So here’s my thought, why not remove the other 75% of ads, enhance the 25% that actually produce results, and increase the CPC rate. This would do two things: it would create a much cleaner looking portal, and would reduce the problem of banner blindness.
What do I mean by ‘banner blindness?’ If you happen onto a portal that has too many banners you don’t look at any of them. It’s the classic problem of ‘not seeing the trees but only the forest.’
It’s no surprise that banner blindness is such a big issue. We’re so busy looking after our bottom line, that we’re not paying attention to the user experience. We hit our visitors over their heads with proverbial sledgehammer ads, then wonder why our ads aren’t “performing.”
If advertisers and publishers want to see profits, we all need to put the user first. The ads we create have to consider what users want to see, as well as when, and where they want to see them. Ads must be relevant enough to address user intent the moment they are viewed – that is, they have to fulfill the user’s current need or desire. But it’s impossible to do this 10 times on a single page.
We’ve effectively killed the banner ad over the last decade – consumers don’t even notice them anymore. We have to rethink the ads themselves, as well as how they’re served, and develop new and engaging units that will appeal to banner-blind audiences.
So I ask again: Wouldn’t a portal be far better off serving fewer ads, and taking top dollar for one or two premium placements? With highly relevant ads that aren’t forced to compete against several other ads on the page, odds of interaction and possible conversion are tremendously improved. And when ads perform better, publishers, advertisers and consumers win.