High CTR Banner? Make it Blank.
Not sure if you heard the news, but a blank banner seems to perform better than most real banners. Seriously: A banner with nothing whatsoever on it, seems to actually do better than pretty much any banner whatsoever. According to ARF, the weird name for the Advertising Research Foundation, in a very non-official study conducted by them, people actually click a lot on banners: more than normal for most brand campaigns.
The average click-through rate across half a million ads served was 0.08%, which would be good for a brand campaign, and so-so for a direct response campaign. We detected no click fraud in the data we counted. Half the clickers told us they were curious, the other half admitted to a mistaken click. To obtain further insights, we tracked hovers, interactions, “mouse downs,” heat maps—everything. (Heat maps detect click fraud because bots tend to click on the same spot every time.)
What does this mean for the online advertising industry? Well, it means that most people probably don’t mean to necessarily click on banners, some people just click because they are curious and well, despite all the technology out there to monetize banners, most of the placements still suck. Remember, people in general do not click on banners. If you didn’t also remember, according to ComScore as much as 30% of all banners are also complete crap and aren’t seen.