If you’ve ever noticed that no one is clicking on your banner ads, no matter the budget you put into how they’re made or how much they’re published all over the web, that’s nothing new. There are very real, and very sobering reasons why banner ads are not popular on the web. One may say they never really were, due to the very flamboyant and eye-cancering beginnings of the banner ad advent.
1. Ad-blocking softwares exist
They’re pretty much here to stay and that’s because most people don’t like having distractions in the way of what they’re on a site for. They’re definitely not on a site to click on ads, that’s for sure. (I’m totally guilty as charged on that. No one is divesting me of my AdBlock Plus… even though I make banner ads as part of my living. Irony? Yes. Also guilty. And no, I’ve not been paid to advertise ABP)
2. They’re irrelevant
Nowadays there is more of a system to the madness of where ads are placed on sites, but you’ll still find the irrelevant Nissan ad on an auto blog post about a Honda Civic. Or some such. Yet even so, a Nissan ad on an auto blog post about a Nissan is not necessarily going to resonate much more either. They may be reading about features but it doesn’t mean they want to be slammed in the face with a “BUY ME” ad
3. They’re distracting
The previous point brings us straight to the next point: They’re distracting. Like I said, rather than being pummelled with a “Buy now” call-to-action, people would rather read a story (read: a native ad, which looks like a normal blog post) than look at price ads. Why is Buzzfeed so popular? Because stories. Well, sure, it’s not so much advertising as… wait a minute… kinda kpop advertising?
4. They’re invasive
Just think about it. Behind every banner ad is a system tracking you, down to your every move. It’s learning you. It’s learning what you like, where you go, who you talk to. Sometimes ads pop up, sometimes they require you to click them in order to make them go away, and sometimes they cover the full size of your screen.
5. They make your site load slowly
No matter how small the file size, the ad comes from somewhere else on the internet. It’s not hosted locally on the site you are viewing. So if there’s a load on the site where the ad is coming from, you’ll have quite the lag on the site you are currently viewing. This makes the user’s experience pretty inescapably horrible, and they’re more likely to click off the site they’re on than to wait for the experience to happen.
If you’ve started realizing that you are getting less and less traffic from calls to action in web banner ads, it’s time to start questioning yourself: is all the money I’m pouring into this avenue worth it? Think about it: more and more people are getting fed up with banner ads and getting rid of them in a very drastic way by installing ad-blocking software on their browser so they’re not bombarded anymore and have a more fluid browsing experience. Moreover, they are often irrelevant to the viewer who anyway is searching for a different product. They’re also distracting to the eye, pulling the viewer away from what he wants to read or look at in the first place. They’re invasive: they track you, they learn about you, they want you to click them in order to make them disappear. Lastly, they make sites load incredibly slowly.
What about you? What are some reasons you detest banner ads? Do you think they have a redeeming factor?