Average CTR on Banner Ads

For years, I’ve been wondering whether our banner click-through rates on DiabetesDaily.com are low or high. I want to be able to look our advertisers in the eye and say: “Boy, do we have a great deal for you. Check out these numbers and imagine the return on your investment!”

We have many ad spots with click-through rates above 1%. These are undeniably great. But what about the skyscraper ad on the right side of our forum? It has been averaging a .15% click-through rate during the past two months. Granted, we have regular advertisers and regular customers, so there is a certain amount of ad blindness. But isn’t that a bit low?

MarketingSherpa has posted this fantastic graph showing the average click-through rate of different banner ads sizes. And it looks like our “low-potential” forum spots are actually over-performing.

Average CTR on banner ads
Next time I pitch to an advertiser, this chart will be at the top of my mind. How are your ads stacking up?
  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the chart, now that I’ve seen the stats…I understand why so many sites (ehow, wikihow, nearly every Q&A site) runs that 300 by 250 ad unit. The site I run gets a much higher CTR…but, the landing page for most folks is covered with ads, so in the future, we’re going to experiment to see if we can drive a better split between revenue and conversions. Eg, the top, middle ad unit on our site is more like a 336 by 280 and we get north of 4% CTR…but, it’s also covering, crowding out most of the content above the fold for new visitors.

  • That’s always an interesting balance between ads and content. If you are a content farm, I think running more ads to encourage the user to click and leave is good. But if you’re goal is sales, member acquisition, or increasing total pageviews, then the balance must shift towards content.