20 Display Advertising Stats That Demonstrate Digital Advertising‘s Evolution

Display advertising has come a long way since the first banner ad appeared on the web in 1994. However, as the digital advertising landscape continues to evolve, marketers face new challenges in their quest to capture audience attention and drive conversions. In this in-depth article, we‘ll explore 20 eye-opening display advertising stats that shed light on the current state of the industry and provide actionable insights to help you optimize your campaigns for success.

The Rise of Ad Blocking

  1. 41% of internet users worldwide now use ad blockers, up from just 21% in 2014. (GlobalWebIndex, 2021)
  2. Ad blocking is most prevalent among younger audiences, with 46% of users aged 16-24 using ad blockers. (GlobalWebIndex, 2021)
  3. The use of ad blockers is expected to cost publishers over $35 billion in lost revenue by 2023. (Juniper Research, 2020)

To combat the impact of ad blocking, advertisers need to prioritize creating high-quality, relevant ads that provide genuine value to users. Native advertising, which seamlessly integrates with the surrounding content, has emerged as an effective solution. A study by Sharethrough found that native ads are viewed 53% more than traditional display ads and generate an 18% higher purchase intent.

The Persistence of Banner Blindness

  1. Only 14% of users can recall the last display ad they saw. (Infolinks, 2019)
  2. A mere 2.8% of users consider display ads relevant to them. (Infolinks, 2019)
  3. 60% of clicks on banner ads are accidental. (GoldSpot Media, 2021)

Banner blindness remains a significant challenge for display advertisers, with users increasingly ignoring or avoiding ads that disrupt their online experience. To overcome this, marketers must focus on ad creativity and relevance. Eye-catching visuals, compelling copy, and precise targeting can help your ads stand out from the crowd. Incorporating interactivity, such as rich media elements or gamification, can also boost engagement and memorability.

The Viewability Crisis

  1. The average viewability rate for display ads across the web is just 44%. (Google, 2021)
  2. Over half of all display ad impressions are never seen by users. (Google, 2021)
  3. Viewability rates vary significantly by ad size, with larger formats generally performing better.
Ad Size Viewability Rate
300×250 48%
728×90 32%
160×600 39%
300×600 56%
970×250 61%

Source: Google, 2021

To improve viewability, advertisers should prioritize placing ads in high-visibility locations, such as above the fold or within the content itself. Optimizing ad sizes and formats for different devices and platforms can also help ensure that your ads are seen by the right audiences. Partnering with reputable publishers that prioritize viewability can further boost your chances of success.

The Threat of Ad Fraud

  1. Ad fraud costs advertisers $5.8 billion annually in the US alone. (White Ops & ANA, 2021)
  2. Invalid traffic (IVT) makes up 14% of all display ad impressions. (IAS, 2021)
  3. Mobile app fraud is particularly rampant, with 26% of all mobile app installs being fraudulent. (AppsFlyer, 2021)

Ad fraud remains a significant problem in the display advertising industry, with billions of dollars lost to fraudulent activities each year. To protect against ad fraud, advertisers should work with trusted partners and use advanced fraud detection technologies. Implementing strict viewability and engagement metrics can help identify and filter out fraudulent traffic. Regularly monitoring and analyzing campaign data can also help detect suspicious patterns and anomalies.

The Mobile Advertising Minefield

  1. Mobile ad spend is expected to reach $338 billion by 2023, accounting for 73% of total digital ad spend. (eMarketer, 2021)
  2. Nearly 50% of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental, often due to small screen sizes and imprecise touch interactions. (GoldSpot Media, 2021)
  3. Mobile video ads have a 7.5X higher click-through rate compared to display ads. (Invespcro, 2021)

As mobile usage continues to grow, advertisers are increasingly shifting their budgets to mobile display ads. However, mobile advertising comes with its own set of challenges. To optimize mobile display ads, marketers should prioritize clean, uncluttered designs that are easy to navigate on small screens. Using clear calls-to-action and touch-friendly elements can help reduce accidental clicks and improve user experience. Leveraging mobile-specific formats, such as interstitial ads or mobile-first video, can also help capture attention and drive engagement.

The Power of Personalization

  1. Personalized ads generate 10 times higher click-through rates than generic ads. (Epsilon, 2020)
  2. 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. (Instapage, 2020)
  3. Personalized ads can increase brand awareness by up to 40%. (AgilOne, 2021)

Personalization has emerged as a key differentiator in display advertising, with targeted ads driving significantly higher engagement and conversion rates. To harness the power of personalization, advertisers should leverage data-driven insights to create highly targeted ad experiences. Using demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data can help ensure that your ads reach the right audiences with the most relevant messages. Incorporating dynamic creative optimization (DCO) can further enhance personalization by automatically adjusting ad elements based on individual user profiles.

The Retargeting Revolution

  1. Retargeted ads generate a 400% higher click-through rate than non-retargeted ads. (AdRoll, 2021)
  2. Retargeting can boost ad response rates by up to 400%. (ReadyCloud, 2021)

Retargeting has proven to be one of the most effective display advertising strategies, allowing marketers to reach users who have previously interacted with their brand. To maximize the impact of retargeting, advertisers should segment their audiences based on specific actions or stages in the customer journey. Customizing ad creative and messaging for each segment can help deliver more relevant and persuasive experiences. Implementing frequency caps and exclusion lists can also help avoid ad fatigue and ensure that your retargeting efforts remain effective over time.


The display advertising landscape is constantly evolving, presenting both challenges and opportunities for marketers. By staying informed about the latest trends and statistics, and adapting your strategies accordingly, you can maximize the impact of your display advertising efforts and drive better results for your business.

The key to success in display advertising lies in prioritizing relevance, creativity, and user experience. By delivering high-quality, personalized ad experiences that provide genuine value to users, you can cut through the noise and build lasting connections with your target audiences.

As a WordPress expert, I advise you to embrace a data-driven approach to display advertising, continuously testing and refining your strategies based on real-world performance metrics. Stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments, experiment with new ad formats and targeting techniques, and always keep the user at the center of your efforts.

By following these principles and staying adaptable in the face of change, you can navigate the complexities of display advertising and achieve sustainable growth for your business. Don‘t let these shocking stats discourage you – instead, use them as a roadmap to guide your journey towards display advertising success.