Google Display Ads Split Test

We’re testing a few different click options for our Google display ads. Here are the two different ad types:

Ad type 1:

entire-ad

Ad type 2: 

cta-only

Difference

Ad type one allows a user to click anywhere on the ad. This gives the ad a large clickable area.

In ad type two, the user can only click the CTA. The CTA acts like a button that a user has to locate and click.

Results

Although the two ad formats are similar in design and messaging, we have seen different results produced.

Ad type one has generated higher click-through-rates, but lower levels of page engagement. We see higher bounce rates and lower page session time.

Ad type two has generated inverse results. Click-through-rates are lower, but post-click performance is much better when a user does click.

Analysis

Results vary because of the nature of the two ad types.

Ad type one is entirely clickable, which requires much less effort for a user to take action. When an ad is easy to click, we can expect higher levels of click traffic – hence higher click-through-rates.

This ad type may also produce unintentional clicks. An unintentional click could come from a tablet user that taps your ad while navigating a blog post for example.

These factors support the lower on-page data we have seen. Easy clicks cast a wider net. This results in lower quality traffic. Unintentional clicks would also generate poor on-page data. Users who click an ad by accident will usually bounce immediately.

In Ad type two requires more effort from a user to get to the destination url. This is why we see lower click-through-rates. It is also why we see higher post-click performance.

The clickable CTA button does a better job of filtering out low quality or unintentional traffic. Users have to navigate the ad to reach the content. This produces much higher levels of engaged visitor traffic.

What type of flash ads are you more inclined to use?

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Jon Kaspszak

Jon is an avid digital marketer. You can connect with him at @JonKaspszak

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