Marketers to Develop More Engaging Online Display Ads

Marketers continue to shift advertising money from traditional media into online display. But click-​through rates (CTR), the standard method to measure effectiveness, remains frustratingly low. A new study issued by AdKeeper and 24/​7 Real Media explains why consumers aren’t clicking and what marketers can do to improve their returns on display advertising.

Industry statistics indicate the average CTR for display advertising is about 0.09%. When consumers click an ad, marketers assume they want more information about the product or service being promoted. But a low CTR generally means an even lower yield of consumers who will take the next step of actually making a purchase.

Is there a way to generate more clicks? Researchers who carried out the AdKeeper study believe one solution to the problem is to discover why consumers don’t click on more ads. Here are the top reasons given by a pool of 600 consumers between the ages of 18 and 54 who rarely, if ever, click.

  • Don’t want to be distracted from current content: 61%
  • Online display ads are not relevant to them: 58%
  • Worried about span/​virus/​screen takeover:  50+%
  • Online ads aren’t engaging: 43%
  • Click only the ads they’re interested in: 31%
  • Don’t want their behavior tracked: 31%

AdKeeper CEO and Chairman Scott Kurnit believes that consumers might show more interest in online ads if they were allowed to “control their interaction with online ads, making them useable content, not interruptions.” Currently advertisers allocate 15% of their budgets to online formats while consumers turn to the Internet for 28% of their media time. This mismatch may continue until merchants are convinced that online advertising is yielding a decent ROI.  Developing more engaging online ad content and making that content useful instead of disruptive may go a long way toward improving consumer opinions about display ads.

[Source: Top Reason Users Don’t Click Banner Ads. AdKeeper​.com. 19 Apr. 2011. Web. 11 May 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.