New research reveals what Australian internet users really think of online ads

Australian internet users are among the least responsive to online advertisements in the world, recording the lowest average “dwell times” and “dwell rates” (measurements of the time spent looking at an ad) out of a number of developer countries, new figures from online research house Eyeblaster reveal.

The company’s analysis is based on what it calls “dwelling” on an advertisement by a user. This is defined as an active engagement with an ad, such as positioning the mouse over an ad, clicking on video on an ad or expanding an ad.

The Eyeblaster survey also shows advertisements listed on internet and tech sites receive the most attention with a dwell rate (the number of ad impressions “dwelled upon” or interacted with out of all ads impressions served) of 12.6%, followed by those listed on sports websites with a 10.5% rate and retail sites at 9.3%.

Additionally, the survey also shows interactive ads generate more interest and result in a higher conversion rate, while combining video into advertisements increases dwell rates by 29%.

The survey, which analysed the results of more than 13 billion media impressions, showed that increasing a dwell rate from 5% to 15% actually increases the respective conversion rate by 45%, from 0.4% to 0.6%. The survey claims this shows advertisements promoting interactivity are more effective in generating conversions.

Eyeblaster country manager, Australia and New Zealand, Carolyn Bollaci says the results show businesses should be making the most out of interactive advertisements.

“We’ve been a bit disappointed with the Australian market because the dwelling rates have been so slow compared to other markets, but there are obvious reasons for that, specifically around broadband speeds.”

“Video increases dwelling rates exponentially, and of course with HD video it requires faster internet speeds, and in Australia those just aren’t accessible as of yet. It’s unfortunate because businesses can be doing a lot with them.”

Bollaci says businesses need to place advertisements in areas with longer dwelling exposure rates, or places where people spend more time, use video wherever possible and then try and use high impact ads that use some sort of interactive feature.

“These types of ads increase the likelihood of being seen and spending more time. It’s also worth noting that news and media performed the worst out of all the sections, which is something to think about when considering ads.”

The figures come as new Nielsen data shows mobile traffic on sites such as news.com.au and smh.com.au is the strongest in Australia. However, Bollaci says traffic alone doesn’t necessarily mean an advertisement will perform successfully.

“We want to make sure businesses pay attention to the ads they are using. Make sure the media buy you are running is in tune with your message and you are engaging with the most amount of people possible. Interactivity is something that should be emphasised.”

The study also found that higher dwell rates triple brand-related searches, increase traffic by 69% and increase brand engagement. Additionally, combining video increases dwell rates by 29% and doubles average dwell time.

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