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
Following years of declining returns, theaverage 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
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