29 Mar Is There More Than Just a Click-Through Rate?

Many marketers resort to the basics when it comes to discerning the performance of an Internet display ad. The click-through rate (CTR) is not only easy to understand, but also easy to explain to clients, who typically expect a black and white “confirmation” of the money they’ve invested in advertising.

Of course clicks generate valuable traffic, but they require active participation from the user. Research actually shows that even with a low CTR, online advertising is still effective. Could it be the exposure itself, not the click that drives traffic?

In a study titled “How Online Advertising Works: Whither The Click?” comScore has shown that two-thirds of Internet users do not click on any display ads over the course of a month. It was determined that branding will drive users to the advertiser’s website even without clicking. Furthermore, exposed users were 17 percent more likely to make a purchase at the advertiser’s retail store.

If clicks are not the quick and easy campaign measurement for online campaigns, what metrics can you use to show your clients? Here are some things to pay attention to:


Reaching as many relevant people as possible should be your goal for every campaign. This was typically measured by counting the number of unique cookies placed on browsers that would be exposed to the campaign.

There is a problem here – 33 percent of users delete their third-party cookies (cookies used by ad servers) each month, making each user is count on an average of 5.1 times during that same period. Measuring unique users requires you to compensate for this cookie deletion so the number isn’t over-estimated. For 10 million users about 100 million impressions would be needed on average to equal the adjusted cookie metrics.


For an online only campaign, site traffic is another gauge of advertising effectiveness, showing users who were enticed by your banner to seek more details about your product or service, whether they clicked your ad or not.

Simply measure the daily visitors before, during and after your campaign to estimate your site traffic as a result of a campaign.


ROI cannot truly be calculated unless you are selling your products online. Online-only retailers who can capture the full effect of online advertising should by all means track ROI.

But if you only collect leads only and do not sell anything online you can either calculate a value for each conversion (leads), or track your investment on advertising by calculating the average cost per conversion.

Although arguably more measurable than traditional media, online campaigns must be analyzed with a well-rounded approach, tying the big picture together. There is no magic bullet but a good agency will size up and present the big picture with all their campaigns.

Sibet B Freides