Google is finally deprecating third-party cookies on Chrome in 2024. As a result, advertisers will lose a lot of cross-site data to evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. Other metrics will help fill in the gaps. Since brands will increasingly rely on contextual signals, on-page metrics will be more relevant to campaign performance.
While KPIs will always be the ultimate arbiter of campaign success, metrics such as time on page, page clutter, page load time, attention scores, and click rate can all help advertisers assess whether their campaigns are running on worthwhile media properties and how likely they are to generate returns. They will also help in the critical area of attribution, which will have to evolve in the aftermath of Chrome cookie deletion.
Here’s what you need to know about each of those on-page metrics.
Time on page
Analyzing time on page allows an advertiser to see how long visitors spend viewing a page or screen (or a certain set of pages or screens) where its campaigns run. Brands often find engagement with content to be a strong predictor of KPI achievement. The more time spent with a page, the more likely viewers are finding an ad relevant.
Measuring efficacy with time on page will be critical for successful attribution post-cookie. Assessing time on page enables brands to compare their KPIs and engagement targets against page topics and session lengths. That way, brands ensure they’re reaching their highest-intent audiences.
Tracking page clutter (or ad density) enables advertisers to assess how much space ads take up on a given page. Page clutter is calculated by taking the sum of the heights of all ads on a page and dividing it by the total height of a page’s main content.
The Coalition for Better Ads recommends 30% as the maximum page clutter. Any higher than that means the ads on a page are intrusive. By prioritizing media properties that stay below the 30% threshold, advertisers choose inventory with better user experiences for audiences and that's more likely to generate favorable reactions.
Page load time
Page load time is the amount of time it takes for a browser to show a full page in a window. The longer a media property’s page load time, the less likely users are engaging with the page and seeing an ad — let alone going down the conversion pipeline.
Assessing page attention scores, such as Adelaide’s AU, enables advertisers to predict how well ad space on media properties is capturing attention and driving subsequent return on investment.
In the case of Adelaide — which analyzes samples of pages to extrapolate how well other pages with similar design (the number of ad slots, the page layout) are performing — a page with a higher AU score indicates a greater likelihood that that page is driving high-quality engagement.
Click rates allow advertisers to gauge how well their keywords and ads are performing. Click rate is calculated by dividing the number of times an ad is clicked by the number of times the ad is shown. (For example, 15 clicks out of 1,000 impressions would translate to a 1.5% click rate.)
Higher click rates suggest that an advertiser’s campaign is reaching high-intent audiences. What’s more, advertisers often find a correlation between higher click rates and higher conversions.
Page activity measurements help brands gain a deep understanding of how well the content they run on drives programmatic performance. As the cookie makes its exit, context will be the one, ubiquitous signal that brands can depend on — and measurements informed by context and page activity will ensure brands perform and hit KPIs.