Marc Poirier is the co-founder and CMO of marketing at Acquisio, where he leads all sales and marketing activities. He often speaks at events like SES, and writes columns and articles for publications like Search Engine Watch and SES Magazine. Follow him @marcpoirier

Marketing is currently in a state of evolution where it is dispensing — again — with the old and introducing the new. So if digital marketers who buy media are hung up on last-click attribution, they’re missing so much of the big picture.

They need to start looking at the role of media as an introducer and as an influencer, rather than just a last-click deal closer. They also have to start looking at customer engagement and its influence.

puzzle pieces fitting together

Here are five metrics that can help a digital marketer take these new shifts into consideration and better handle their daily bid management routine.

1. Bounce Rate

Monitoring how different ads or keywords generate different bounce rates can make a huge difference in your optimization efforts. Traffic sent to your landing page, home page, or to an internal page on your website should yield important differences in bounce rates. You will need to bid down on bounce rates that are one standard deviation above the average and bid up on lower ones.

bounce rate

Don’t abandon low-converting properties with a low bounce rate, because the reality is that you’ve managed to start an interaction with someone who could turn into something a lot more important than you may have first anticipated.

2. Average Page Views per Visit

You can really measure how engaged your visitors are at this point by measuring how deep into your site they will go. By measuring engagement at this level, you’re seeing an indicator that you are beginning to influence, even if this doesn’t immediately turn into a conversion.

page views per visit

When people find content that means something to them, they keep going deeper, and we know that the trend leans towards them sharing content they enjoy with their friends. These are people who may actually end up influencing more sales and knowing what keywords are successful in this endeavor will help you to build an even larger customer base.

3. Average Cost per Page View

This metric is absolutely critical to publishers, because it allows them to reach out to new audiences and turn a profit. The publisher model is to sell ad space, and knowing what a given page will yield in terms of revenue allows them to reach out to customers via paid channels in order to generate more revenue.

This means that if a publisher knows their revenue per page view is $0.50, then they must keep their cost per page view below $0.50.

page view abstraction

Let’s say a publisher pays an average cost per page view of $0.39 and they generated 100,000 page views for a period of time. This means that, by using this metric, publishers can now drive traffic to their site from search campaigns and measure immediate success in terms of profitability. Here’s the formula:

cost per page view formula

Inserting the figures in the example above:


At this rate, bidding to an average cost per page view of $0.39 is generating a margin.

4. Average Time on Site

Are you reaching your customers? Are you speaking to them, and are they responding by spending time on your site?

If, for example, you have a video on your site that’s three minutes long, you’ll want to see that you’ve reached your audience for at least that long.

This isn’t just about how many page views you are generating, but the level of trust your customers are starting to put in your brand and how curious they are about you. Bidding based on how much time people invest on your site will help you to automatically focus your efforts.


Use this metric in combination with bounce rate and page views per visit for a complete picture.

5. Rate of Return Visitors

This is one of the most important metrics in measuring customer engagement. A higher rate of return for a specific keyword or set of keywords is good reason to focus more closely on those visitors. Because we’re often so focused on the last click when buying media, we forget to focus on the ones who are returning to our site and we don’t give them what they need to convert.


Understanding that consumers browse the aisles on the web as much as they do in a store gives you a reason to look more closely at those return visitors, and concentrate on assessing their true value. You will most likely find that keywords with a high rate of return visitors are ones that are deeply influencing the buying cycle.

buying cycle

More than ever, people need to trust brands before they will make a purchase, and if you are able to show them that you are willing to make the investment into having that conversation with them, then you are showing them that you’re willing to go that extra mile for their business.

With any marketing campaign, what’s at stake is the big picture, and it’s time to start making use of the technology that’s currently available to us and start looking at how each channel is influencing the other.

Knowing which ads represent influencers, introducers, or closers is absolutely critical to understanding how the aforementioned metrics are working in concert with your overall marketing strategy.

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