Jakob Nielsen, the proclaimed “king of usability” and probably the guy who knows more about what you should and shouldn’t do on the Web, recently published an article on useit.com on The Most Hated Advertising Techniques. It basically tells you this:
- People have intrusive ads – popups, flashing ads, and ads that block Web content.
- People hate ads that advertise something they have no interest in.
- People hate ads that play sound.
This is certainly one reason that Google Ads are so effective: they are largely text-based (and thus unobtrusive), they don’t popup or play sound, and they present ads that are related to the content of the Web page.
From my perspective, I eliminated all pop-up, flashing ads, and obtrusive ads from all my Web sites about a year or so ago. Incredibly, my ad revenue went down about 5% as a result. Which told me one big thing: You don’t need popup ads in your campaign.
Further, one of my newest sites, EQ2Craft, uses Google ads. The other sites use Burst Media for graphical banner ads. Incredibly, my Google ads generate about 200% greater revenue per click than the standard banner ads. Clearly this is partially a factor of site content, but it is interesting to see how effective Google ads can be – and how unnecessary popup and related user-unfriendly ads are.
Consider how much traffic an average user brings to your site. Then determine how much traffic (and potential ad revenue) you lose when one average user decides don’t want to deal with your advertising techniques. The result is an ad campaign that works for you and your users.