Analysts have long disputed whether consumer clicks on display ads are the best way to measure the true value of these ads. The click-through or CTR simply tracks one type of consumer behavior. But what about other consumers who view an ad online in much the same way as they might view a printed ad? Researchers now claim they have a way to measure conversion rates of this audience as well.
The folks at Pretarget, in conjunction with comScore researchers, say that advertisers should be paying more attention to ad viewability and hover time. Analysts studied 263 million ad impressions to understand how viewability and hover data can be used to deliver more meaningful information to advertisers who want to know how well their campaign is working. New automated tools can now reveal and validate exactly how many impressions are deemed viewable to a consumer who is sitting on front of the computer. (Whether the consumer actually pays attention to the ads is another story, of course.) These new tools can account for ads that appear ‘below the fold’ or never load into the browser window.
These tools also measure hover or dwell time. The new research shows a strong correlation between hover (0.49) and viewable impressions (.35) with respect to conversion. When researchers looked at overall gross impressions, the correlation with conversion was a much lower .17. And for clicks, the correlation with conversion was only .01.
Kirby Winfield, SVP of Corporate Development, comScore, says the study shows, “why other non-click metrics of engagement, such as interaction or hovering, may be much more important in evaluating campaign performance than the click ever was.”[Source: For Display Ads, Being Seen Matters. comScore.com. 24 Apr. 2012. Web. 3 May 2012]