My last post about my dislike of display advertising caused a bit of controversy. Perhaps I was too heavy-handed in my language, although sometimes you need to be in order to cut through. In any case, I thought I'd balance it out with something a little more rational this time:
On average, more than 1 in 5 banner clicks do not reach the site.
This is the result from analysis of more than 110,000 clicks across four industries, fifteen campaigns and a variety of adservers, publishers, targeting, devices and formats. Click data (as reported by the adserver) was compared directly to site visit data (as reported by Google Analytics) resulting in an average click-to-visit ratio.
I'll be the first to suggest this is by no means a robust piece of research. It's a small sample of campaigns, and the spread of results ranged from as low as 37% in one case to more than 100% in another (meaning there were more visits than clicks). Without a doubt, it needs further investigation.
But even still I wonder if it's not worth having a conversation about some data that suggests, on average, only 78% of banner clicks arrive at their intended destination.
Especially if you're paying on a cost-per-click model.
Perhaps as an industry we need to move away from clicks and click-through-rates to something like visits and visit-through-rate. Although we'd need to add another decimal place in our reports.