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Why is Display Network CTR So Low?

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# 1
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So my snooping around has revealed that the CTR on the Display Network should pretty much be expected to be low.  Under 1% CTR.


I was thinking about this though.  I understand that people SEARCHING for something are more likely to click than someone who is just browsing a website.  That being said, isn't there a problem with overexposure?


For example, I go to a site and I see a Capital One mortgage ad.  I do nothing as I go from page to page on the site.  The ad shows up multiple times and I ignore it.  And go away.


I show up the next day and see the same ad again.  This time I click because I'm curious.  I just tool around Capital One's site though, and dissapear.  Come back to the ORIGINAL site (news site) next day and there is Capital One ad again.


In the first example, I was not interested in Capital One's Ad..and it doesn't matter how much we want to talk about people consistently being exposed to the message over time through branding.  The ad didn't interest me and I spend the entire morning on the site burning through 100 pages of impressions.


In example 2 I clicked...but did nothing.  Then came back and burned through 100 pages of impressions. The ad just didn't matter to me anymore.  I had already clicked it once.


Couldn't this problem be solved by Captial One having 50 different ads which are rotated thorugh as I go thorugh the site so I never see the same ad twice?  I may have clicked one ad and it no longer interests me, but that doesn't mean that other ads won't.


Maybe the generally low CTR is due to not having a lot more than 2 ad variations for simple A/B split testing?

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Why is Display Network CTR So Low?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
If you add (wisely) keywords that are "tightly themed" with the content of your webpage (and if we go further, add another targeting method - e.g. Topics) you could improve CTR ; See another discussion from today:
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Accepted by topic author Brian K
September 2015

Re: Why is Display Network CTR So Low?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 3
Top Contributor Alumni


Just to add to @MosheTLV 

I would like to divide this in to 2 scenarios.

1. Most probably if same ad is following you around the web then most probably its a remarketing ad.

2. Either for pure display or remarketing you can control the number of impressions per user by 

Frequency capping

hope this helps

Regards, Nik
LinkedIn  |   @nikhilparachure | My Blog

Re: Why is Display Network CTR So Low?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Brian K,

Moshe and Nik have provided great advice on targeting and frequency capping. Your idea of having more than 2 image ads in a group is also valid. I would just like to add, you'll likely need 2 or more image ads of each size. You may want to arrange your ads in ad groups by the number of ad units the ads occupy. That will allow you to bid higher for the larger images and lower for the smaller images. Be sure to include text ads as a fall back in at least one ad group, or in its own ad group.

Best of Luck!

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords