Post Impression Activity: What happens after a consumer clicks on your online display ad?


According to research and analytics, the average visitor to www.palmbeachpost.com – the No. 1 Local Media Website – spends 19 minutes per visit. Nineteen minutes is a lot of time to invest in a visit to a single website. A big part of the reason that unique visitors stay so long on our website is because they are reading news content, weather updates, sports and entertainment information, and business content. Often, visitors to a website will merely view the ad (impression), but not click on it. Later, however, they go to the website and take the action. This has been termed “Post-Impression Activity.”

One metric of success, in an online display ad campaign, is the click-through rate – that is, the percentage of time that a website visitor clicks on your display ad. Another important metric is whether or not, during the time period of your digital campaign, you received an increase in web traffic that could be attributed to post-impression activity.

Prior to any digital campaign, we recommend that you set up Google Analytics on your website so that you can understand some key metrics of your current web traffic. These can be used as the baseline standard when measuring post-impression activity during a digital campaign.

You will want to understand how many unique visitors your website receives each month, and whether you saw an increase in unique visitors during the time of your digital campaign. You will want to understand how many page views your website receives each month, on average, and how many page views per unique visitor. This information will help you to gauge whether you received an increase in page views during the time of your digital campaign – what pages on your website were viewed, and are you directing traffic through your website in a way that leads the unique visitor to the action or conversion that you are hoping to achieve (sale, phone call, sign up for an e-newsletter, follow me on Twitter, etc.)?

I would tend to agree with the assessment of Amit Prakash (an Online Marketing Analyst working at a media agency in Chicago) – in his 2008 blog post on post-impression activity (http://measuringemarketing.blogspot.com/2008/06/post-impression-attribution-for-display.html). “I believe that the post-impression attribution should be higher for campaigns which are more branding, as opposed to direct response. Post-impression action happens when the ad leaves an impression in a consumer’s mind, and the consumer comes back later to the website and takes the action – thus showing an increase in brand awareness of the product. When the consumer clicks on the ad, that indicates that the consumer engaged with the brand and then took action.”

written by: Shaun Harrington