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Why Banner Ads Don’t Work

April 29, 2013

Marketing


I always knew banner ads didn’t work very well, and have always opted for Google AdWords Text Ads instead, but when I came across this article from HubSpot I was shocked.

The average banner ad has a 0.1% clickthrough rate (CTR), and the standard 468×60 banner has a 0.04% CTR. Those numbers are pretty shocking, but the stats below are almost depressing.

10 Shocking But True Display Advertising Stats

  1. You are more likely to complete NAVY SEAL training than click a banner ad. (Source: Solve Media) Tweet This

  2. Only 8% of internet users account for 85% of clicks on display ads (and some of them aren’t even humans!). (Source: comScore) Tweet This 
  3. You are more likely to get a full house while playing poker than click on a banner ad. (Source: Solve Media) Tweet This 
  4. The average person is served over 1,700 banner ads per month. Do you remember any? (Source: comScore) Tweet This

  5. You are more likely to summit Mount Everest than click a banner ad. (Source: Solve Media) Tweet This
  6. The average clickthrough rate of display ads is 0.1%. (Source: DoubleClick) Tweet This

  7. You are more likely to birth twins than click a banner ad. (Source: Solve Media) Tweet This 
  8. About 50% of clicks on mobile ads are accidental. (Source: GoldSpot Media) Tweet This

  9. You are more likely to get into MIT than click a banner ad. (Source: Solve Media) Tweet This 
  10. You are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad. (Source: Solve Media) Tweet This

What should you do?

As I said above I always opt for Google AdWords Text Ads instead of their Display Network, and for good reason. Before I learned the shocking stats above I could see that I was wasting money with the Display Network. When you think about it, it makes sense. When you see Text Ads they’re next to search results for keywords you just searched for. When you see banner ads they’re on sites you’re browsing, and although Google tries their best to match your ads to the content of the site, it doesn’t always work. Combine that with the eye tracking graphic above showing how bad banner blindness is, and you’ve got a complete waste of money.

Do you ever click banner ads? Do you even notice them? Advertisers, do you use banner ads? Do they work?