Andrew K Long asked:
Everyone knows that the click through rate for banner ads is low. The average click through rate in the B2B sector is around .4%; not a fantastic one by anyone’s standards. While this rate does fluctuate, you cannot rely on a click through rate alone if you want your adverts to have an impact.
Of course, some placements are much better than others when it comes to click through rates for these formats. For instance, banner advertisements on a very targeted range of b2b site can have a click through rate of around 1% or above, more than twice the average for general ‘run of site’ B2B banners.
Placing your ads where they will be seen by your target market ensures generating more interest. Visitors find their way to a site via organic search results; and lo and behold, they are greeted by your relevant advert! It’s no secret that targeting your advertising is the smartest move regardless of which media you’re working in.
So what of consumer-targeted banner ads? The click through rates here are even lower, with an average of around .25%. Conversion rates are also lower than the 2.8% average of B2B ads. Just like B2B, getting results is all about placement. You need to know your target market and place your advertising accordingly if you want your adverts to receive more than the bare minimum of clicks.
However, none of this is meant to discourage you or any other business from using banner ads, despite the somewhat gloomy talk about the click through rate seen by these ads. There is more to these adverts than clicks; they are a visual advertising medium which allows consumers or businesses to see your name in lights, as it were and to take a look at what you have to offer. Banner ads placed on the right websites can go a long way towards name recognition and brand building.
Your ad is a sort of virtual billboard and as in print, it’s all about your design. Just because it is appearing on the web doesn’t mean that looks don’t matter – they matter every bit as much as they do in print. When designing your banner ads, whether for a B2B or B2C market, Use a static graphic. Animated banners tend to annoy readers and there’s nothing which screams advert louder than animation.
The ads which get the best results are those which fit into the design of the website where they are placed. If it’s possible to match the color scheme and general feel of the website without taking away from your branding, this is the way to go. The adverts which blend into their environment receive more click throughs. Readers will also spend more time looking at these ads than they would a garishly colored, blinking banner.
Make the most of your online advertising by carefully targeting your banner ads towards the people you’re trying to reach and make them fit right into the page. You’ll get a significantly higher return on investment from ads which fit naturally into the context and the design of the page. Yes, banner advertising does still matter – as long as you know how and where to use them as part of your online marketing strategy.
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