Banner Blindness

Banner Blindness featured image
17 Nov 2022
Nirlep Patel

Banner Blindness

What all you should know about banner blindness?

Banner blindness is a part of the behavior of the web user and describes the tendency of website visitors to ignore the elements of a page that they perceive to be ads. Researchers measure banner blindness to understand whether or not certain kinds of banner ads on websites are effective. Research has shown that most Internet surfers have some banner blindness in multiple ways. Repetitive studies have shown that people are much more likely to focus on the basic headings and text of the website than on banner ads at the top of the page. Banner blindness started early in the life of the Internet when a huge number of people learned that banner ads were often of minimal value on the website.

Where Did Banner Advertising Come From?

The word banner blindness was used for the very first time in the late 1990s when two scientists proved in a series of tests that users consciously or unconsciously ignore banner ads.
  1. To prove this, the subjects were given the task of looking for information on a specified topic on a website. For this reason, the test groups had the option to click on the next link in the form of a banner and internal links.
  2. Another result was that the design and the position of banners do not necessarily contribute to the success of the clicks. Many advertising professionals were already aware that advertising banners were understood differently.

Five Factors Leading to Banner Blindness

Several elements contribute to banner blindness, and five of them are discussed under the following headings.
  1. Location: The banner’s location has a greater impact on users’ browsing behavior. And like various user behaviors on the Internet, they prefer skipping the banner part of the website.
  2. Ad clutter: One of the most known reasons for banner blindnessis the several ads popping out of a website. If the web page offers several popup ads, text ads, and banner ads, users tend to lose their patience and get annoying. Hence, users focus on web content ignoring the ads.
  3. Ad Style and Visuals: The common look of advertisements, especially improperly designed ones, often frustrates visitors. However, it is important to note that ignoring advertisements is learned. So, most users have a conscious and subconscious knowledge about how the ads look, and they simply try to ignore them. As a result, many users skip the ad at lightning speed, whether the ad is proper.
  4. Perceived usefulness: The main aim of the advertisement is to focus on the right targeted audience. If the ads are displayed to the incorrect audience, they simply ignore and skip them. Ads that have no relevance to the users are often perceived to be annoying and boring.
  5. Improper ad placement: Advertisements that are not properly placed are very harmful. These ads often let the users ignore the important elements of the site content. Generally, the content is posted on the same screen and is often misunderstood as ads and is skipped by the users.

6 Ways to Fight Banner Blindness

These are some of the multiple ways to combat banner blindness.
  1. Check the ad’s placement: Try to place the ads in unconventional places on the site. It can be in the text, above the fold, or just after it. The ad can be within the blog, between two different posts. Always remember to make the ad beautiful and interactive with an element of surprise.2. Use relevant content: Advertisers must know the audience’s needs and offer a pertinent answers to them. But mostly, irrelevant content is often ignored and skipped by the users. So first, check the requirements of the user and deliver ads accordingly.
  2. Use non-standard colors, sizes, and ad formats: Often seeing the same thing again and again can get monotonous. This will for sure curtail the overall performance of the ads. Therefore, while you create the ad space, select non-traditional and memorable locations to improve user recall.
  3. Mobile optimization: These days, websites must be user-friendly and mobile optimized to keep up with the younger smartphone operators. If not, try examining the site and see how it looks on the smaller screen. After this is done, decrease the clutter
  4. Catchy CTA: The message written in the advertisement means a lot. The answer to the question “What is the most essential element to combat banner blindness” would be a clear message to the customer. While printing the ad, ask this question – “what is the objective you wish to achieve with this ad?” Then make a catchy CTA that properly delivers the message to the users. A catchy CTA prompts users to take the desired action.
  5. Separating ads from content: Do not mix content with the advertisements in the same visual action. Doing so would prompt the users to avoid the contents and ads. In addition, objects, shapes, and items close to each other are often presumed to be a part of the same group. So be sure that the contents and the ads section are in separate blocks.