Is the File Size of Your Display Ads Killing Your Performance?
July 31, 2017
Over the past few years, advertisers have increasingly turned to the more impactful ways of advertising online like full page take overs, elaborate gifs and HTML5 animation, really impressive light box video. And let’s be honest, when executed well, they are pretty awesome to look at and I admire the creativity behind them. But… is it necessary? They are overly intrusive at times, they can really impact of the UX of the content the end user is trying to access and for the most part, just really annoying. It is not surprising that the the usage of ad blockers, particularly among millennials is exploding. While this may seem daunting, take a moment (or several) to consider why ad blockers are good for the PPC industry and forces us, as advertisers to reflect inward and fix our approach.
Last Month, I read an intriguing article on AdExchanger about the impact of the raw file size of display ads and the potential impact that they can be having on campaign performance. While you may not think the size of one ad impacts an entire UX, when combined with multiple ads, with multiple formats and ad types, it becomes a raging hot mess. I ran a load time inspect to show how long it can take for ads to load. You will see from the video, it takes 6 seconds from refresh to load ads on 100MB speed internet. Both ads load at the same time , but, imagine if we as advertisers got together and decided that ad file size should be smaller and load times were faster, how would that improve UX and Brand Awareness? Especially on Mobile and Desktop.
All of this really got me thinking, could it be true? I decided to put it to the test and run the numbers. For the analysis, I focused on the 300×250 sized placements, a.) To keep consistency and b.) it is the most common across platforms, and I focused on the previous 90 days worth of data.
Here is what I found out:
Across all devices and connection types we see the CTR and conversion volume improves, the smaller the ad size:
So it fits in with our theory that ad file size matters. Great… we are right, no need to go any further. But… I did anyway.
When connected to WiFi or broadband, on any device, it remains pretty consistent with above, no real surprise. But when I broke it down to mobile carrier and smartphone device. The average CTR increases significantly across the board. Conversions also dropped, but as our clients mobile experience is not fantastic, this was expected. However, our theory on engagement is carrying through:
Finally, I decided to look at our strongest platform, desktop, on a WiFi connection:
Unsurprisingly, the CTR isn’t hugely impacted, but the smaller ad size and probable faster load time saw 7.5% more conversions during the same period.
So what does this all mean? In a nutshell, each advertiser is probably going to see different results and direct impact based on their strategies. However, while we all want beautiful ads and make then stand out, what is the point if they don’t load fast enough to get in front of the intended audience. This data may not be conclusive, but it is an indication that there is something to this theory. To sum it up, test it yourself, analyze your own numbers and if the data highlights some quick wins, keep things simple.
Browse By Category
Smart RLSA Tips for the Holiday Season
The holiday season is just around the corner! Get tips on how to fine tune your RLSA audiences to capture additional conversions or revenue.
Our Attendees Have Spoken - Why You Can't Miss London
At Hero Conf London, 23-25 October, we've created a schedule that can be tailored to any PPC role. In-depth, actionable sessions for the PPC Specialist and high-level strategies and tactics for the Marketing Manager looking to generate new opportunities.
Using Google Sheets as a Script Controller
Learn how to use Google Sheets to make AdWords script adjustments via spreadsheet rather than through the code itself.
A bi-weekly newsletter packed full of resources and strategies that will help make you a better PPC expert.
Hanapin Marketing | The PPC Agency of Experts Behind PPC Hero
How To Setup An Apple Search Ads Campaign
Apple Search Ads has become a huge force in the world of app downloads. Get tips on how to launch a campaign to promote an app!
Adding Facebook Ad Block Lists
Get tips on how to add a Facebook ad placement block list and start blocking your ads from appearing on certain websites.
Optimizing Display Advertising in an Omni-Channel World
We’re teaming up with DialogTech to tell you all about display tactics you can put in place for conversion success, both online and over the phone. DialogTech’s Blair Symes and Hanapin’s Stephanie White will show you the advanced strategies that will have a big impact...