[Skip to Content]
Aug 23, 2018

Digital Marketing Metrics – The Basics

Looking at a marketing report can be overwhelming. A discussion between marketing specialists usually involves acronyms, pixels, sizes and percentages. The more you’re able to delve into the data conversation, the better.  Here, we put together a brief primer that focuses on some definitions, as well as industry standards to help you determine the health of your digital marketing campaigns.




This is an acronym that you will hear a lot because it is one of the main measurements to evaluate success. ROAS, or Return on Ad Spend, is the numerical reflection of the relationship between the next two data points, your Total Revenue and your Total Media Spend. The ROAS shows you what sort of value you’re seeing from the money that you’re putting into digital advertising. For instance, if you're seeing an overall ROAS of 7.58 : 1, it shows that for every single dollar in spend, you’re seeing $7.58  in incremental revenue. Generally, the industry standard shows that if you’re seeing a 4 : 1 or above, you have an effectively optimized and successful campaign.

(For a deeper look at ROAS and the Digital Customer Journey, check out our previous blog featuring UMass by clicking here.)


Total Impressions, Clicks and Conversions


An Impression is how many times an ad has been displayed. This is a common metric that helps to measure the performance of your campaign; however, this metric alone does not paint an entire picture. The number of impressions doesn’t denote an action, just the amount of times that a user has potentially seen an ad. A typical campaign could serve hundreds of thousands of impressions. 

Clicks measure how many times your ad was viewed and clicked through for more information. If you are receiving high click rates that aren’t backed up by conversions, it is a sign to delve deeper into mixing up creative assets or honing in on targeting demographics.

Conversions show that your ad achieved its desired result. In most cases, this means the person who viewed the ad went on to make a purchase. 


More on Clicks


The CTR, or Click-Through Rate, shows the relationship between how many people saw your ad and how many people interacted with it further by clicking. Each channel, including Search, Display, and Social Media, has different CTR averages. These also vary based on the type of event. For Search, a well-optimized campaign should see a 10% or above. Display drives awareness and generally yields .07% - .12%, while a successful Social campaign sees between 1-2% depending on creative (static image vs video). 


More on Conversions


Due to the nature of advertising and how people view and interact with digital ads, the conversion rate is made up of more than one type of conversion. PC Conversions are Post-Click Conversions, meaning that the conversion event – most often a purchase – occurred directly after a click. PV Conversion stands for Post-View Conversions, meaning that the achieved result happened after the user was exposed to one or more ads, but had not yet clicked them. With ticket buyers taking anywhere from 1 to more than 10 ad impressions to convert, these PV Conversions are an important metric that helps tell the full story of your Total Conversion rate. 


If you’d like more information on common terms and metrics, reach out to your Paciolan Digital Marketing representative.