To get the best results, online advertising must take into account the way people use the internet, one expert has highlighted.

Search engine marketing will be most successful if firms take time to understand their consumers' digital behaviour, explained Faye Weeks, director of Connect Insight.

She pointed out that social media marketing in particular requires good knowledge of the audience being targeted.

"Advertisers need to understand who they are appealing to and utilise all appropriate communication vehicles, of which social media may be one," she said.

Figures from the digital media search agency have revealed that less than a fifth (17 per cent) of internet users define online advertising as appealing, highlighting the need for marketers to ramp up their efforts.

Those under 34 were more likely to see online advertising as appealing and relevant, while more than half of over-55s actively avoided sites where adverts interrupt their browsing.

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