Boost Click-Through Rates by 156% and Beat Banner Blindness with Great Ad Design
- Even though the world’s first online banner had a click-through rate of 44%, nowadays web users have developed banner blindness and the same rate stands at a dismal 0.11%.
- The average user has to filter out the noise of 1,707 banner ads each month and 86% of users don’t remember what the last ad they saw was.
- Ads placed above the fold get 156% more clicks, while those placed at the bottom of the screen, before the fold, are seen 225% quicker.
Did you know that a web user is statistically more likely to survive a plane crash than click an online banner add?
The term ‘banner blindness’ is probably familiar to most web design Singapore experts. But do you also know where it comes from? It was coined in 1998 by Benway and Lane, who ran a study on website usability.
The test revealed that users ignore both external ad banners and internal navigation banners, regardless of where they’re placed. The advent of the mobile era also isn’t helping, as you’ll see below.
Banner blindness ties in with signal detection theory: humans adapt to their environment, in order to filter out noise and stick to the relevant information.
Image source: NN Group
So, is there any way in which ad and web design Singapore pros can get users to click on ad banners of their own free will? Read on to find out more!
6 interesting facts & figures on banner blindness
Of course, banner blindness has come under a lot of researcher scrutiny of late, as bloggers, webmasters, and advertisers all want to avoid dwindling Cost Per Click rates. So here are some of their most interesting recent findings:
- The world’s first banner ad was promotes AT&T and was created in 1994, when there were ‘only’ 30 million online users. Notice that it doesn’t feature the company logo. It had an amazing Click-Through Rate of 44%!
Image source: Mashable
- Nowadays, the average click-through rate for banner ads stands at 0.11%. 486×60 pixel ads get an even lower rate of 0.04%.
- 31% of ads cannot be viewed by users and 86% of users don’t remember what the last banner ad they saw was, nor what it was trying to sell them. 80% of users say the last ad they saw was irrelevant to them and under 3% say it gave them more info about the brand.
- Only 8% of web users account for 85% of banner ad clicks. In 2012 alone, more than 5.3 trillion such ads were served to users, i.e. 1,707 ads per month for the average user.
- 50% of clicks on banner ads off mobile devices are accidental.
- 86% of respondents in a Nielsen group test were unable to find the current population of the U.S. on the Census Bureau website, because the info was presented in typical banner ad design.
Image source: NN Group
5 strategies to avoid banner blindness
Can banner blindness be sidestepped? Can advertisers still reap benefits out of this type of promotion? According to the latest data on mobile advertising expenditure, it sure looks like they believe so: global mobile ad spending rose to 83% in 2012, up to $9 billion from $5.3 billion in 2011.
Below, five strategies to get users to at least register the existence of your ads:
1. Place them right
Yet, interestingly enough, bottom-of-the-screen ads, placed right above the fold, get more views. This type of add was seen 225% faster than leader-board ads by polled users.
2. Make them look native
In-feed ads on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) have been designed to look just like the rest of the content on those platforms. That might explain why this type of ad has a much higher click-through rate at the moment.
3. Target ads behaviourally
Users want information that’s relevant to them. This is likely why behavioural ad banners, based on the users’ past online actions, get more clicks and visibility. Retargeting users is a strategy that amazon.com and many other major e-commerce platforms use successfully.
4. Figure out your end goals
If you want users to sign up for a product or service, then the goal is to make your ads stand out with bright, contrasting colours. However, if you want them to click more, then you need to make the ads blend in with the content, by using the same font, colour scheme, etc.
5. Get creative
There are several new(er) types of banner ads that some advertisers are currently using to great success. Here are some of them:
- Website skin. These ads are unobtrusive and also look native to the site, making users less suspicious of their presence. They cover the entire background of the website.
- Welcome page ads. Perhaps most famously featured on Forbes.com, where you need to wait for 3 seconds and view the Thought of the Day, before you can move on to the content. On other sites, you are given the option to navigate away.
Image source: Forbes