Tip of the week: clicks or entries

Clicks or entry points? That is the question in campaign measurement.

In connection with the measurement of clicks, one could also say that clicks are not always equal to clicks. What is meant is the sometimes divergent reported campaign or ad clicks between the advertising platforms such as Google Ads and the web analytics solution such as etracker Analytics.

This is usually not due to bugs in the systems or the setup, but simply due to the different measurement method:

  • In the advertising platform, for example, the click on an ad element is measured directly on the search results page (regardless of whether the user actually reaches the landing page).
  • In the web analytics solution, as a rule, the call-up to the target page with the associated campaign parameters is first recorded (after the content of the target page and thus also the tracking code that enables the actual counting has been loaded asynchronously).

Usually, there are only a few milliseconds between the click on an ad and the execution of the tracking code. But this is already enough for users who may have only clicked by mistakeand have already left the page again. Especially when ads are shown with a delay and move other content, unintentional clicks can be triggered.

In addition, there are effects such as tracking blocking or various bot detection mechanisms that can lead to deviations. The question of whether consent-free session tracking is used or whether it is only measured after consent is given is very important. In the latter case, the deviations would be very high.

There are also effects that, due to the system, lead to more clicks being reported in web analytics. For example, reloading the page with the campaign parameters can trigger a web analytics click. The same applies to bookmarks with campaign parameters or forwarding links including the parameters.

Therefore, many marketers prefer to use the key figure entry points in Web Analytics as a comparison to the reported clicks in the marketing platforms.

Overall, marketers are spoilt for choice in etracker Analytics between four metrics, all of which provide statements about the traffic volume from marketing campaigns in a slightly different form: Visits, Visitors, Clicks and Entry points:

Figure: Excerpt from the campaign reporting in etracker Analytics.

Visits: Indicates the number of sessions in which the matching campaign parameters were recorded. Reloads within the session have no effect. However, sessions may have been initiated via other channels before a specific ad was clicked. This is because a new visit only begins after a 30-minute break.

Visitors: Indicates the number of unique users even over multiple visits. However, the ability to recognize visitors is limited to the respective day without cookie activation. Therefore, there are the additional key figures Percentage of visitors with cookies and frequency of visit (based only on visitors with cookies).

Clicks: This includes all calls to the page with the campaign parameters, whether as the starting point of a visit, via bookmark or reload.

Entry Points: Includes all visits or sessions in which the very first page call with the respective campaign parameters took place.

All of these four key figures have their justification and different message. At the end of the day, however, it is primarily a matter of what conversions and, if applicable, sales are generated.

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