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The Case for Banner Blindness in Designing Websites

No matter how much effort or time you spend researching the best way to place advertisements on your website, the truth of the matter is the majority of internet visitors simply don’t look at ads (called banner blindness) – regardless of how targeted they may be. However, this doesn’t mean your advertising efforts are null and voice. Unfortunately, there’s a trend among our current digital landscape where web administrators are delving into what some believe is unethical practices. However, there are ways you can call upon what research has revealed in order to maximize your advertising earnings without engaging in unethical practices.

The Case for Banner Blindness

Regardless of your website and who your target demographic may be, numerous research studies have found that the majority of Internet users simply don’t pay attention to advertisements – or even relevant content – that’s placed inside of a banner. Even if the content within the banners are actual content written by you, if it’s bordered by a banner, you can bet that users will simply ignore it. What surprises many Web administrators are these findings are true regardless of user engagement.

Throughout number eye-tracking studies, researchers found that users typically avoid even gazing at what they perceive to be advertisements. Moreover, users avoid fixating on design elements that they perceive to be advertisements. Even when these studies found users that looked at the banners, they typically didn’t engage with the content.

Because of this, many advertisers and Web administrators choose to design banner advertisements that look as if they actually belong within the site content. This means, that the more an advertisement or banner looks like it’s native to the site elements, the greater the likelihood that users will fixate on the banner. In order to accomplish this, the advertisements should look as if they are working in a cohesive manner with the rest of the site content.

However, it’s unwise to engage in this level of advertising design as you’re literally tricking users into thinking the elements are relevant to their needs and desires. More times than not, this level of design backfires and users will quickly avoid trusting and viewing your site.

Although, there is a use for this type of design when it comes to actual site content. When you’re designing your website, avoid adding your content in these banners or in dialogue boxes. Rather, integrate the content in a natural and fluent way throughout the page.

It’s also important to have a proper web hosting package, otherwise your banners will not load at the same speed as the rest of the site.

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