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Ad Click Rate

Ad Click Rate Benchmarks to Measure Against in 2021

Ad Click Rate

How do your advertising click-through rates stack up against competitors? Check out the internet average ad click rate benchmarks to see how your site compares.

Click-through rates (CTRs) are one of the best ways to gauge how well the ads on a website are performing. Click-through rate equals the number of clicks an ad receives, divided by the number of times an ad is shown. 

Unfortunately, ad click-through rate is only a valuable metric when it’s used in context. Click-through rates can be tracked over time or compared to websites with similar reader demographics to measure performance. Understanding how your ad click rate compares to the internet average can give you a clear idea of how much value you’re providing to your clients. Showing advertisers how their campaigns compare to internet averages is key to generating repeat business.

Let’s talk about the ad click rate benchmarks among local news publishers, and internet average ad click rates in 2021.

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The internet average ad click rate in 2021 is .06%. That means that roughly one out of every 1,600 people who see an ad will click on it. For local news publishers, a .06% CTR is an easy threshold to cross. 

As long as you are positioning your ads correctly on the page and making sure ad creatives aren’t running too long, you should have no trouble beating a .06% CTR.

Across local news publishers, including newspapers, and city and regional magazines, we see an industry click-through rate that’s between .1% and .15%. This is for standard banner ads — typically 728×90 banner ads and 300×250 banner ads in the sidebar. Local news publishers with high-quality readerships who are running basic display ads can expect to see a .1% to .15% CTR.

When it comes to higher-impact units — which Broadstreet specializes in — average click-through rates start looking more impressive. Native ads units, ads with video, HTML5 units, and anything that looks unique on a publisher’s website tend to perform really well. These ads generate a .25% to .75% CTR. That means one out of every 500 people who see one of these high-impact ad units is clicking.

Another top performing ad unit is the billboard ad. Publishers who run large billboards, like the type on SweetwaterNOW and New Jersey Monthly, are seeing click-through rates that are 1% or higher. Advertisers will be willing to pay top dollar for that level of performance.

At Broadstreet, we ran a homepage banner ads on the LION Publishers website to promote a webinar. Out of the 200 sign ups that our webinar received, 50 came through the billboard ad that we ran over just a couple weeks.

Generally speaking, shorter campaigns generate higher click-through rates. Any type of short-term pop-up ad that runs one or two days is going to perform better than a longer-term ad. Publishers who run short-term ads or temporary ads regularly see click-through rates reaching 2%.

Although it’s important to remember the limitations that come with comparing ad click rates to internet averages—keeping in mind that certain outliers will always exist—there is real value in knowing how your rates stack up against industry benchmarks. We expect most local news publishers to be hitting .1% or higher. If you are not achieving those goals, there are some hacks to achieve higher click-through rates.

To learn more about which ad formats generate the highest click-through rates for local and niche publishers, check out The 3 Most Effective Ad Formats for Local Publishers.

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