View-throughs VS Clicks – What’s the Difference?

What’s the Difference Between View-throughs and CTR? Digital Marketing Breakdown

View-throughs VS Clicks – What’s the Difference?

News Paid Search Programmatic

View-throughs are one digital marketing metric that clients often ask about when reviewing their campaigns.

  • Most marketing reports measure campaign impact via the CTR (Click Through Rate). This shows the ratio of how many people clicked on an ad to how many people viewed it overall.
  • In contrast, a view-through shows how many people navigated to your website/product after viewing the ad.

So, while clicks and CTR are a good measure of brand awareness, they don’t actually show how your brand was received and remembered by potential customers.

This means that you cannot overlook view-throughs when analyzing your digital marketing efforts.

Benefits of tracking view-throughs

The impact of programmatic display and video advertising goes beyond clicks. Therefore, to get a wider picture of the contribution of your campaigns, it is essential to track view-throughs.

  • If a campaign has a high view-through rate, it reflects well on your brand’s memorability and how well the ad resonated with the audience.

This demonstrates that your ad goes further than the instant where it is shown to the prospect.

  •  View-throughs are also more closely related to conversions than CTR. This metric only reflects how many people expressed immediate interest in the ad’s message and design.

Who should be monitoring view-throughs and view-through conversions?

Anyone who has invested in digital marketing should be at least tracking view-throughs.

They are also useful for businesses that have brick-and-mortar locations and can benefit from trackable and un-trackable view-throughs.

For example:
  • Increased foot traffic to a physical storefront as a result of a great digital ad. This can be tracked through view-through geo-conversions, i.e. how many people visit a store after seeing an ad. Even if the physical visitors do not make a purchase on their first visit, their presence demonstrates tangible results of your digital marketing efforts.


  • Word-of-mouth marketing or referrals from people who saw the ad and mentioned it to their social circle, who then visited the store/website. This is not trackable, but is still valuable, as these visitors are more likely to convert as people trust advice from their friends and family.

If your business relies mainly on physical store visits, it may be worthwhile to start paying closer attention to view-through store visits over clicks/CTR.

How to optimize ads for view-throughs

The most important part of the ad is the creativity and the message it sends to viewers/prospective clients. This directly impacts the recall value of your ads and hence the clicks and view-throughs from the ads.

Try to hit all the items on the checklist in our article on Designing your ads to influence the audience.

The following are the most basic steps you should take when designing advertising materials:

  • The artwork should be eye-catching but simple so that the messaging is not overwhelming
  • Ensure that copy is concise and clear, and that a clear call to action (CTA) is present
  • Make the copy clever, entertaining, or interesting
  • Double-check ads for offensive messaging or insensitive depictions. These can cause your ad to be memorable for all the wrong reasons!

Ultimately, your advertising efforts should make appealing artwork and catchy copy a priority to generate higher view-throughs.

To read more articles about view-through attribution vs. click attribution read our other digital marketing blogs on programmatic advertising and Search ads for the B2B industry.