Banner Ad Location Effectiveness Study | WebReference

Banner Ad Location Effectiveness Study

Banner Ad Placement Study

by: Kim Doyle, Anastasia Minor, and Carolyn Weyrich

This study assessed the impact of banner ad location on click-through rates for The site caters to webmasters, providing information on the creation and maintenance of web sites. Most of the webreference's revenues come from the sale of advertisements (namely banner ads) on their content pages. Therefore, it is essential that the ads have a high click-through rate to stimulate future advertisement on the site.

Several studies have been performed on other sites by independent agencies to determine the role that elements of the ad (animation, etc.) play in click-through rates. This study determines if location also plays an important factor in the click-through rates.

Major Findings

  1. Ads next to the right scroll bar (in the lower right-hand corner of the first screen*) generated a 228% higher click-through rate than ads at the top of the page. Go to detailed results.

  2. Ads placed 1/3 down page, as opposed to the top, generated 77% higher click-through rates. Go to detailed results.

  3. Results from placing two ads on a page (at top and bottom) were inconclusive. Go to detailed results.

Background Information

This study was conducted by graduate students at the University of Michigan for Prof. Sunil Gupta's MKT 745: Marketing in Online Environments class, in the Winter of 1997. This article is a copy of the original article, formatted for webreference, and footnoted. Note that this study raises important questions, and should be viewed as a starting point for further investigation, some of which we plan for future studies. For more information on the study, contact

*Note: clarification from Athenia Associates.

Comments are welcome


Created: Apr. 21, 1997
Revised: May 5, 1997