Click-Thru-Rate (CTR) is one of the easiest measurements to track in an online campaign and is often used as a benchmark to gauge success – especially for brand awareness campaigns that aren’t specifically trying to drive online sales. However, CTR usually doesn’t tell the whole story and research shows that optimizing to clicks may actually be detrimental.
In fact, research from Quantcast has shown that clickers are generally not the same people that actually convert to customers. Their data shows that 95% of clickers don’t ever convert – while 90% of converters don’t ever click.
Measuring CTR also doesn’t take into account all of the awareness generated by the ad exposure, or the website activity generated by post impression activity – users that saw the ad and then went to the site directly without clicking on the ad.
On top of that, fraudulent clicks generated by non-human activity are a growing issue in the industry, which could make optimizing to clicks pointless.
On the other hand, incorporating metrics that track site visits, engagements and actions can provide much greater insight into the campaigns overall success rate. Verifying site traffic as well as post-click and post-impression activity is a good first step. And setting up action goals aren’t necessarily the same thing as tracking sales. A desired action can be as simple as signing up for an enewsletter or visiting a contact page.
Whatever metrics you choose to track, it’s a good bet that setting specific goals and using more sophisticated metrics will ensure your schedules are optimized to impact your best potential customers rather than just generating empty clicks.