As mentioned in part 1, banner blindness is a problem that advertisers keep struggling with. In the first part, we looked at some tips about standard and alternative ad placement that could help you to reduce this problem. I will further present some more advice, this time about how to use the content of your ad as a way of beating banner blindness.
5. Relevant banner ads
Credits: Bannerblindness.org, The Banner Blindness Infographic
In combination to the placement of your banner ads, visibility and relevance are also two ways to beat banner blindness. A banner ad that is relevant to the content on the website will provide more value to people. The study by Infolinks and Bannerblindness.org shows some frightening statistics – just 2.8% of the users thought the ad were relevant.
Noupe.com is a magazine with news for designers and web developers. Their content is of course about web design, graphics, typography, advertising and much more. When I am visiting their homepage I meet this:
Consumers are more likely to engage with an ad that is relevant to them if it provides useful information and service. As you can see above, Noupe is using this strategy – all the ads are relevant to the content of their page and will probably also be relevant to the visitor. There are for example ads about vector graphics and building websites.
If you have this in mind, you will surely reduce some banner blindness and your banners will become more native like the natural content on the website.
Now you may think that there is a risk that what is relevant also is subtle and discrete so that the users won’t see it. But in fact, relevance is about the content of your banner, and the attention-grabbing in your ads is more often about the design.
One way to get more attention to your banners is to use faces. EyeTrackShop uses online eye tracking to understand how the communication can be done better, by looking at what consumers see and what they don’t see.
Below are two comparing examples of how attention-grabbing faces can be. The heat map shows how the customer’s eyes see this website. In both cases, it contains several different ads.
The bottom line
We cannot forget what really caused banner blindness in the first place:
an overload of ads with no relevance or content to the customer at all. If the ad can meet their desire, the visitor will probably become interested.
To reduce banner blindness keep these tips in mind (both from part 1 and 2):
- Try to place your banner ads ”above the fold”, it has the best visibility.
- Use the F-pattern, that is the way people read on websites
- Also think about alternative ad placements, as a homepage skin.
- The content of your ad has to be relevant according to the website content. Try to provide value for the visitor.
- Be attention-grabbing without using flickering and annoying design. For instance, faces are conspicuous.
I hope this post together with part one was helpful to you and conveyed some interesting tips about banner blindness, and how you can work to beat it.