Let’s not lie, ads are great. Some of them should even be considered works of art. We love a good ad so much that we include a vintage ad in the Daily Carnage every day.
But, there is an obvious problem with advertising: it can be annoying.
How many times have you landed on a website and a pop-up advertisement appears immediately? You can’t view the content you want to until you watch the annoying ad.
This type of advertising doesn’t serve anyone well. Sure, it will get impressions, but only because people are forced to watch it. Forcing someone to see your ad is bad and you should feel bad.
[pull_quote]According to a Google survey, 69% of people are motivated to install ad-blockers solely because of annoying ads.[/pull_quote]
Ad-blockers are bad news for marketers and advertisers because they block all ads – both the non-intrusive ads and the annoying ones. Many companies rely on revenue that comes in from advertising, either by selling ad space or selling their products on an ad so blocking the non-annoying ads on your favorite website is likely hurting that company.
So what types of ads are annoying?
3 categories for annoying ads:
1) Ads that interrupt – These are the types of ads that force you to watch something or take an action before viewing the content that you actually came to the website for.
2) Ads that distract – How many times have you landed on a website that auto-plays a video or audio ad? It’s really annoying.
3) Ads that clutter – A high density of ads can cause a website to load much slower. Users hate websites that load slowly and so does Google. Don’t overdo it with the ads on your website.
I know what you’re saying. “Who cares if my ads are annoying? They work.”
On top of that, Google is already lowering search rankings for websites that have annoying ads. Yikes. If you’ve seen a drop in organic search traffic, it’s time to take a serious look at your ads.
How to make your ads better:
1) Use the least annoying ads. The image below, from Google, outlines the types of website ads that are least annoying. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
Stick to ads that are only in one place on your website. Either a top bar or a bottom bar. Avoid any ad that requires a countdown before it disappears.
2) Use Google’s AMP framework for creating ads. Much like AMP articles from Google, these types of ads are built to load extremely fast. That way, they won’t slow down your page speed, which will help keep users happy. If users are happy, Google is happy.
3) Experiment with native advertising. Native advertising consists of ads that are designed and published by the website that they live on. These are generally sponsored articles, product reviews, or videos. They work well because they don’t annoy users since they look and act like the rest of your website.
Visitors also tend to trust these ads more because they don’t look like such a blatant advertisement.
4) Follow the Coalition for Better Ads Standards. This group conducts research on the types of ads that people find annoying. On this page, they break down many types of ads and why users find them annoying. Sticking to these guidelines for your own ads will help keep your website visitors on your website longer, and they’ll also be less likely to use an ad-blocker.
Yes, ads can be annoying. But when they’re done right, not only are they not annoying, but they also perform better than an intrusive, annoying ad. That’s a win-win.
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