Clickers versus Converters

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There is a major difference between these two types of web behaviors, which can have a significant impact on whether or not an online advertising targeting strategy is successful or not. Understanding the distinction between the two is extremely important and has to be accounted for when planning an effective online, targeted advertising program.

The key to understanding the difference between ‘clickers’ and ‘converters’ is based in aligning attribution with causation. Causation indicates how a conversion occurred, with the goal being to drive additional conversions by recreating similar conversion paths. Clicks are considered a natural metric in digital search advertising and are utilized in campaign optimization strategies.

However, in digital display advertising, consumers arrive at a web site to view and consume content, not to find another destination compared to the goal with search. By default, many digital advertisers make the mistake of using a click-based optimization strategy when trying to optimize a digital display campaign. Optimizing for ‘clicks’ in a digital display campaign can actually be “anti-optimal”. At first glance, many advertisers feel optimizing away from clicks is counter-intuitive.

Why would optimizing for clicks in a digital campaign be anything less than optimal? The answer lies in industry research, web behavior and data analytics. Consider the following:

  • 95% of clickers do not convert and 90% of converters do not click
  • Display ‘clickers’ tend not be ‘converters’
  • Display clickers tend to be younger (less than 25 years old) or much older
  • (more than 65 years old)
  • Display clickers tend to have lower education and income levels
  • Converters tend to be more middle aged (25 to 50 years old)
  • Converters tend to have higher income and education levels

By optimizing for ‘clickers’ many digital display advertisers are literally optimizing away from converters.

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