Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on May 4th, 2009

Online Audience Research For Advanced SEO

As digital marketing swiftly takes on the effectiveness of TV advertising, the industry is realizing that time- and activity-targeting in the digital world may maximize the effectiveness of messaging. As search engine optimization and the advertising worlds overlap and gray many areas in strategic online communications, creative content and online messaging for any company optimizing their website may want to take in consideration the following information. A study by the U.K. Internet Advertising Bureau with Lightspeed Research has found that web surfers pay attention to ads more in the early evening and later.


Younger audiences are more susceptible to marketing messages as the day grows older, while the older audiences peaked in attention between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Only 4.6% of consumers say they pay attention before 9 a.m. while that figure climbs significantly to 51.6% after 6 p.m. During the lunchtime period, consumers do not pay attention to ads, with only 11% paying any attention.

If you incorporate flash, video, or animation on your home page, you should be able to control what is being shown and when, to some degree. This is a prime opportunity to customize your messaging depending on the time of day. You can change the tone to a slightly more humorous approach after 6 p.m. and a smidgen more professional during the day. I think I can safely say that most people could use something witty after work.


The research also implicated that the best avenue to reach consumers is during e-commerce activity, with 65% of respondents saying that they would look at ads and 19% “very likely” to do while they are researching or actively purchasing online. The worst activities to try and engage with the surfer is while they are reading the news, using email and instant messenger. Only 6% are “very likely” to respond to commercial messaging.

This has something to do with being at the right place at the right time... where preparation and hard work intersect. If you know your customers, you should know where they are hanging out.

If you have a product or service that specifically attends to something that is time-sensitive, like skin care, or activity-sensitive, like ice chests, this research could help hone your content creation and messaging strategies. No matter what, you want to avoid being too sales-y and generic with your overall messaging. When people read or shop online, they have the attention span of a hummingbird, so you need to optimize what you are saying, and when you are saying it. Volacci is very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.