How To Reduce Banner Blindness & Increase Ad Revenue
Most site owners are not aware of a shift that is occurring with how people interact with ad placements on their site. While traditional banner/native ad placements are still effective, many people are becoming blind to them altogether. This is not a new shift but is happening more and more as people continue to monetize their sites through ads. The reason is “banner blindness”. The human mind is designed to constantly filter out what information it deems as relevant and not focus on the irrelevant signals. This is an evolutionary trait that is necessary for human development. For example, people who live in a city over time will get used to the constant noise and sirens. After a while, it just fades into the background and stops being noticed. The same thing happens with ads online. The human mind treats ads online just like “noise”. When people visit sites, the brain quickly scans for the relevant information and blocks out the noise. This means that many people’s ads are just not being noticed.
The good news is that by realizing this shift is happening, site owners can now make a conscious effort to combat banner blindness and earn additional revenue from their ad placements. The answer is not to stop running your existing banner/native ad placements but rather to invent new placements that are not as widely used. By coming up with “out of the box” placements for your site, you can increase the number of clicks you get on ad placements. Let’s cover some examples of what this could look like.
Sponsored articles are a great way to create additional ad revenue for content based sites like news sites, blogs, or any site that publishes articles. Many sites like CNN, Forbes, and other content-based sites have started to implement this strategy more and more in the past several years. Sponsored articles are an ad format that looks like a regular article on a site, but they are actually an ad. This type of ad format is super effective when the articles are related to the audience of the site, and when the articles themselves are highly interesting and relevant. This type of placement is super effective when it is sandwiched in between non-sponsored articles. The goal is to make the ad as natural as possible. Sponsored articles can take several different formats. The “text only” format above will likely get a lower amount of clicks than a large article with a featured image and a headline, like the one below.
Generally speaking, the larger the placement and the closer to the top of the page, the more clicks it will receive and the more revenue it will generate. However, it’s important to keep a careful balance of sponsored content and regular articles. If every article is a sponsored post, it could decrease the effectiveness.
Interactive widgets are a great way to increase ad click throughs and increase overall ad revenue on the site. An interactive widget is similar to a traditional banner ad, but requires an interaction like selecting something from a menu, or entering a field, before the user is taken off-site. If done right, this can be a highly effective way to engage the user’s on your site with an ad format they don’t see every day. Let’s walk through some examples of interactive widget placements.
In the example above, the interactive widget is actually an ad for a background check company being advertised on an arrest related site. By placing this widget in front of a highly relevant audience the site owner has increased their ad revenue significantly. This is different than a traditional banner placement at the top, bottom, or side of a page. This widget acts like a “speed bump” that encourages user interaction, and then leads them off-site and generates revenue. The reason why this is so effective is that it feels natural to the user, and they might not even realize that it’s an advertisement. There are many other ways that you could implement an interactive widget. For example on a car related site, there could be a widget to enter a user’s zip code to see if they could save on auto insurance. Or on a school-related site, there could be a widget to select a desired type of degree, which leads them off-site to a college’s site.
To summarize, it is crucial that site owners get more creative with how they are monetizing their user base. By only using traditional ad placements on a site, there is a lot of ad revenue being left on the table.
If you are interested in how you could create additional revenue on your site, contact us today for a free consultation.
Get in touch with our VP of Marketing, Javier Gonzales.