Practical Ecommerce

Chart of the Week: Display Advertising Boosts Search Traffic, PPC Click-through Rates

Two recent studies demonstrate that display advertising can significantly boost search-engine-derived traffic, potentially making display ads as effective or even more effective than search engine marketing or optimization for some ecommerce segments.

The findings come from two diverse sources.

First, iCrossings, a search engine marketing and optimization firm, released results from a 13 month study of actual client data, showing that display advertising boosted search-engine derived traffic by 13.7 percent for natural search and 14.87 percent for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

Display advertising also drove up the number of unique visitors a website received from search engines by 2.5 percent for organic search results and lowered cost per click 11.22 percent for PPC programs.

The underlying assumption is that display advertising, which develops a site’s brand, makes searchers more likely to click on that site’s links in either organic search results or in search advertising.

In one sense, the iCrossing figures must be taken in context—since the study also found that only iCrossing’s own display advertising campaigns were effective—but it does correspond well to preliminary results of a scientifically conducted Asian survey.

The Asian survey, which was conducted by Global Source, asked professionals in the electronics industry about their information retrieval behavior, finding that some 56 percent of search engine queries included brand-influenced terms such as a site’s brand name, a manufacturer’s brand name, a product’s brand name, brand-specific product identifiers like a part number, or some combination of these.

The implication for ecommerce merchants is that for some segments, particularly those in the business-to-business realm, display advertising is likely to be an effective way to increase search engine traffic, not to mention direct traffic. Furthermore, the Global Sources study indicated that display advertising was often more effective than search engine marketing or optimization.

Practical Ecommerce

Practical Ecommerce

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