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Ad Blindness: How to Avoid and Overcome

Samyak Lalit | March 25, 2012 (Last update: September 22, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

Website owners who display advertisements (for example, through Google AdSense) on their web pages sooner or later face the effect of a phenomenon called ad blindness. This effect is also known as banner blindness. It is important to understand what is ad blindness and how to resolve it, because it could severely hit your click-through rate (CTR). Low CTR, in turn, will lower your income through advertisement. Let’s proceed and understand this phenomenon.

What is ad blindness?

If your website has a large chunk of repeat users (returning users) –then they become used to with seeing ads on your webpage in certain position and style. Soon their brain begins to shut out the ad spaces and they will not even look at the ads! Visitors’ mind becomes aware of the position where it will find the content and, ignoring ads, eyes automatically reach the content as the visitor lands on your web page. This is called ad blindness.

Ad blindness is one of the reasons why search engine traffic gives you more online income. This is because the visitors who come through search engine are not usually returning visitors. But if most of your traffic is coming from direct, referral or email campaigns; then you’ll have to bear huge setback due to ad blindness.

How to get over ad blindness

As I said, ad blindness will affect your revenues in direct proportion of the percentage of returning users. If you don’t have a high percentage of returning users –you are fine. No need to worry. But if the case is not so, you should consider taking the following measures to minimize the effect of ad blindness:

SEE ALSO: Google AdSense Tips

  • Change placement of ads regularly (however, it does not mean that you change it every day or every week!). Don’t let the usual position of your ads etched in the retina of your visitor.
  • Change colors of ads. This is an easier alternative to changing position. Different font and/or background colors will help in attracting visitor’s attention. But be cautious; don’t use too loud colors –that will be patently counterproductive. Color scheme of your ads should gel with the color scheme of your web page.
  • Picture/video ads are less likely to go unnoticed because every ad has different colors/patterns and that is bound to attract visitor.
  • Ads in top and in top-left corner of the content are also less likely to be the victim of ad blindness.
  • If you are using multiple ads on your web page; it is advisable that these ads remain very different from each other. If your ad style would be predictable –all the ad units will likely be ignores by the visitor.
  • Changing size of an ad can also be an alternative to changing placement.

Did you get the idea of ad blindness? Please share if you have been facing this problem. If you have a lot of traffic from sources other than search engine and if your CTR rate is low, then you must consider the factor of ad blindness. Use the above methods and see if they help you. Getting search engine traffic is best way to increase earnings. On TechWelkin I regularly write about search engine optimization. These articles will help you in your quest for greater online income. Stay in touch!


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