27 June 2015

22% Of Banner Clicks Do Not Reach Their Destination

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.

13 June 2015

The Time I Accidentally Sent Porn To Clients

I've been interviewing lately and one of my favourite questions to ask is "What is your biggest fuck up?" One candidate asked me the same question, and this is what I told them.

I used to write a monthly newsletter for my clients, updating them on some of the digital trends and changes in the industry. Each section had a paragraph on the news and a button to find out more. It was always proofread multiple times (nothing worse than sending a typo to a few dozen clients) but one time I forgot to include a link on a button before it was sent.

As a placeholder to update later, I put in "xxx" rather than a URL in the hyperlink. But most browsers have a feature now where if a URL isn't properly formatted it will turn it into a search instead.

Every client who clicked that button ended up Googling "xxx".

So if you're proofreading something, check the links as well. And if you're going to use placeholder text, try "asdf" instead.
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