Online Display Advertising: The “Conversion Assistant”

I feel bad for display advertising. It gets a bad reputation for being an underperformer. In reality, however, it is a secret marketing gem that has proven itself a team player helping to boost web traffic, brand recognition, conversions, and sales.

You may have heard this already, but display ads (banner advertisements) are not like other forms of online internet marketing strategies. This form of marketing isn’t easily measured. Display ads are more like Billboards. The true purpose of the ad is to get people to become aware of your brand and your message. Although there are ways to boost the click-thru rates and power of your display ad, this shouldn’t always be the primary metric you use to judge the effectiveness of the campaign.

Then what should you look for? Due to the brand recognition, display ads can provide a lift in brand searches, search engine click-thru rates, direct visits and online/offline purchasing. Sometimes this doesn’t happen immediately, but because that user now recognizes your brand, they are more apt to change their search behavior and just type in the name of your business into Google or go right to your website. This may not have been possible without the awareness provided by the display ad.

Things to Remember:

  • Display ads don’t always provide clear-cut track-ability like other online marketing campaigns, but some analytics programs like Yahoo! Full Analytics can show you the contribution of a display ad. If you do not have this software, check for a lift in branded searches, direct traffic and search engine click-thru rates.
  • A combination of search and display ads yield the highest return on investment than when used alone. A study performed by Yahoo! and ComScore revealed that when combined with search, display advertising helped elevate conversions by 22%!
  • Display Advertising is most effective at driving conversions to other campaigns. The best way I can explain it is to think of a display ad as a teammate who makes an assist in a game. They do not always get the recognition they deserve, but without them, the goal wouldn’t have been achieved.