To click or not to click

15 Novemberr 2010

Now internet advertising plays a bigger role in helping companies and organisations get their products and views across. Measuring click-through rates is the easy short term measure for checking the online advertising's effectiveness, however advertising recall requires more costly research and more difficult to quantify. With click-through rates on the decline for traditional formats, online ads like overlays are becoming more important.

Similar to the response rates in direct mail, the number of viewers that respond has been a priority in online ads. Since the early days of tracking-links and cookies, it is now so easy to gather information about users and their behaviour. However it is much harder to see how online ads stay in people's memories – how do you measure recall for online advertising?

Research shows large online ad formats have higher click-through rates than smaller ones. Larger size also matters for ad recall, though of course, rather like the 48 sheet poster ads we see on the roadsides: pre-rolls, overlays, expandables and pop-ups, though not always subtle, they have a gradual effect of staying in the viewers memory too, a bit like those "go compare" ads on TV.

Internet users may be annoyed by larger intrusive ads, and therefore have a low click-through rates but when measuring ad-recall, they cannot fail to grip your attention.

Of course, we should strive though to craft these (probably annoying ads to some) in a way to make them as engaging as possible.