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Digital Advertising Reporting

Q: I know I need to invest in a digital advertising campaign, but it makes me nervous because I’ve never done it before. How will I know if it is working?

A: This is the million dollar question for all advertising. The good news is, with digital advertising, you’ll get a far better answer than you will using ANY other medium. Why?...because everything you do digitally is track-able.

Before you start digital advertising, you should set up Google Analytics for your current website. Your website provider can do this or you can set it up yourself if you’re managing your own site. It is free and easy to do and will help you to better track how your advertising is performing. Most digital advertising vendors can provide a campaign report that gives you total number of impressions served (# of times your ad was seen), total number of clicks (number of users who clicked on the ad) and click-thru rate or CTR (percentage of impressions resulting in a click). But, this report only pertains to that specific ad campaign. Google Analytics will help you dissect further to see how long the user stayed on your site and if they converted (i.e. - engaged in an activity such as signing up for an e-newsletter or making a purchase).

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When looking at your report, a good CTR is not the only goal. Also look at the Bounce Rate and the Conversion Rate. If you have a high Bounce Rate, this means visitors only stayed for a single-page visit. This can be caused by a number of things, such as not being able to find the information they are seeking. You want to make sure your “landing page” appropriately matches the message of your original ad. For example, you don’t want an ad that says, “Click for more information about our upcoming Health Fair” and when they click, it leads to an unrelated page. Conversely, a high Bounce Rate could be the result of a person finding EXACTLY what they need on the first page. In this case, the Bounce Rate is not as important and Conversion Rate might be more appropriate to evaluate.

Conversion rate is the number of times people engaged in a specific activity on your site, such as signing up for emails, completing a purchase or submitting an application. If your high conversion is your goal, the message is vital and should entice them to click and the landing page should link to the activity page directly.

The most important lesson to walk away with from this article is that if you are running digital advertising and not receiving any type of reporting from your representative, ask for it. It will paint an ROI picture for you. It’s like a magical, real-time crystal ball. Who doesn’t want that?!

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