Banner Ad Click-Throughs
& How to Goose Them
Banner ads, a.k.a.
online display ads, beg to be ignored. The
average click-through rate across all sizes
and page locations is 0.06%*. That’s roughly
one click per 1,600 impressions. Figuring a
conversion rate of 1% of website visitors
(which ain’t bad), you’d need 160,000 banner
ad impressions to make a single sale.
Yikes! Unless you're selling luxury yachts,
that can put your ROI underwater.
So how do you improve your banner ad CTR? In
my experience, if you’re displaying your ad on
a specific site, it helps to design it in the
image and likeness of that site, as if part of
its content. Click-throughs rise
But what if you’re placing your ad on many
different sites? Well, creativity then comes
into play. Big time. Treat banner ads
like outdoor billboards. If you want to make
an impact on someone driving by at 60mph, your
message has to be quick, clear and most of all
provocative. I once saw a billboard by the
Maine tourist office and never forgot it. It
said simply in large black letters on a
packed-powder slope: SKI ME.
Same with banner ads. If you cram them with a
busy hodgepodge of text, visuals and
self-serving twaddle, you can kiss your ad
dollars goodbye. The brain filters them out
like hemorrhoid commercials.
But make them clever, offbeat, teasing and fun
you stand a much better chance of catching the
eye…and the click. Here’s an example of one I
created for a client that lured visitors in
using that age-old, can’t-miss hook: