In a period of about 10 minutes of web surfing, how many advertisements would you say that you see? Ten? Fifteen? A new ad on every new page you visit?
The point: display advertising has become a huge part of our online experience.
Yet measuring the value of online ad impressions has proven to be much more challenging for advertisers than measuring results from traditional advertising. While click-through rates (CTRs) and search is easily quantifiable, impressions from display advertisements aren't quite as obvious.
With display ads, it's extremely common that while seeing your ad may not compel the viewer to take an action at that moment, it could inspire a later course of action. This is "the power of the view."
Last year, comScore and Starcom USA released a study showing a sharp drop in the number of U.S. Internet users who click on display ads. This is why advertisers should consider the positive impact on their display ads of "the view" in relation to consumer behavior.
An Example of Consumer Behavior
Consider the following scenario:
You sell mp3 players and have decided to invest in display advertisements. While searching for a new pair of sneakers, a potential customer might see an ad for your mp3 player that will make their afternoon jog a little easier.
Even so, that potential customer may not click through to that mp3 player; very likely, he or she will just continue searching for those perfect kicks. But fast forward a half hour: their new sneakers are on the way to the front door and they get to thinking about all the songs they would listen to while running.
The individual remembers your advertisement, heads right back to the computer, searches for your mp3 player, and bang...conversion!
This is just one example of a course of action the viewer could take after seeing your ad and making the decision not to click through. There are a number of other options. The consumer could:
- Choose to self-navigate to your site without clicking through.
- Immediately go to a social networking site to read reviews from friends.
- Call your company offline.
Whatever route the consumer chooses, your display ad pays off in the end!
Thinking Beyond the Click
A recent study from comScore showed that U.S. Internet users are 49 percent more likely to visit an advertiser's site if they have previously been exposed to display ads. Of these Internet users, it was found that viewers are 40 percent more likely to conduct a search query on an advertiser trademark after seeing a display advertisement.
The irresistible conclusion of this study is the important value of the view in addition to the click through. To quote: "display advertising, despite a lack of clicks, can have a significant positive impact on consumer behavior."
Click Through or Not, the Power of Display Advertising is Exponential
We see display ads all the time. They may not always compel us to go to that particular site immediately, but just "viewing" that ad keeps that particular product top of mind when we do go back and search.
View-through conversions are an indicator of the percentage of visitors to your site who converted after initially seeing an ad impression. Display advertisements that don't make the cut show up below the fold of the browser page where they contribute to the difficulty in determining who actually saw your ads.
Banner ads that are placed low on a page are rarely seen, resulting in non-effective ad spending. Therefore, advertisers should work with their ad networks and request that their ads be exposed higher up to maintain the effectiveness of their display campaign.
The Power of the View
Click-through conversions -- while easy to measure and precise -- aren't the only consideration when it comes to the effectiveness of display advertising. Though fewer people tend to click on ads these days, their interaction with your company doesn't stop there.
Advertisers must think beyond the click and remember the power of the view. Despite the difficulty of calculating ROI on view-through ads, they are an important and effective part of any robust online advertising campaign.