September 16, 2008

Banner Ad Size and Click Rate: Bigger a Bit Better, But It’s Clicks that Count

SUMMARY: In Week 2 of our four-week focus on online advertising, we look at click rates for standard-size banner ads. Bigger ads do a bit better, but size has little impact on the click rate. It’s the clicks that count.
Banner Ad Average Click Rate by Size

(Arranged from largest to smallest ad size)
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When it comes to banner ads, asking about click rates actually misses the point. As this chart demonstrates, response rates for online ads are typically low, no matter what their size. Ironically, low clicks don’t necessarily mean the ads aren’t working.

Online ads are branding tools. Direct clicks are simply a happy byproduct. In the context of direct response, online ads appear to be, at best, moderately successful.

Given this moderate success, it’s important to maximize response -- because ads that garner any clicks are likely doing a good job fulfilling their real purpose: strengthening brand and catching the eye.

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