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The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from The Advertising Research Foundation by Robert Barocci, Taddy Hall, Steve Rappaport, Joseph Plummer

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Interplay of Reach and Site Visiting

Now that we have established the basics of online reach and frequency and brought forward a number of strategic approaches for building reach and thinking about frequency, we are ready to tackle a couple of advanced topics. The first we address concerns where a person is reached on a website, and the second looks at the issue of when consumers respond to online ads.

When people visit a website—like WSJ.com or ESPN.com, say—they normally land on a home page, click to another page, then another page, and so on until they leave. We can think of each succeeding page visited as depth; after three clicks, people are four pages deep into the site.

Ad network Tribal Fusion (Goodman 2006) homed in on action-oriented behaviors—banner click rates and conversion rates, which they ordered by page depth. Analyzing 2.6 billion impressions over 600 campaigns that ran over 750 sites in their network, they found that click-through rates were highest in the first few pages. When click-through rates were indexed to the first page exposure, the rate dropped to 60% for the second page. By the fifth page click-through rates declined to 50%, and then they steadily tailed away. The conversion rate trend is less predictive. It showed a dip from the first page to the third page, but instead of a steady decline pages 4 through 13 stayed at the third-page level and then dropped. It may be that consumers prefer to see more information before taking a commitment step like ...

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