The display ad click-through habits of European cities have been ranked and mapped, and the results show some pretty distinct patterns.  

A project between content analytics company Priceonomics and retargeting specialist AdRoll compiled aggregate click-through rates in geographic areas based on partial IP addresses, where there was “enough click data for it to be statistically relevant”.

A simple ‘click-through index’ was created to rank each area, including both countries and capitals, where 10.0 is the most likely at one end of the scale, and 1.0 the least likely at the other.

Portugal 1 – 0 Ireland

Interestingly, Lisbon was leagues ahead of its European brethren, scoring a perfect 10.0 on the chart.

Its closest rival was Madrid, scoring just 6.9.

Dublin, however, was five times less likely to click on an ad than the Portuguese capital, at 1.8. That’s two times less any other countries analysed, while Bern and Reykjavik, flying the flag for Switzerland and Iceland respectively, bothl ranked considerably below average.

At country level, Portugal tops the list again – the rest of the nation not letting down its capital’s penchant for a click – followed closely behind by Ukraine, weighing in with 9.3.

With Moldova, Russia and Belarus following suit – aside from Spain and Portugal – it’s clear from the data that those in Eastern Europe click on ads at a higher rate than the rest of the continent. The researchers suggest this that could be linked to regions of Eastern Europe being more recent adopters of the internet, with broadband growing three times faster from 2008 to 2012 than in Western Europe.

The notable outlier, however, Portugal’s internet and broadband adoption rates are more in line with Eastern Europe, which provides some explanation for the high propensity for clicking on ads.

The United Kingdom strikes a relatively average 5.3. Yet, by placing 16 out of 40 countries, the nation is more likely than most to click through on an ad.  

Having conducted former research on the United States, AdRoll and Priceonomics point out that European countries have a much wider disparity in CTR than the North American states, where there was only a 3.4 gap between the state with the highest CTR index (Mississippi, 10), and the lowest (Utah, 6.6). In Europe the gap between Portugal and Finland is 6.1.

*Some countries excluded due to insufficient data; United States included for reference

With global advertising spend on a steady increase and predicted to reach $579 billion this year, understanding where display advertising budgets can be best placed is valuable knowledge to marketers, commented Adam Berke, CMO and president of AdRoll.  

“It’s always interesting to see how people in different regions respond to marketing messages. In terms of actionable takeaways, one thing the data clearly shows is that marketers need to be aware of what metrics they’re using depending on what countries they’re targeting.

“If you’re trying to reach people in Ukraine and Portugal, clicks might provide a good indication of campaign performance, however, in countries like France and Norway, you’ll have to use other attribution indicators to get a sense for campaign performance.”

For a different perspective on regional CTR propensity, take a look at the heat map below: