Recently I noticed that I started to ignore Google Display Ads and Banners on websites.
I wondered if this is happening with others as well? I started to research what is causing this and finally, I found it on Wikipedia.
This phenomenon is called banner blindness or banner noise.
But hey, what does banner blindness mean? Have you heard about that? It sounds like a real disease. Now, it’s really not, but it does mean that you spend too much time browsing the internet. Just kidding, but it’s something along the lines of that. Let me explain.
Imagine that you intend to buy a new car. You start to browse websites for car dealers. While browsing, you realize that the only ads you encounter advertise a “Maldives vacation” or “3 easy ways to learn Spanish.”
In this situation, your brain is going to do two things depending on your level of determination.
Let’s say that in the first situation, you are not determined to actually buy a car. When you see those ads your brain suddenly starts to speak to you, “Hey, look! It’s a promotion for a nice vacation, you should take your significant other!” So, you click on the “Maldives vacation” ad, because you have been planning to take a vacation for a long time so why not check it out?
What happens now? You continue surfing to another page, probably completely forgetting about that car. It is a classic example of ad distraction.
In the second scenario, you are determined to buy a car and learn everything about it. You continue to read and read and suddenly you start to ignore every seemingly irrelevant ad without even realizing it. This is where banner blindness comes in, you start to ignore every ad that doesn’t directly relate to your interest.
That phenomenon is an existing problem for every marketer because it lowers the efficiency of Programmatic Advertising. The click-through rate (CTR) and the conversion of the ads will be lower. The ad campaigns are going to be more and more expensive, and so on.
How can we solve this unpleasant problem?
One of the best solutions is to find a way for your Banner of Google Display Ads to appear in an environment that matches the subject of the ad. What does that mean?
Let’s return to the car buying example! The situation is the same. You want to buy a car, but now instead of seeing ads on the car dealer’s website for a Maldives vacation or Spanish learning, you see banners for car dealers. Way better, the interest matches (the ad’s CTR is increasing), You probably find your dream car because you are not distracted from your subject by out of topic ads.
All in all, here are a few suggestions about how can we solve the problem of banner blindness.
For site advertisers, use better-targeted ads! Advertising must focus on the users’ current intentions and interests, not just on previous searches. Never forget that more relative ads are more effective!
For site owners, design your site to avoid or minimize banner blindness. Banners on the left side of your website are more noticeable! Usually, everyone puts them to the other side.
In the end, dear Ad Designers: design your ads to stand out more!
There are many tiny details that we can change to avoid that but if we think about more, maybe we don’t even want to solve the problem. Banner blindness, it may be a bug, but maybe it’s really a feature!