Beyond CTRs – 4 New Performance Metrics For Publishers

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Digital ad spending is continuously skyrocketing, with budgets in the US expected to reach around $42.5 billion this year, and expand further, reaching $60.4 billion in 2017, says eMarketer. No matter how much ad spending seems to grow, it’s still challenging for advertisers to sustain their ad spend unless they can justify it.

Digital advertising has always been and will always be one of the most difficult ad media to measure. Those who work in the industry often feel unsure about what metrics equate to success. In order to prove that their efforts are worthwhile, they depend on measurements like the click-through rate, otherwise known as “CTR”, which is thought to measure an audience’s overall interest.

As popular as they are, CTRs remain a fairly limited performance metric. While top-of-the-funnel channels can bring awareness regarding a particular brand, and can educate prospects when it reaches the middle of the funnel, a company’s overall success in targeting audiences is measured what is, essentially, a bottom-funnel metric. So, in order for the top and middle funnels to be addressed optimally, here are some other metrics that we recommend using besides CTR.

Brand Recall (Top Funnel)

A branding display ad campaign’s effectiveness can be shown via brand recall. You can create an online brand study that compares the increase in awareness of your brand, next to those who have seen your ad vs. those who haven’t yet, and form conclusions based on this data.

Direct Website Traffic (Top Funnel)

The Direct Website Traffic metric is helpful in monitoring the top of the funnel. When an online banner campaign is launched, your website analytics tools should show an increase in visitors on your website, both those who typed in your name, as well as those you actually visited your site.

Total Leads (Bottom Funnel)

Bottom-funnel display ads can also bring traffic to your website, where you’ll have the opportunity to attract visitors by having them submit their contact information through a web form. The final list of who leaves their details can easily be considered a list of leads to address.

Cost Per Lead (Bottom Funnel)

Your performance can be measured by assessing your bottom-funnel display ads by reference to the cost per lead, which is the number of leads divided by total cost of the ad source.

CTRs are certainly popular and helpful metrics but there are others which could add more valuable perspectives to your performance measurements. With the variety of available metrics to choose from in order to measure your success with your audiences, the methods that can be used to better understand your ad spending results are growing. Your best bet is to try a few, and see which ones best suit you and your needs.

Which of these metrics have you found to be most helpful?

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Sinead McIntyre


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