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BizReport : Search Marketing : February 13, 2008

Study: Some click-through rates may be distorted

Every click may not be created equally. According to a recent Starcom USA study, some so-called "heavy clickers" are distorting the click through rates that companies are receiving. Researchers from Starcom USA, Tacoda and comScore found that heavy clickers account for half of the click-throughs for display ads.

by Kristina Knight

Why is this bad? Because the heavy clickers may not be the target that advertisers are looking for. The study found that are likely to be between the ages of 25 and 44, with a household income of under $40,000. These clickers spend about four-times more time online than non-heavy clickers and are likely to frequent auction, gambling and career services sites. These users do shop online but they aren't necessarily brand loyal and in many cases may not even pay attention to the brand they are buying.

What does this mean for advertisers? It could indicate that advertisers hoping to increase brand awareness with an online campaign which is optimized for high click through rates may not have that effect.

What should marketers do, then? Paid search can still be a benefit to marketers by increasing campaign ROI. But the report indicates that the increased ROI, because of the heavy clickers, won't necessarily increase brand awareness. For that, marketers may want to incorporate other online advertising efforts like branded microsites and email campaigns.

Tags: click-through rates, display advertising

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