Half Of All Clicks On Display Ads Are Worthless

laughing-at-computer.jpgMore and more online advertisers are paying on a per-click basis, but who is clicking on those ads and how much are they worth? A study put out yesterday by comScore, Starcom Media, and Tacoda suggests that half of all clicks on display ads (as opposed to clicks on paid search links) are generated by only 6 percent of Web surfers.

And these are not a particularly desirable bunch. The average heavy clicker is 25 to 44 years old, earns less than $40,000 a year, spends a lot of time online but not a lot of money online, and likes to frequent auctions, gambling sites and job boards. Sounds like a lot of these heavy clickers are out of work and have nothing to do. But who did you think clicked on those ads anyway?

Additionally, the study found that there was no correlation between how many times a brand’s ads were clicked on and brand awareness or positive attitudes towards that brand.

Advertisers probably know this already, and are focusing on the other 50 percent of clicks. But what they should really be doing is stop counting clicks and start measuring things that actually matter to their business, like sales or brand awareness. Counting clicks is easy. Measuring meaningful economic returns is not.

(Photo by Checlap).