Are You Still Worrying About Banner Clicks?

At DSA, we’ve long subscribed to the theory that when it comes to banner ads, measuring click activity just isn’t that important. Not only do most people not click banner ads, but we know with the rise of mobile, about 60% of clicks on these devices are simply from fat finger syndrome.

And we’ve seen the same thing. On a recent campaign that optimized to online orders, we observed that 97.8% of conversions came view-through, meaning only 2.2% were from clickers. A total of 99 of the 16,700 clicks during the campaign went on to convert. That’s less than 0.06%!

Despite that, we often execute comprehensive UTM strategies to track each click into analytics (spoiler alert: time on site and bounce rates are going to suck) and work with creative teams who want to A/B test subtle call-to-actions to get that click (psst, no one is looking that closely).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we hear people pitch alternative tactics such as bait-and-switch style native ads, and propping up the CTR straw man to show all the reasons banner ads don’t work.

If you’re planning a campaign that’s dependent on driving a click from a banner or *shudder* video ad to get your message across, it might be time to re-think that strategy. Clever campaigns bring the message to the consumer and do not depend on disrupting their user experience by asking them to stop what they are doing and go do this other thing.

Banner ads are just one piece of a marketing mix and not always a fit, but , but when used appropriately, they can help complement a campaign.


Many of these awareness campaigns struggle to stay afloat, anchored by click-based objectives and sinking in a sea of meaningless data.