Does CTR Matter?

Click through rate (CTR) is one of the most commonly used performance indicators in display advertising. The more clicks on your ad the better, right? This is typically true, but CTR is a limited metric. When used alone to assess the performance of online ads, you can miss a number of other important indications that your campaign is succeeding. Here are three important indicators that suggest your display ads are generating profitable leads online.

1. Brand Search Increase

Only a handful of users click on display ads. After all, when reading an article or engaging in social media, clicking on a display ad can be distracting and disruptive to a user. Consider that most users will see an ad they like on their screen and manually search for the product/brand displayed in another browser or at a later date. In these instances, the ad is just as effective at connecting interested users to your brand, but CTR fails to track this type of action. Keep up with your analytics to track an increase in your brand searches during, and shortly after, your online campaign to measure its impact on users.

2. Quantity of Web Traffic

A significant increase in web traffic during a campaign is another key indicator that your display ads are influencing users to seek out your brand. Try isolating the effect of a display campaign by identifying any increases in the amount of web traffic you receive during the campaign. If your web traffic is going up, and the display campaign is an isolated variable, then you know the campaign is successfully connecting new users to your site.

3. Quality of Web Traffic

User behavior on your site is arguably the most important factor to consider. Pages per session, average session duration and bounce rate show how engaged users are interacting with your website. Users who view more pages and spend more time on your site are more likely to lead to conversions. Although 97% of first-time visitors don’t take action, pay close attention to your organic and direct traffic metrics. Display campaigns will typically increase both – and these are the visitors who are most likely to lead to a sale or conversion.

Should I Care About CTR?

You might be surprised to learn that the average display banner campaign has a .10% CTR. That means for every 100,000 impressions served, you can expect to receive 100 clicks. Doesn’t sound great, right? Now, think about the other forms of advertising that you encounter each day. Has a TV ad or billboard ad ever peaked your interest? What about radio? None of these advertising streams can be measured through clicks, but they still influence your purchasing decisions. The same is true for display banners. What matters most is the message being delivered and the frequency with which a potential customer may see an ad. It’s all about brand recognition, driving traffic to your website, and building customer loyalty. When you do that successfully, the sales will follow.

3D Digital is a full-service, digital marketing agency located in Jacksonville, FL. We offer website design and development, video production, social media management and an array of digital marketing solutions, such as display banners and AdWords. To learn more about our services, please visit

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