Banner Ads: Necessary Evil Or Irritating Menace?

Most days I spend time watching TV with my kids. Whether we’re watching The Amazing World of Gumball or Power Rangers it’s amazing how many adverts make up the rest of the TV schedule.

My kids take in all the ads featuring the latest toys and gadgets, especially when Christmas is just around the corner. I find myself day-dreaming when the adverts come on though.

Nowadays I also don’t watch so much live TV because my BT TV PVR lets me record anything and everything and then watch it back later. The result, I can avoid most of the ads.

Is That The Same With Banner Ads And Blogging?

In moderation, I don’t mind well-placed relevant ads on a site. I know it’s a big turn off for some people but I don’t have an issue with them.

I’m not sure I take much notice of them either like the ones on TV though. Occasionally they catch my eye but as many bloggers have shied away from having banner ads on their blogs it’s not usually an issue.

I suspect that banner ad blindness is becoming more prevalent.

Banner Ads: Necessary Evil Or Irritating Menace?

But You Use Banner Ads?

That’s right. Sometimes I experiment with different layouts to see if banner ads will work for my site. I use Google Adsense on my blog because it makes it easy to control the responsive nature of each banner ad.

There’s no harm in testing them if you don’t go overboard. You may or not make any money from them but if you don’t try you’ll never know.

My feeling would be that the more traffic you have the easier it will be to earn any cash from banner ads.

It’s not always the case though. They can work with niche sites that don’t attract a huge amount of traffic as I’ve discovered for myself.

Can You Overdo Banner Ads?

I wouldn’t use any more than three banner ads on a page. Anything more than that will make your site look cluttered.

It also gives the appearance that the ads are worth more to you than the content itself. I suspect readers will come to that conclusion too.

I think some sites that use BuySellAds.com fall into this category. The idea appears to stuff as many ads onto your page to generate ad revenue – content comes second.

Other sites I struggle to visit are ones that take you to a landing page containing ads before you even get to read the content. Not great for user experience.

Banner Ads: Necessary Evil Or Irritating Menace?

What Other Challenges Does Using Banner Ads Present?

I mentioned that they can make your site look cluttered. The issue with that is that they can draw attention from other things that you want your visitors to notice. That’s not only your content but also your opt in forms.

Following the same theme, people clicking on ads are also taken away from your site. You draw their attention away and they might not come back. You have to decide if that’s a compromise you’re willing to take or not.

One major challenge when using banner ads is ad blockers such as Adblockplus. It’s like me being ad free when I watch TV and is becoming much more common online.

If you label your banner ads as advertisements then these may still get shown though depending on the ad blocker settings.

Some Alternatives To Try

If you don’t like banner ads, there are alternative advertising avenues you could try.

Infolinks

Infolinks offers some interesting ways to monetise your website.

  • Infold – above the fold ads
  • Intext – text links added to your posts
  • Intag – tag cloud ads
  • Inframe – ads in screen margins via banners
  • Inscreen – full page ads triggered by user entering or leaving a page
  • Inarticle – video and display ads within your content

Skimlinks

Skimlinks will convert any normal or merchant link in your posts into an affiliate links as someone clicks on it. This saves the hassle of having to shorten or cloak the URL.

They also offer Skimwords. That converts product references in your posts to affiliate links for more earnings possibilities.

Viglink

Viglink offers a similar service to Skimlinks.

They convert links and product references in the same way. The main difference is that with Skimlinks you need to apply for an account but with Viglink you don’t.

Whatever You Do It’s Important To Test Things

When it comes to banner ads it’s not just a case of sticking them on your site and hoping for the best. You need to test what works and whether ads are right for your site. They need to be relevant to your readers.

It’s all very well for people to turn their nose up at banner ads but it doesn’t matter. It’s your site and if they work for you then all the better.

How about you? Do you use banner ads? Are you a fan of them? Or do you prefer to block them?

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