Website traffic that is referred by search engines tends to have a higher ad click-through rate than traffic that comes from other sources, according to a study from Chitika. Examining “tens of millions” of online ad impressions in the US and Canada from October 1-10, Chitika found that traffic from Ask.com, Bing, Yahoo! and Google all displayed a higher CTR on average than traffic from within the site or direct traffic.
Among the search engines measured, traffic from Ask.com displayed the highest click-through rate, although that traffic represented just 2% of the search engine traffic tracked. Using Ask.com as the index benchmark, Chitika shows that Bing and Yahoo! traffic each had a substantially lower CTR (28% of the index rate), with Google further behind (17%). Traffic from outside sites (14%) and within the site (11%) each had a higher CTR than direct traffic (6%).
The study authors caution that there are other variables that affect CTR that are not accounted for in these results, such as CTR differences between Windows desktop and Mac OS X users, as well as between new and returning site users. But the data does suggest that search engine traffic “should be considered when developing retargeting spending plans and advertising strategies as a whole.”