Wednesday, February 22, 2012

7 Analysis Tips for Improving CTR on Display Advertising

Not all display advertising is created equal, though when you look at your web analytics reports you are most likely not going to find the reasons that makes each campaign and each ad so unique. Web Analytics tools generally start tracking the performance of a display advertising campaign only after the visitors have clicked on an ad and landed on your site. What happens before a visitor clicks resides in an Ad Server or in a spreadsheet on someone’s desktop.

In my last post I wrote 5 tips for Analyzing and Optimizing Display Advertisingand one of those tips was to Improve Click-Through-Rate (CTR). In this post I am focusing on elements you should analyze and optimize to increase the CTR of your display advertising. (Note: I am not saying that you should solely focus on CTR, but assuming conversion rate remains the same, increase CTR on your ads will result in more visitors on top of the funnel causing higher number of conversions. )

7 Things to Analyze for Improving CTR
  1. Publisher - Publisher or the site where your ads are served has a lot to do with how your ads are going to perform. An ad served on MSN is not the same as the ad served on Anilbatra.com. Most of the time such information is absent from the Web Analytics tools and hence never crosses an Analysts mind. Get hold of that data and bring it together with the other data to analyze and optimize your campaigns.
  2. Placement – By placement I mean the area of the site where you ad is shown. Ads shown at certain location on a page are likely to get higher CTR than the other ads. For example, an ad served above the fold is almost guaranteed to be seen by a visitor, while the one served below the fold is up to anyone’s guess. In both cases an ad impression will be counted but both will not generate the same CTR.
  3. Size – Size of the display ads makes a huge difference in its performance. Certain ad sizes tend to get more clicks than the others. When analyzing and optimizing your campaign keep in mind that size does matter.
  4. Day/Time – An ad served at midnight on Friday will have different CTR than the same ad served during lunch time on Wednesday. Analyze you campaigns in light of the day/time when the ads were served, find the best time to launch a campaign.
  5. Creative - Different creative invoke different reactions. Images, colors, fonts etc. are all part of the creative mix. Different combinations will have different CTR. Find out the best mix that drives not only higher CTR but also conversions.
  6. Unique Value Proposition (UVP) – Why should a person click on your banner ad and not another one on the same page? A boring ad just telling about your services will likely have a lower CTR than an ad that provides a unique benefit to the visitor. Factor the messages and UVP when analyzing your campaigns and making recommendations.
  7. Audience – Targeted ads will likely have higher CTR than a general broadcast ad. If you have a remarketing campaign then that is expected to have a higher CTR than just a general broadcast campaign. If your target audience is families with 2 kids under the age of 10 and household income is more than 100K then putting your ad in front of a single guy make making 50K is not going to generate a lot of clicks and conversions. Understanding the goals and objectives is critical before you start analyzing campaigns and making recommendations.
Even though I have listed 7 things to analyze keep in mind that it is not just one thing that will have an impact, you have to analyze all these things together. A blue creative that works better on Yahoo homepage on Wed might not be the best combination for anilbatra.com at the same time. Yes, it is not going to be easy to get all this data but that’s why you are getting paid big bucks.
(Note: iJento has a solution that helps you bring such off-site data together with Web Analytics data, email me if you are interested to know more about it).

Always, Go Beyond What Web Analytics Provides

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