PARIS/NEW YORK: Performance display advertising can increase the effectiveness of search engine optimisation and turn viewers into clickers and ultimately into customers, according to research.

A white paper from Criteo, a specialist in performance display advertising, produced in partnership with researchers Nielsen and Mediametrie, looked at the recent development of performance display advertising – which, unlike classic display ads, deploys intelligence about a user's online history to serve up relevant and timely ads.

Criterio claimed that performance display was now on a par with search and social, with over half of all internet users having seen a performance display ad during September 2013.

The study covered all laptop and desktop web actions of 22,000 panelist users in France, and about 180,000 in the US, with Nelsen tracking each click on a Criterio banner ad over a two-month period.

It found that click-through rates on performance display ads were up to five times higher than classic display ads, while almost 20% of internet users clicked on such an ad at least once every two months.

In addition, searchers who clicked on performance display ads also did 51% more organic search clicks and 35% more paid search clicks so resulting in an increase in natural search.

But Criterio argued that performance display had a proven capacity to recruit users that paid search alone could not address as it found that, on average across all industries, 65% of the consumers recruited through performance display did not click on paid search.

Further, those people clicking on performance display ads were older and had higher incomes and showed increased intent on "big ticket" items such as automobiles or real estate.

Clickers were broadly consistent with advertisers' core targets: around 70% of internet users clicking on high tech and auto performance display campaigns were male, while a similar proportion clicking on fashion and luxury campaigns were female.

Criterio suggested its research demonstrated that performance display advertising was now a standalone marketing channel worthy of its own budget, able to provide measurable ROI and to generate synergies with other channels such as search while improving the overall media spend of advertisers.

Data sourced from Criterio; additional content by Warc staff