As we've previously posted, one of our aims is to improve display advertising on the web. Three simple principles guide our approach: simplify the system for buying and selling display ads; deliver better performance that advertisers and agencies can measure; open up the ecosystem by making it accessible to more participants.

So how can you better measure the impact of your display ad campaign? At the moment, you can measure how many clicks your display ads achieve, measure conversions that result from those clicks, compare results with industry benchmark data, and use "View-through conversion reporting" to measure visits to your website from users who saw your display ad in the past.

Today, we're launching a new tool to measure the impact of your display ads - Campaign Insights. As of today, Campaign Insights is available for larger display ad campaigns across the Google Content Network in the US and UK.

Campaign Insights is a unique measurement tool that can give reliable data about how a campaign has raised brand awareness, or active user interest, in a particular product or service. It looks beyond the traditional measures of clicks and conversions to calculate the incremental lift in both online search activity and website visits that result from a display ad campaign.

We use the same expertise we use to improve our own services -- our ability to analyze large quantities of data. Campaign Insights compares two data sets: a large group of users (many thousands, minimum) who saw a particular ad, with an equivalent, large group that did not see the ad. It then measures whether there is any significant difference in searches and visits to your website between the two groups. Doing this, Campaign Insights can determine the incremental change that is directly attributable to the display ad campaign. With this insight, you can establish how well your display ad campaign is working beyond just clicks.

Campaign Insights provides highly reliable results to marketers because of the statistical methodology our computer algorithms use to combine and analyze large volumes of data from several sources -- the advertiser's own campaign information, ad serving logs, and sampled data from Google Toolbar users who have opted in to enhanced features. All of the results reported to advertisers are anonymized and aggregated over thousands of users.

If you run wide-scale display ad campaigns on the Google Content Network and want to try Campaign Insights, you should check with your Google representative.

Posted by Austin Rachlin, Inside AdWords crew