When using Google Analytics, it is important to understand the metrics and how they compare/differ from the DSP metrics:

  • DSP reporting metrics are different from the metrics in Google Analytics.
  • DSP campaigns are executed in a completely different platform than the Google Analytics platform.
  • Google Analytics metrics are not available as performance metrics in the DSP.

What success metrics are available in DSPs?

  • Impressions, eCPMs, Completed Views, eCPVs, Clicks, eCPCs, Conversions, and eCPAs.
  • DSPs do not have visibility into Google Analytics or Campaign Manager.

What success metrics are available in Google Analytics?

  • Sessions, Bounce Rates, and Session Time

DSP Clicks vs. GA Sessions

In the DSP, “clicks” indicate how many times your ad was clicked by a user. In Google Analytics, “sessions” indicate the number of unique sessions initiated by your users. There are several reasons why these two numbers will not match:

  • A user may click on an ad, and then later, during a different session, return directly to the site through a bookmark. The referral information from the original session is retained in this case, so the one click results in multiple sessions.
  • A user may click on your ad, but prevent the page from fully loading by navigating to another page or by pressing the browser’s “stop” button. In this case, the Analytics tracking code is unable to send data to Google Analytics therefore not resulting in a session.
  • No cookie? No GA data: Google Analytics needs cookies to work properly. If the visitor is coming from an environment that rejects or does not use cookies, Google Analytics will not track these  users. This is most commonly seen on Mobile App Campaigns.
  • No Javascript? No GA data: Not everyone enables Javascript for security, privacy, or other accessibility reasons.
  • You can align click and session metrics more closely by ensuring you are running campaigns on “trackable devices” and utilizing a UTM code to help categorize and organize the campaign data better.

Many advertisers are interested in user engagement on their site and look to Bounce Rate and Session Time to help to prove or point to engagement. Ideally, it is best to use a conversion pixel pulled from the DSP to measure specific on-site actions. This way, one can optimize the campaign to conversion metrics shown within the DSP.

Best Practices During the Set-Up Stage:

  1. Making sure each party understands the overall goal of the campaign that was communicated by the end client and what each party should be measuring against.
  2. Being communicative about specific actions that need to be tracked. Both parties should ensure they are  tracking the same actions before campaign launch, especially high priority ones. This may require comprehensive mapping in the DSP
  3. Aligning the DSP, Campaign Manager, and GA set up as closely as possible through the use of separated audience ad groups in the DSP and placements/UTMs in Campaign Manager.
  4. Schedule daily or weekly automated reports from each platform so the operations teams have insight into the campaign from the other’s POV. Additionally, a Google Data Studio set up by the ops team is the most comprehensive way for Coegi to be able to gain access to GA insights and manipulate data on our end.
  5. Before campaign launch, schedule a kick off call with operations team members from both companies included to make sure set ups on each end are closely aligned in terms of measurement and tracking.