How to Deal with Falling Ad Revenue
For websites that rely on advertising revenue, banner blindness is a major issue. The phenomenon refers to people’s tendency to ignore banner advertisements, with tests showing around 8 out of 10 web searchers unable to identify ads they had been shown. While many people don’t want to see banners — even using software to block them — the ads are often very targeted and can benefit those that see them. Advertisers and website owners are often reliant on ad revenue, so they are always looking for alternative ways to present ads to their users.
Many companies are looking for opportunities to grow their brand name. Banner ads can provide traffic to an offer, but they rarely tell you much about the company itself. Sponsored content enables a business to align themselves with something interesting, amusing, creative, or insightful. Sponsored content can reduce the cynicism many people feel toward direct marketing, allowing the content to stand alone as a piece of work. If a company has an advertising campaign that is relevant to your site, approaching them to collaborate can add a new dimension to your revenue.
While single ads might be easy to miss, a sitewide campaign is far more visible. A popular way to approach this is to use a branded skin, so the background, header, and sidebar all feature one particular advertiser. There are various approaches you can take to this, often dependent on the website design, but the frequency of the message has a greater chance of cutting through. As the branding is so prominent, it is important that thorough demographics research is carried out to ensure readers are not irritated by an untargeted concept.
Focus on Relevance
Many website owners simply add Google Adsense, or a similar advertising platform, to a few locations. If you are getting traffic, this is an easy, hands-off method of earning income. The simplicity of this method also means it is unlikely to yield the highest revenues, so it is worth going that extra step. The relevance of an ad has been shown to increase the likelihood of it being viewed, reducing the overall effect of banner blindness. To get the most targeted ads, complete thorough demographic research, looking through your analytics to discover the average visitor profile. With this website data, you can find relevant companies willing to pay good money for ad space on your site.
It is difficult to promote banner ads, with many services having rules regarding ad placement and requests for readers to click ads. Affiliate marketing is completely different, though, and you can get far better results from pre-selling a product. While affiliate marketing does not need to replace your banners, it can become a secondary income stream. Affiliate promotions can occur within the content body, whether in the form of a review, a tutorial, or an interview. Affiliate marketing, like the sponsored content, can benefit from avoiding blatant promotion, but there are times you can lead a reader toward an affiliate product in a more direct manner.
Advertisers and site owners have been aware of banner blindness for many years, but only the most creative have been looking for ways to counteract it. While there will always be people who don’t notice advertising, you can still employ these methods to reduce the issue and raise revenues. Advertising may be unwanted by many site visitors, but it allows for quality content that is not kept behind a paywall. Both advertisers and site owners put a lot of work into their respective fields, so it is important that they also continue to innovate when serving up ads to visitors.