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Do People Even Click on Banner Ads Anymore?

By Snap Agency June 10, 2016

I was in a meeting not that long ago with a client, and I asked a candid question, “When’s the last time you clicked on a banner ad?”

To my surprise, one of the people in the room said, “This past week,” and went on to explain how she had a pair of boots that kept on showing up in the display network for Google Adwords.

This begs the question, have we been thinking about paid ads all wrong? Are paid ads broken except where they are used to facilitate an intention you’ve already expressed? And, perhaps more importantly, should we be doing everything in our power to make sure re-marketing (or showing people ads when they’ve visited your site) is as targeted to the content they originally saw as possible?

Who’s doing banner ads well? Amazon and some startups on Facebook with promoted posts

From what I’ve seen, Amazon kills it at serving up ads for products I’ve looked at before. Another example is a lot of “software as a service” companies on Facebook, which know that I’ve looked at their content or used the free version of their service, so they continue marketing to me either with promotions to their landing pages, or more content marketing that creates more brand awareness.

People click on banner ads if they solve a problem they’ve already expressed interest in solving

Do people click on Banner ads?

Who looks at Banner Ads Infographic by Prestige Marketing

Banner ads and other paid digital ads are best when they’re super specific to something you already want or have clicked on before

The point in the end is that it’s something that people have looked at before or have considered purchasing or acting on. This doesn’t mean advertising your company when someone has been to your site before, but rather consider a more granular approach if you offer multiple products or services.

Do you offer interior decoration and exterior painting and you are also a realtor? Well, then you should be using Google Adwords tools to make sure people are seeing the ads for the service they were looking at on your site—not just one general ad that doesn’t have a calculated hook.

Other ways to get better at targeting PPC ads:

  • Target by time spent on the site— serve more aggressive ads that strike a familiar tone with people who’ve spent a lot of time on your site.
  • Target by e-mail list you’ve already collected to target people further down in the sales funnel.
  • Target by serving ads on sites only related to the types of products or services you’re selling.

Don’t just settle for the types of PPC ads you’ve always had

Push for something more targeted, more niche, more narrowed down. Get them where you want them and where they want you.