Saturday, May 31, 2014

Some Pros and Cons of Display Advertising

Google has a well established display advertising offer
Google Display Advertising

As part of a businesses digital transformation, it is likely that a business will want to consider whether or not to use ‘display advertising’ in AdWords. We have outlined some quick pros and cons of display advertising to assist a business with the decision making.

The business would need to do some restructuring of the AdWords account.
Budget would be required, either additional budget be assigned, or diverted from existing campaigns.
A web developer would need to add some additional tracking code to the website.

The primary use of display advertising and not just in AdWords, has generally be considered for Brand building, although some businesses do manage to make display advertising drive leads and sales, where Brand building is a positive side-effect.

Display ads have an incredibly low engagement rate: the average banner ad has a 0.1% click through rate (CTR) and the standard 468x60 banner has a 0.04% CTR

The key to making display advertising cost effect and gaining a decent ROI/be profitable, a business
would need to:
1.    optimise every single part of the online conversion funnel
2.    place ads on websites your target market visits
3.    design optimised ads that relate to the content on those sites
4.    the message, and especially the headline, is a vital component in successful display advertising
5.    ‘message match’ - when visitors are instantly reaffirmed that they can get what they came for – because the headline matches the link (or ad) they came from – they are more likely to remain on the landing page
6.    poor message match will produce a higher bounce rate which is interpreted by Google as a poor user experience. The stronger your message match is, the better the user experience is – making the account history more positive, in turn lowering the costs
7.    the display ad has a graphical component to it, which needs to follow the design of the ad through to the landing page
8.    develop landing pages that align with the ads and the websites they're placed on
9.    A focused landing page, on the other hand, has an attention ratio of 1:1. (whereas, if the visitor is sent to the homepage we could expect that this would typically be around 40:1 meaning that there are 19 distracting actions and 1 desired action – hence needing a focused landing page).

Display advertising has always been considered ‘tough’. The debate continues in the industry as some speculate that there are up to 54% of online display ads “never even seen”.
Some of the wastage can be attributed to the user’s journey:
•    technical glitches, such as when an ad is displayed on a part of a browser not open on a computer screen
•    user habits
•    users not scrolling below the fold
•    users clicking away before the ad can load
•    and even outright fraud based on fake traffic

The overall stats for paying attention to any kind of advert is 6% - 8% (if the stats can be believed)
There are businesses that get some better results by making their ads interactive and rich media display formats.

In conclusion:
If a business's’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is awareness, then display advertising is one of the channels that business could consider using.

If a business is still in the early stages of currently trying to determine audience and message via PPC, reviewing their Google analytics reporting, especially Demographics and Interest Reports and testing which ads work, then it is worth noting that display advertising is even more challenging if audience and message are not already established.

If the above doesn’t convince you then maybe these 2 negative 'tongue-in-cheek' quotes/stats will:
  • You are more likely to complete NAVY SEAL training than click a banner ad.
  • The average person is served over 1,700 banner ads per month. Do you remember any?
On the other hand, this recent quote from Econsultancy about Display Retargeting could be a tempting way into display advertising
  • Display retargeting tags are present on 52% of the top 2,000 UK websites and 48% of the top US websites. 
There are pros and cons but it is worth considering, if only for the following 2 reasons:
  • Display advertising in UK accounted for 30% of spend in 2013, similar to previous years.
  • Rich media images, animation and video are often more attractive to a user than static text and form part of the increasing 'visual web'.

We hope this helps answer some of your display advertising queries, compiled with thanks to some well known comments by industry experts on display advertising. We look forward to hearing from you on whether your business would like to pursue Display Advertising as a online marketing channel.

Author: Fiona Anderson


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