Banner Blindness Beyond the Banner

    April 26, 2007

When looking at the difference between a profitable business model and an unprofitable one you really need to look at the math. I recently ran many graphic ads that I bought through Google on a CPM site targeting basis. Here is a look at one campaign:

Banner Blindness.

Notice that the 468 by 60 got a much lower click-through rate than the text ad or other image ad. Why? Some of it may have been up to ad positioning, but part of it is also due to 468 by 60 being the default banner ad size. If it looks like an ad people ignore it.

Low value sites that feature targeted ads as the content (with in content text links) will earn more than high value content which has obvious ad units located in obvious ad spots.

And just how people grow sick of advertising they also grow sick and tired of abused methods and formats, such as:

  • pop ups and other intrusive ads
  • red headlines
  • squeeze pages
  • sensational headlines

If you want to make your marketing successful, leverage techniques that are not perceived as being overused and abused to members of your target market. Rather than formatting your ads like ads turn them into content that is formatted like other content people trust and get people talking about it.