It may not be what you want to hear, but over the course of the year click-through rates vary.
According to a study of more than 10 billion banner inquiries across Europe from ADTECH (not to be confused with ad:tech), the average click-through rate fluctuates between 0.11% and 0.19%. Apparently, users click on display ads more frequently toward the end of the year, during the major online shopping period. The rate then restabilizes in January at 0.12%.
Since 2004, the average click-through rate has fallen, however, from around 0.3%.
In 2006, ABI Research reported that the average click-through rate for an online banner ad was 0.2%, indicating that the decline has been steady.
Across Europe click-through rates vary significantly. Users in France are at the high end with an average click rate of 0.18%, and UK users are at 0.13%. At 0.10%, the German click rate is in the middle of the European range. Scandinavian Web users are more “click cautious,” with average rates of 0.04% for Sweden, 0.05% for Finland and 0.06% for Norway.
ADTECH found that the size of the ad also affects the click rate. Not surprisingly, bigger is better.
A glance up at the chart reveals that the majority of clicks in the display field go to pop-ups, layers and the half-size format (234x60), with an average of 0.5% each. Video ads performed even better at an average 1.7% click rate.
Obviously, video ads greatly increase click-through rates, but compared with banner ads they are more expensive to both place and produce, and as their novelty wears off their rates may decline, too.
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