When was the last time you clicked on a banner? Okay, we don’t actually need you to strain and answer this question; most likely you don’t remember, and this is what we’ll be discussing today.
Banners have been around for decades now. New and clickable at first, they have gradually become common and ubiquitous. Do you pay attention to diplomas hanging in someone’s office? No? Probably that’s because you see them a lot and suspect half of them are worthless. The same thing has happened to banners; most of them are simply irrelevant and do not meet users’ expectations.
The results? 86% ignore banners entirely, and only a staggering 0.1% actually click on them. That means 99.9% of your efforts placed in banners are made in vain.
An unpromising statistics, isn’t it? We’ve been calling this phenomenon ‘banner blindness’ since Jakob Nielsen coined the term in 1997, and for all this time, marketers have been trying various tricks and methods to fight it.
We know that most of our affiliates use banners to promote CPA offers, and so, they might fall prey to banner blindness as well. Here are a few simple recommendations we can give you to increase your banner click-through rates.
1. Choose placement appropriately
A study conducted by Infolinks found out that ads located above the fold worked significantly better than those placed below. Web-site visitors noticed them faster and spent more time looking at their content. Their relative value differed, too: ads at the bottom just above the fold received more attention, as users skipped the upper ones assuming they were irrelevant.
There is another pattern to take into account. The study of the abovementioned Jakob Nielsen showed that the dominant reading pattern of website visitors resembled the letter ‘F’.
That is, when viewing a page, readers looked at the upper horizontal part of the content, then moved down to make another horizontal streak, albeit a bit shorter, and finally slid down along the left column. You can use it quiet efficiently – not only to place banners, but to arrange the content itself.
Finally, banners in the body of the text are much more clickable then those in the sidebars.
2. Think of how it looks to website visitors
Colors play a significant role in grabbing customer’s attention. Although it might seem logical to use bright screaming palettes, what you should actually aim at is dissolving banners in the body of your website content. Simply, banners should not look like banners; therefore, they shouldn’t stand out.
In this regard, simple text banners often work better than the ones with images. They resemble text elements and lose their blatant, advertising touch.
If you do want to use images, choose a smiling face – it grabs attention much more effectively than other graphic elements.
3. Use only a few and make them relevant
There are almost zero chances to improve click-through rates if banners do not offer a solution to people’s needs. In other words, any ad should be relevant to the website content. Sadly, studies show that only 2.8% of banners are considered relevant by website visitors.
The number of banners on a page is also an important factor. There is only so much chance to grab readers’ attention, and it’s better to use it wisely and efficiently.
The bottom line is, make your banners valuable and aesthetically non-abusive, and find a place where potential customers are most likely to notice them. This will help you overcome banner blindness and achieve better click-through rates.
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