Ensure Your Display Network Conversions Are Legitimate

By , Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

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The Google Display Network (GDN) is an excellent way to improve brand awareness. The GDN can also be a way to get your ads in front of new customers in order to gain additional leads and/or sales.

 

When you are focused on brand awareness it is important to frequently run placement reports to review the quality of traffic. Oftentimes, we see conversions and do not think twice about checking the quality. We have a few recommendations to help you get more information about the conversions to help determine quality

 

Recently, we saw a spike in conversions for one of our staffing clients that made us question if the conversions were actual job submissions. Of course, we loved seeing the numbers go up, but we wanted to ensure these leads were legitimate.

 

The first thing we checked was whether the spike occurred in one day or over several days within a week. The data showed that we had 12 conversions that occurred on 12/30 and 8 conversions on 1/1. It seems probable as maybe people are looking for a new job for the New Year.

 

adwords cost vs conversion

 

In order to narrow the results, the next step was to isolate the exact ad group where the spike occurred. We then reviewed the placement performance report. You can do this by selecting the Display Network Tab and then Placements.

 

display placement settings

 

The majority of the conversions occurred in one placement. The URL is a job network so it seemed promising.

 

adwords placement report

 

Then we looked further into the details of the placements to see what types of pages were converting. You can view additional details by checking the placement, see details, and then selected.

 

adwords placement details

 

Under this view, it will show you the exact URLs within that domain. You can organize these URL by any metric, but we wanted to see where these conversions took place.

 

adwords placement details

 

When reviewing these URLs, we found that many of these pages contain positions that are clearly outside the types of jobs our client specifies.

 

We then went to the Dimensions tab to view additional information. Your view should be set to “Time > Day” and include the columns:

 

  • Converted clicks
  • Conversions
  • Invalid clicks
  • Invalid click rates

 

Under this view, you can see exactly how much invalid clicks or bot traffic was occurring during this time frame. Keep in mind, Google’s system does filter out invalid clicks generated from bots, so you are not paying for these. If the bot went ahead and filled out the form, their system is unable to remove the conversion activity. You can see on the days in question multiple conversions were being recorded per session.

 

adwords dimensions invalid clicks

 

To avoid this scenario, you can switch your conversion tracking to record unique clicks only. You can do this under Tools > Conversions > and under the Count if it shows “Every” this means it is tracking every conversion and not unique conversions.

 

adwords conversion unique

 

To change this, you would click on the name of the conversion tracking in question and click “Edit Settings.” Change the settings to count each conversion as only one conversion.

 

adwords unique conversions tracking

 

Additionally, when setting up your targeting, it is a good idea to overlay interests with keywords. For example, you can target legal jobs as an interest and use keyword targeting to narrow down the types of positions that are relevant. You can also include negative keywords to ensure you don’t show up for unrelated jobs.

 

Instead of targeting top level domains like Indeed.com, you can target specific categories within the domain, up to three levels deep, like http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=lawyers&l. Also, you will want to select approximately 20 placements. Keep in mind that this will greatly reduce the volume of traffic you receive, but it will be more targeted.

 

adwords overlay interests topics keywords

 

Hopefully, this analysis gives you some ideas for reviewing the quality of your traffic and conversions in the Google Display Network. For additional ways to exclude placements, you can read Jacob Brown’s detailed article Better Analyzing Display Network Performance at The Account Level.

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2 thoughts on “Ensure Your Display Network Conversions Are Legitimate

  1. Ben

    Hi,
    I had two questions I’m hoping you could help clarify:
    1. Why should you you need to change the conversion metric from “Every” to “One”? If you are only reporting on converted clicks, this is by default “unique conversions” anyway. So not sure how this change would help?

    2. Just because the indeed URL was not relevant to the client job, how do you know the ad still wouldn’t be relevant?

    Reply
    1. Stephanie WhiteStephanie White Post author

      That is an excellent question, Ben.

      1) I guess it depends on what type of conversions you are tracking to determine if it makes more sense to track multiple conversions or unique. Especially if you are using any bidding strategies to optimize for conversions. Adwords is going to take into consideration every conversion action that takes place. In the job industry, one applicant can submit their information to multiple job positions. It makes more sense to track unique conversions since that person only places for one job and the company will only get paid for one placement. If you are earning revenue for each conversion action, then it would make more sense to track every conversion action.

      2) The reason I was able to determine that the ad was no relevant is the job category was completely outside the industry. Another reason was that of the level of degrees and schooling required for the particular job I was advertising.

      Thank you for your questions.

      Stephanie

      Reply

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