The CTR topic has been debated for at least ten years.  For a while CTRs were an accepted standard for the measurement of success … primarily for banner/display ads and often spilling over borders into paid search.

When it comes to performance measurement, however, the devil is in the details.  There is nothing wrong with CTRs as a success metric … particularly in the paid search landscape.

Following years of declining returns, the average CTR of 3% in the 1990s fell to 0.1%-0.3% by 2011. This decline can be attributed in part to abuse (click-fraud), sub-standard measurement practices by ad servers and conditioned rejection of annoying ad platforms….banner blindness.

Enter the digerati with flailing arms to explain away this horrendous cliff dive.  CTRs don’t count anymore!

Really?  An easy trap to fall into!

Admittedly, click to conversion as a sales measure is a terrific metric.  But it’s the first click that gets the customer to the front door.  Ad copy, placement and targeting contribute to the value of the customer at the front door…. all critical to the end result (the sale). But at that point factors not necessarily under the control of the impression delivery mechanism come into critical play.

Welcome to my abused home.
As the customer crosses over the transom from SEM to SEO it becomes the responsibility of the site owner to close the sale.  If the site isn’t optimized to close a sale is that the fault of the SEM platform that delivered the customer?  We often confuse, and more often combine, SEM and SEO performance to spoil the value of CTRs as a metric.  While these disciplines can work together they can also work against each other, one tearing down the other.

One obvious solution is to keep them separate. Laser focus on delivering better customers or closing the sale.  Attempting to do both under the guise of a 360 degree solution has taken down more than a couple of SEM/SEO providers over the years.

1 comment:

jessicapretty25 said...

Your idea need to be praised, yep, most of the paid searches are using display banners to expose their business to the outside world.