Do clicks really matter? Four alternative measurements advertisers should consider

Clicks and relevant metrics have always been an important benchmark to help advertisers evaluate the impact of their digital ad campaigns.

The first banner ad campaign in 1994 boasted an impressive click-through rate ranging from 40% to 50%. Since then a lot has changed.

Now, approximately 85% of internet users don’t click on banner ads.

So, should we still be looking at metrics such as click-through rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC) when evaluating the true impact of an ad campaign? In this blog post, we find out more.

Two reasons to look beyond clicks

There are two reasons why you shouldn’t look only at clicks when you evaluate the impact of your digital ad campaign.

Firstly, not all users who are interested in your brand will click on your ad. Through our years of experience, we’ve found that post-click conversions account for less than 10% of all conversions made. This means that most users do not click on an ad even if they are interested in making a purchase.

The second reason is the presence of click farms. A click farm refers to a large group of workers manually clicking on paid advertising at scale. When your performance marketing partners are not transparent with where your banner ads are being placed, this can lead to overly optimistic clicks generated, which should ring alarm bells. And, with inaccurate numbers, it’s difficult to assess if users are actually showing interest in your ad.

So, if clicks aren’t always reliable, what should you be looking at instead?

Four alternative measurements advertisers should look at instead of clicks

1. Attention time

Eight seconds. That’s how short our attention span is now. 

Attention time measures how long a user is engaged with your digital ad. This metric takes into account typical user-webpage behaviour, such as scrolling the page and switching between tabs. Making these numbers more reliable than CTR and CPC.

By optimising to attention time metrics, you can increase user engagement. Here are five key metrics to consider:

1. Viewability: Is this ad in view? 

2. Time in view: How long is an ad in view? 

3. Dwell time: How long did a user spend on the webpage? 

4. Interaction events: Did the user engage beyond a click? 

5. Interaction rate percentage: Number of behavioural events divided by impressions

2. Brand uplift study

Outside of clicks, conversions and standard digital marketing metrics, do you know what impact your campaign actually had?

A brand uplift study analyses if there was an increase in the interaction with your brand after running an ad campaign. It gives you a better insight into how your campaigns are improving your overall brand awareness and positioning among new and returning customers. There are various methods of brand uplift study, including primary market research, quantitative metrics and listening for social buzz.

The brand lift study can also help to identify the extent to which a marketing campaign has influenced consumers’ awareness, consideration, preference and other relevant metrics. These insights can be used to optimise future marketing efforts, make more informed decisions about marketing spend and ultimately drive better business results.

3. Halo effect analysis

Ever wondered what impact a four-week campaign can have on your brand? You’ll need to look beyond the last click to find out.

Advertisers often run campaigns on multiple channels, and with the last-click attribution model, it is impossible to evaluate how much impact each channel made. With halo effect analysis, you can uncover the true impact of each channel and this helps you evaluate how they are contributing to getting quality customers.

In the case of one of our clients, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, not only did we drive high-quality travellers that booked longer and spent more on hotel stays, a halo effect analysis showed that the campaign generated an incremental 7,000 hotel searches and 6,600 flight searches. In other words, it’s worth looking at the bigger picture. 

4. Footfall analysis

How strong is your brand’s ability to bridge the online and offline customer journey? Are you able to identify which customers that came into your store actually saw or clicked on your digital ad?

Footfall analysis can help with that. It shows you the impact on offline actions of users who interacted with your ads online. And, you can get even deeper insights, such as the demographics of users, the most visited stores, how much time users spent at the store, and more.

As consumers, we all know there are several actions we take that influence our final purchasing decision, so we know clicks don’t tell the full story of how your ad campaign impacts your brand. In order to maximise your marketing budget and efforts, it is important to consider the other metrics including attention time, brand uplift, halo effect analysis and footfall analysis. 

At Crimtan, we cover them all. Get in touch today to learn more about how to get these deeper insights into your ad campaigns, helping you optimise your marketing efforts and achieve maximum ROI.