Banner ads are another effective medium for increasing website traffic. Banner ads are generally small ads that include text and graphics and perhaps motion that can be clicked on by the user to link directly to the advertiser’s website. Banner ads are generally displayed on high-traffic sites such as online newspapers and other virtual publications. Unlike PPC advertising, most banner ads are charged by impressions, not by clicks. This is measured and priced at a cost per thousand impressions of CPM. CPM varies widely from publication to publication largely determined by how general or targeted the audience is.
Another factor to consider when buying banner ads is click through rate (CTR). The click through rate is the ratio of the number of people who actually click on your ad vs the number of people who saw your ad. The average click through rate for banner ads is .5%, 5 out of every 1,000 people who see your ad actually click on it and visit your site. CTR can also vary widely depending on how well targeted the ad is, where it is positioned on the page, and how well it is designed and executed. Based on an average CPM of $10 and the average CTR of .5%, it would cost you $2 for each person brought to your site.
Most experts will tell you not to measure the effectiveness of a banner ad campaign strictly by CTR. If your ad is done well, it is raising awareness for your brand whether it is clicked or not. At the end of the day, banner ads are still a much more cost effective medium for increasing website traffic than print advertising, and the fact that banner ads have a built-in tracking mechanism for measuring response is very beneficial as well.
Either way, it is obvious that banner ads aren’t cheap. All the more reason to hire a professional to make sure you are buying ads on the right sites and making your ads as effective as possible to maximize your return on investment.