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What is a click?
First, the definition of a click is…”an impulse reaction to a creative.” Clicks are a measure of the most basic interaction with digital content and ads. After viewing an online ad, five things can happen, it can be:
In some categories such as B2B and local media, clicks are relatively more important as advertisers use their display ads for driving traffic to their web sites or landing pages, and these advertisers commonly use online ads for direct response objectives.
Interacted with (such as rich media interactions like a rollover or playing a game)
Remembered and acted upon later (the view-through metric)
Not seen (due to placement below the fold)
For other digital marketers, clicks are used for measuring relative impact of different messages, such as A/B testing or easily tracking which messages get more attention through the click metric.
So What Should Sellers and Buyers Consider…
IF the ad is ignored? Consider better or more impactful creative, more relevant placements, more intrusive ads, sequencing or roadblocks to drive attention.
IF the ad is clicked? Consider the next step. Review the redirect process, understand what the next steps are in interactive communications and optimize and measure these steps to get a lead, get a sale, or drive consideration.
IF the ad is interacted with? Evaluate the interaction metrics and how to improve them.
IF the ad is remembered? Track view-throughs, and evaluate changes in site traffic and search activity.
IF the ad is not seen? Consider above the fold placements, first ad delivered to a site or section (we define as introstitials or interstitials).
Different User Modes Can Impact the Click
Using clicks to determine if messaging is reaching a target audience also depends on audience interest and mode at any given time. For example, click rates in search mode are much higher that click rates in “reading” mode. Users who search are LOOKING to click on a relevant listing and will often change keywords or search engines to find the right ad or listing. But the user mode when interacting with a media/editorial site is much different. Visitors are not there to click on ads but to interact with the content.
It’s REALLY ABOUT Conversions
In the end, we care about clicks because it is one of the first steps to drive a conversion. By analyzing click data, we can determine the best creative, targeting option, and media placement for a campaign. Remember…clicks are just one metric, not a measure of success. After all, “click here” copy may be effective at driving this interaction, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a conversion or a sale.
So in today’s data driven, digital world, media professionals need to consider user interactions and user intent when using different metrics, and appropriately apply these metrics to determine success.