McTigue - Copywriter

  Horrific Banner Ad Click-Throughs
& How to Goose Them

by Jerry McTigue

Goose Your CTR

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 significantly.

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. Brilliant.

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: curiosity.

Online research library

Remember: quick, clear, provocative. Happy prospecting!

*Source: HubSpot

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. *Winner of both the Clio and Andy Awards for Advertising Excellence.

Copyright 2016 Gerard G. McTigue