Display Ad Clickthroughs Don't Provide Whole Picture
Direct marketers who've long been fans of online display advertising have a new list of talking points at their disposal. Watertown, Mass.-based search engine marketing firm iProspect released a study on Monday that highlights how almost as many Web surfers note the information on display ads, and plug it into search engines to do further research, as those who immediately click directly on the advertisements.
Hence, display ads provide more conversions than some believe. And, more than that, the study shows that display can directly lead to search.
"The key message from this study is that online display advertising is far from dead; its 31 percent direct response rate confirms that," iProspect CEO Robert Murray says in a statement announcing the research, iProspect Search Engine Marketing and Online Display Advertising Integration Study.
The study finds that, of those who visit ad-supported Web sites, 31 percent respond to display advertisements by directly clicking on them. Another 27 percent launch search engines and investigate the product, brand or company; 21 percent directly navigate to the advertiser's site; and 9 percent search social media venues for clues about the product, brand or company.
Overall, 52 percent of respondents say they actively respond to online display advertising. (Of those who don't, 37 percent report that they do nothing about display ads, and another 11 percent say they don't visit ad-supported sites or have never noticed the advertisements.)
About 38 percent say online display advertisements are their first introductions to brands. In this case, about 14 percent of respondents eventually buy from the advertiser. (A third of Internet users who respond to the ads eventually buy from companies they know.)
iProspect provides this advice to marketers regarding how to better pull in Web searchers:
- Ensure search strategies include important keywords from the display advertisements. This paid and organic search strategy will "position marketers to capture the intent" of the searcher and link it to the ad.
- Have attribution modeling in place to properly credit each channel that leads to the eventual sale.
- Provide an intuitive domain name for the Internet users who navigate to the brand site by typing a URL in the browser.
- Invest in online reputation management or consider building up user-generated content on the brand site in order to harness the social media traffic.