to consider when selecting an attribution model. Check out AdRoll's Blended Attribution Playbook for a detailed look at best practices by industry.
To track clicks in Google Analytics, you need to create a tracking URL, or UTM parameters, that Google Analytics can identify and associate with a specific campaign. There are several components of the tracking URL that tell Analytics where and how the visitor reached your website. Some common parameters include:
Traffic source (e.g, website, social channel)
Medium or traffic type (e.g., retargeting, demand generation)
Campaign (e.g., Facebook news feed, mobile web)
Once you've set up your UTMs, you can easily filter for AdRoll data in Google Analytics to look at the traffic and conversions your AdRoll campaigns are generating.
Q: Why can't we see AdRoll's performance in our Google Analytics account?
A: As long as UTM tags are present on all live ads with utm_source=adroll, you should be able to filter for AdRoll conversions. Navigate to: Google Analytics UI >> Conversions >> Multi-Channel Funnels >> Assisted Conversions, click "source" next to Primary Dimension, and enter "AdRoll" into the search bar.
Q: Conversions in the AdRoll dashboard are higher than in Google Analytics. Are we over-tracking in AdRoll?
A: View-through conversions (VTCs) measure the conversions that take place when a user sees an ad and is influenced by it but doesn't click. Google Analytics doesn’t track VTCs as a metric, but you can see them in the AdRoll dashboard. Google considers only the last touch in setting attribution, but you can see additional touches by navigating to Conversions >> Multi-Channel Funnels >> Assisted Conversions. Contact your AdRoll rep for more details on VTC tracking.
Last updated on September 16th, 2022.