It’s all about that infamous Click-Through-Ratio (CTR)

by Darren Olander on October 14, 2011 · 1 comment

in News

Text/Banner Ads

No one will deny a click-through is far more important than an impression. While we’ve built up a high-conversion ad platform (ListSurfing) and have better than average CTR (Click-through-rate) for text ads, we still wanted to make it better. One arguable fact is the typical text ad on nearly every traffic exchange in existence has a low click-through-ratio. Understandably these ads are shown in various locations on traffic exchanges and get little attention from surfers as there are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands (or even millions), of impressions assigned to these ads waiting to be delivered over who knows how long of a time.

One may think (especially if new to a traffic exchange) assigning 25,000 impressions to a banner or text ad will get a bunch of clicks, but it’s simply unrealistic based on the history of traffic exchanges. And, rightfully so, the real focus from traffic exchanges is on surfing anyway. And to prove what we mean, at a popular traffic exchange we assigned 25,000 impressions to one of our banners – in almost two months we’ve had 0 clicks out of 2600 impressions. But, with 22,300+ impressions to go, we’re bound to get some clicks right? Mind you, only 10% has been served thus far – we’ll see what that number is in the next 8 months.

As ListSurfing isn’t a typical traffic exchange, we’ve obviously faced many differentiations in stats which blow typical numbers away when compared to other traffic exchanges. But, we’ve still decided to make some changes in order to improve the text ad CTR even further.

In our surf area you’ll find two text ads located below the banner. We believe this will help improve our text ads CTR as a whole. But bigger than that we’ve also added “chat ads”. These are the same text ads except shown directly in the live chat area. As members chat, a new ad is shown after every 15 posts. Talk about serious visibility – be sure to put some thought into your text ads!

Thumbnails

Another new addition over the past week or so is how we are now showing your thumbnail CTR. Since only two real site thumbnails are shown at once in the surf area, you have a 50% chance of receiving a click from a surfing member. That means if your thumbnail has a CTR of more than 50%, members are clicking on your thumbnail more often than the other thumbnail being shown.

You may be asking, “What does it matter? I can’t control what they choose.”…but you can! OK, well, indirectly you can anyway. If you design a splash or advertise a page that draws the surfer in with vibrant colors, unique designs, inviting/catchy headlines…you can stand far above your competition. Just be sure the thumbnail that is generated looks great…it could mean the difference of getting more clicks over your competition.

So how do you view the CTR at ListSurfing? Login to your account, navigate to “Ads” > “My Sites” and for any website listed, you’ll see a column for “CTR%”.

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