bad advertising, too many ads, effective ad placement“Banner advertising, text links and text link ads, pop up’s and pop under’s, Google adsense / Yahoo! publisher network, affiliate marketing or referrals, video advertising / Flash / roll overs”; there are many, many ways to market through your website.  Often, to offset costs, websites will place advertisements on their pages.  This can be helpful if the ads are relevant to the content of the site and visitors will likely choose to visit the ad sponsor.  However, if your website has too many advertisements or irrelevant ads than you will find yourself losing visitors to your site.  Here are some common mistakes web developers make when placing ads.

Web masters will sometimes try to “trick” visitors by placing an advertisement in an area that navigation is commonly found.  An example is the top right corner of the page, where a shopping cart is usually located.  Covering a page in advertising not only will make it difficult for visitors to find the content they are looking for, it can often lead to a page partially loading or not loading at all.  Individuals in the web industry call saturating a page with advertising “seizure triggering.”

Everyone hates pop up and pop under advertising.  Although advertisers assume the separate window will make their ad more apparent and help the user pay more attention to it, in reality it usually has the opposite effect.  People find pop ups annoying and in bad taste.  If you are trying to drive readers away, by all means, indulge in pop up advertising.  Otherwise, avoid it like the plague.

Large banners with surprise sound rank highly on the list of “worst advertising techniques ever”.  As one blogger complained, “What really irritates me, aside from the annoying nature of these boisterous ads, is how ineffective they serve their functions. Advertisers foolishly assume such ads will entice viewers to click on them and read more about the services they offer. WRONG! What happens with most users, such as my case, is they simply move on to another web page.” Banner ads with flash animation or video can also cause a page to load incorrectly.

If you wish to have advertising on your website, at least disclose it as such for the courtesy of your visitors.  I cannot tell you how many times I have visited a site, and clicked on a link thinking it would take me to a related portion of the site.  Instead I am suddenly treated to a page that has nothing to do with what I clicked on.  Fooling your visitors might temporarily increase your ad click-through rate, but in the long run you will lose visitors to your site.

Do you agree or disagree?  Perhaps, I missed something?  Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!