What Is Banner Blindness in Ads and How to Avoid It

Sonali Pimpale Mar 15, 2019
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In the ever-expanding online industry, banner blindness is a hurdle faced by many publishers and marketers. Google's AMP Stories serve as the perfect stepping stone to successfully jump over this hurdle.

What is Banner Blindness?

Banner blindness is nothing but selectively ignoring banner ads on a website, either subconsciously or consciously. Banner blindness occurs when a web user turns a blind eye to anything that looks like an ad, even if its content is relevant.
Not only website ads, but mobile ads also get the short end of the stick when it comes to banner blindness. According to Google DoubleClick, the click-through rate for banner ads is just 0.1%. You need some solid strategies to prevent users from tuning them out as unnecessary noise and increase your click-through rates.

Location Matters

Avoid placing ads in traditional places such as the right sidebar of the website. Users are accustomed to seeing ads in these places and will actively ignore glancing at these areas. As users focus more on the content of the site, try placing ads in between text or right after it to help catch their attention.

Experiment with Design

Try out innovative banner designs like welcome page ads that appear before the host website loads, or website skin-ads that appear as a clickable background of the site. Users tend to trust these kinds of ads more as they seem to be endorsed by the host website.

Be Relevant

So you have a banner ad with a rocking design that has caught a site visitor’s eye. But, he is not going to click on it if the ad content is totally irrelevant to him. Either make sure that your banner ad content is relevant to the content of the website, or serve the visitors real time ads based on their search pattern.

Optimize for Mobile

With a majority of people owning smartphones, there is no use trying to tackle banner blindness if the mobile generation cannot see the ads on their mobile devices. Ensure that your site is mobile-friendly and your ads can be easily seen on mobile devices.

AMPlify Your Ads

Google’s AMP Stories have opened up new avenues for advertising. Not only they let you create mobile-friendly Instagram/Snapchat-like Stories with exquisite visuals, but you can also include full-screen banner ads in them. Placing eye-catching ads in AMP Stories lets readers continue their journey throughout the Story without getting disrupted.
Like slow-loading sites, slow-loading ads too put off users. Ads powered by AMP technology are fast-loading; this, coupled with their attractiveness, ensures a high click-through rate. You can create AMP Stories with minimum technical hassle using the AMP Story Builder, a versatile Story creation tool by Visual Stories.

Go Native

Native ads are one of the effective ways to combat banner blindness. These ads match the look and feel of your web pages. For example – a native ad on Twitter will appear as a tweet in the user’s feed. As a result, native ads have greater visibility and a higher click-through rate than conventional banner ads.
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