What are View Through Conversions in Google AdWords?

In Google AdWords you may have noticed that there is something called View Through Conversions. This may show up in your reports and you may notice that certain display ads have driven view through conversions. This also shows up when you are trying to set up conversion tracking.

vtc column

Many people have asked me what view through conversions are and here is a simple answer. When you are running a PPC AdWords campaign, people click on your text based ad and then either convert or do not convert.

But when you are running a display ad, it is a little bit different. Apart from driving clicks, display ads also drives brand awareness.

Display advertisements online or just like hoardings that you see outdoors. Sometimes people may look at a display ad, remember the brand, and then visit the website of that brand.

Imagine a person who is driving through the road and looks at an ad for an e-commerce store. He goes home, visits the website and purchases some stuff. There is no way to track this and marketers are usually blind about the fact that a conversion happened because of that ad.

Now imagine the same thing happening online but with display ad banners online. Google AdWords will track this conversion as a view through conversion.

According to Google:

“View-through conversion tracking provides you with additional information related to the value of your display campaigns on the Google Content Network. This feature provides a measure of the number of online conversions that happened within 30 days after a user saw, but did not click, a display ad on one of the sites on the Google Content Network.”

View through conversions do not work well for very small campaigns. If you are running a brand awareness campaign including multiple channels such as videos, TV, outdoor and some traditional advertising, then view through conversions actually make sense.

Also note that View Through Conversions are only available for display ad banners. It is not included for text based campaigns.

You cannot drive brand awareness through text based campaigns and it makes sense to have View Through Conversions only for graphics based display ad banners.

How to Setup View Through Conversion Tracking

You need to install the Google conversion tracking code to measure view through conversions. this can be done under Tools -> Conversions.


Inside this area, you need to setup a regular conversion tracking code. If you are tracking website conversions, select Website.

conversion track

Here, you will have an option to define the timeline for your view through conversion. You can select a view to conversion window as one week, or one month, or whatever you think is relevant for your business.


If you select the view through conversion window as one week, the person who saw the ad should convert within one week to be counted as a conversion. After the week the conversion will not be counted.

View through conversions are tracked by default along with other conversions even if you don’t want it to. Your options are limited to selecting the conversion window.

If you don’t want to track view throughs, you can set the conversion window to the minimum possible value and it will almost be non existent.

Any questions?