Online Advertising Answers: March 2020

Welcome to Online Advertising Answers, a great place to get some interesting answers to interesting digital marketing questions.

This month’s questions:

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Online Advertising Answers



Q:What is a good CTR percentage?


A: “Hi Mohammed,

What can be considered a good CTR really depends on what platform you are talking about (as well as many other factors). CTR can be used to measure the percentage of people who click on anything online after all, and people don’t click equally on everything on the internet!

Having said that – to get you started, here are some helpful *overall* CTR benchmarks:


CTR Benchmarks


While these benchmarks are broadly useful to see where you are at, they are overall internet averages and take basically nothing into account. Average CTRs change depending on what industry you are in, what country you are in, what time of year it is, and for a plethora of other reasons.

This means that comparing your own CTR to too broad a benchmark isn’t that valuable. Sure the Search average CTR might by 5% – but if you are in an industry where it is commonly 25% and you are only getting 6% then you are not doing great!

Therefore the best advice I can give with relation to your CTR is that you should actually always just benchmark against your own past performance. If you are running Google Ads constantly, look at how well you did last month and try and beat it. The key is to always be improving!

The other best advice I can give you is that most of the time CTR is not the best measure of success. If you are trying to get someone to undertake any sort of action (eg buy something, sign up to something, whatever), then measure your CPA or Conversion Rate instead. Always keep your eyes on the prize!


How to measure your CTR

If, for whatever reason, you have to rely on CTR as your best measure of success, here is how you can measure it for yourself:


CTR Formula or Click Through Rate EquationClick to enlarge

CTR = (Clicks ÷ Impressions) x 100

[Alternatively, you can use this handy calculator to work it out for you]


CTR means the percentage of times that people clicked on something, out of all the times they had the potential to click. (eg 100 doctors all see an ad for a new medicine, but only 5 of them click – then your CTR is 5%).

As CTR typically won’t change that much over time, it can also be taken to mean the likelihood of someone clicking. So a 15% CTR means that if an individual person sees an ad, they have a 15% chance of clicking on it.

Finally, CTR can also be used to work out the speed at which you will get clicks. If you have a CTR of 10% on an ad, then you know that every time you show the ad 100 times you will get 10 clicks.

I hope this helps,



[This originally appeared on Quora]



Q:Do intrusive ads earn more than non-intrusive ads?


A: “Hi Mitchell,

Intrusive ads do indeed earn more money than non-intrusive ads… in the short run. In the long run, they make people hate you meaning your revenue will get worse overall.

My advice is simple – don’t use them.


What are intrusive ads?

There is no specific definition of what an intrusive ad is – it’s more of an “I know one when I see one situation”.

The basic idea is that intrusive ads are any ads which get in between you and the content you are viewing (or listening to). While there is no strict cut-off line between what makes an ad intrusive or not, there are lots of types of ads which are definitely intrusive, such as:

  • Pop-Ups (which open a new tab or browser window in front of your current one)
  • Overlays (which appear within your current browser, on top of the content)
  • Mid-Roll Video ads (ie ads which stop a video in the middle to play an ad)
  • Auto Play Videos (with the audio on)

All of these things are incredibly annoying – and that’s the point. They are built to cut into your attention and make you focus on them for just a moment.


Do intrusive ads work?

Yes to a point. They get people’s attention, and that is half the battle when it comes to advertising.

To play devils advocate for a moment – the logic behind them is sound – people don’t pay attention to ads, so LET’S MAKE THEM PAY ATTENTION!!!!!

However, while *some* people hear an auto-play video and get sucked into the ad, even more, get angry and leave the site. There may be more people who buy from intrusive ads than regular ads, but there are also far more people who will leave a site, never to return because of them.

And those people who leave the site will possibly go one step further and get an ad blocker because of this, meaning that all potential ad revenue from that person is now gone forever, even if they do come back.

This is what makes adding intrusive ads to your site a really short-sighted plan.

If you’re an advertiser using intrusive ads, it works just the same way. Some people will click on your ads in greater numbers, but you’ll also make some people hate your brand forever – which is a much more costly problem overall.


How do I make intrusive ads less annoying?

If you absolutely have to add intrusive ads to your site (for example, because your boss is forcing you to) then please, for goodness sake, try to limit how annoying they are.

You can do this by:

  • Not using pop-ups and auto-play videos (and never have the sound on by default). They do not make more money than they cost you, as only bad advertisers use them (and they don’t pay much).
  • Having obvious, working, close buttons on anything that needs closing. Someone accidentally clicking on an ad on your site because the close button is difficult to hit is not worth anything to you, so make the close buttons easy to use.
  • Limit the number of times a person will see an ad each day by using a frequency cap (of 1/24). Ideally, they wouldn’t see more than one intrusive ad a day each. If you absolutely need to show these ads more – reduce the time frame they are shown in, not the number of times (eg increase to once per 6 hours, not four times per 24 hours). This will ensure they don’t get the annoying ads multiples times in a row.
  • Don’t have multiple intrusive ads all loading at once. No-one should have to close multiple things before reading your webpage or viewing your video.


In conclusion

Don’t use intrusive ads. While some people are more likely to engage with this type of ads (and so create a short term profit-boost), others will hate your brand for using them, which will cost you much more in the long run.

I hope this helps,



[This originally appeared on Quora]



Q:How much could I earn from a website with 3,000 views a month from the US, using CPM or CPC?


A: “The average RPM for AdSense is about $10. This means for every 1,000 page views you have, you will receive around $10. So with this maths, you would expect about $30 per month.

If you’d like to play around with different scenarios, and high and low estimates, there is a useful calculator here: [How Much Money Can I Make?]

To be honest, 3,000 page views per month is still a very small site. You should be focusing on building up more pageviews right now by:

I hope this helps.


[This originally appeared on Quora]



I hope this all helps,