Yes, people can click on a banner ad and be passed along to the advertiser’s website.  But the truth is that very few people click on banner ads (the industry average click-thru-rate or CTR is about 0.1%, which is about 1 in 1000).

We believe that it is wrong to say that the purpose of banner ads is to drive traffic to a website, because they have an impact on so many other things beyond just attracting clicks. There are numerous studies that look at what people do after they see a banner ad, and that show there is a very well-established connection between viewing an ad and later visiting the website, searching for a business by name (something called branded search), searching within the product category, etc.  For this reason, we believe that banner ads can help you build brand awareness online, but it is not easily measured by CTR’s.

The infographic below shares some of the additional metrics that come about from running display ads for your business. We would love to hear your stories about how banner ads play a role in your marketing mix!

Banner Ad Factoids from Vantage Local

References: “Improve Purchase Funnel Effectiveness” 2008

ComScore “Media Placement Strategies” 2010

Dunhumby & ComScore “Research Shows Online Advertising Lift In-Store CPG Brand Sales” 2011

IAB Europe “Brand awareness and digital: An IAB Europe White Paper” 2010

Eyeblaster: “Search & Display: Reach Beyond the Keyword” 2010