3 Display Ads and What Makes Them Click

more clicks

Many publishers measure the success of display advertising by tracking click-through rates on their websites. Maybe the ads on your site generate an average click-through rate (CTR) of .5%! That’s great! You’re averaging twice as many impressions per ad as last year? Awesome! Or is it? Could you be getting even more clicks for your advertisers?

While those figures are impressive, they don’t tell the whole story. How do different display ad formats compare? You can easily answer this question, and more, by looking at the analytics in your Broadstreet dashboard.

The average click-through rate for local news publishers is .1%, but top publishers are achieving rates of .4%, .5%, or even .6%. Those are truly impressive results. Whether you’ve hit those numbers or not, there are things you can do to increase click-through rates on your website.

You need to keep advertisers happy to generate more renewals. ​​The question is, where do you begin? 

One of the biggest factors that determines click-through rates is the ad creative. Certain high-performing ad formats generate double, or even triple, the engagement online. The best way to increase click-through rates is by changing up the style, size, dynamism, and imagery of the ads on your website. Unique ads generate more attention than standard display ads, that increased attention gets more clicks, which results in higher ROI for the advertiser.

If you’re not sure which ads to use or how to compare the results from different ad formats, don’t worry. We’ve boiled down the process of comparing ad formats, and we’re showing you how top digital publishers are using three ad distinct formats from Broadstreet to generate impressive results.

3 Display Ads to Watch

1. Real Estate Showcase
2. Instant Facebook and Instagram
3. Billboard

Real Estate Showcase

When we ask publishers to tell us which display ad formats are generating the highest click-through rates and impressions, the Real Estate Showcase is always near the top of the list.

A Real Estate Showcase ad on Richland Source, a ParkAve customer, generated a click-through rate of 0.5%. This far exceeded Richland Source’s average click-through rate of 0.11% to 0.14%.

Why is the Real Estate Showcase so good at getting more clicks for digital publishers? 

The Real Estate Showcase ad format was developed to give real estate agents a way to create eye-catching ads that promote their most important properties. Real Estate Showcase ads are stylish, and they put all the relevant information front and center. Real estate agents can update ads with new images and property information on the fly, so their ads never feel stale.

Instant Facebook and Instagram 

Did you know the first Broadstreet ad ever created was a variation of the Instant Facebook ad? Our local hyperlocal, Red Bank Green, was in jeopardy of losing an advertiser. The advertiser wanted to push their daily lunch special to more people (which they already posted to Facebook daily). Broadstreet’s founder Kenny Katzgrau had the fix, and instantly it became one of the best performing ads among digital news publishers.

Why the immediate success? One word: Responsiveness. 

Broadstreet’s Instant Facebook and Instant Instagram ads are responsive, which means they automatically update with an advertiser’s most recent post image and message. Those features are rolled into a stylish ad format, combined with the advertiser’s logo and name. Broadstreet clients have generated incredible results, with Instant Facebook and Instant Instagram ads getting more clicks for your advertisers than their competition.


There’s a reason why the Billboard is one of Broadstreet’s most popular ad formats — it gets results! 

We know that position on the page is one of the biggest factors influencing CTR. For maximum impact, ads should be visible, and they should be placed in a position that’s hard to miss. 

Size is also an important factor to consider when considering clicks. How big is the ad? Larger ads attract more attention and generate more engagement. We all know that. When it comes to size, it’s hard to beat the Billboard. Billboards are large, powerful banners that can be placed at the top of any website. They work best on websites with a set background color. Although they’re used most frequently for retail, real estate, and firm branding clients, advertisers in every category are attracted to this format.

Broadstreet’s Billboard ad format is used by top publishers in every niche, including Sweetwater Now, Southwest Wyoming’s independent news source. Sweetwater Now makes $15,000 to $20,000 per month using the Billboard ad format. These ads get a 1% CTR — an incredible feat in today’s competitive advertising market. 

Have you ever compared the performance of different display ad formats on your own site? If you’re looking for more insights, check out Broadstreet’s Ad Format Gallery, where you’ll find 118+ products for rapidly differentiating your sales process.

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