Banner Ads: Why You Should Be Careful on Your Site

Steven14 responsesBlogging

Let’s face it, there’s nothing I can say that’s going to keep you from putting ads on your site. In fact, most new bloggers put banners all over the place before they even load up their first article. In my mind, this is the worst thing you can do with a new blog but, like I said, you’re going to do it anyway, so let me give you some advice. Here are five reasons why you should be careful with ads on your site.

careful with ads

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Your readers might click on your ads

I know. Isn’t this what you want them to do? Yes. And, no. It depends on why they’re clicking. If they’re clicking on those ads because they loved your article and want to learn more about XYZ product that’s great. You might just get a sale. However, if they’re clicking because that ad has distracted them away from your content before they’ve seen your call to action, then that’s bad. You’ve just lost a reader.

Ads are a distraction

You only have two or three seconds to grab your readers’ attention and once you get it it’s still a struggle to keep them on your page. Placing a big, blinking ad right in the middle of your article is a distraction. It makes your reader blink or take his eyes away from the page. Even if it’s only for a split second you’ve now reminded your reader that he could click away and go read something more interesting. It takes very strong content to keep your reader focused these days. Unless you’re providing it, those ads are only going to take your reader off your blog.

Ads can make your readers angry

Blinking ads are a distraction, even if they’re tucked over in the sidebar. They pull your readers eyes away from your content. In some cases they can even hurt, whether you’re looking directly at them or not. Pop-up ads, sliders, and blockers also make readers angry. They came to your blog to get information. If they want to read your ads they will but they don’t like being forced into it. Remember, there are millions of other blogs out there they could turn to. And those tricky, misleading ads that say one thing but lead to another? If your readers do click on them they’ll never visit your blog again.

Irrelevant ads are a waste of space… and a distraction

I can spot a new blogger the second I arrive on his blog. He’s the guy blogging about dog care with a BlueHost and GoDaddy banner over in the sidebar. If your readers are coming to your blog for dog food information, why would they be interested in webhosting? You’re wasting ad space and you’re distracting your readers. There are dozens of affiliate programs out there. Take the time to research your niche and find relevant products to promote. You’re not getting any sales off those banners anyway.

You’re not paying attention to your readers

Having too many ads not only makes your blog cluttered and difficult to read, but it shows you’re not paying attention to what your readers really want and you’re not focusing your content. If you must put ads on your blog from the very beginning then choose one product or program to promote. Do your keyword research, target your audience, focus your content until you start making money. Then, do the research again before you add another ad.

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14 Comments

  1. Jules

    I have recently realized that ads aren’t adding anything to my blog, or my website. The choices I made don’t support my products, at least not the way I’d hoped, on too many of my pages.

    Over the next few days, weeks, I plan to prune the detritus and see if I can’t find a better focus for my work.

    Thanks for, inadvertently, supporting my decision.

    1. Hey Jules, thanks for your comment!

      You can put ads on your site, as long as you are aware of the consequences… I removed them all from Dukeo because my main goal is to grow my list as fast as possible, so I try to avoid any kind of distraction for my visitors.

    2. Jules

      That’s the issue for me – I’m not actually generating tons of income and I feel that so much of what I’ve ‘dumped’ on the blog / website is taking away from the content into which I’ve put so much effort.

    3. This is one of the most challenging things for me too… It’s so easy and fast to get your blog cluttered with useless stuff. Keeping it clean is quite challenging, but it makes your reader’s life easier!

  2. Tony Hastings

    OK Steven, you have convinced me to give it a try! I have always had a (very) small income from ads but been reluctant to take them off despite being aware of some of the pitfalls.

    I’ll leave one on for now at the end of the post while I experiment with affiliates but all ads at the start and the sidebar have gone. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes :-)

    1. Great to hear that Tony!

      Please keep me posted with your results. I’d love to know how your bounce rate will evolve…

  3. Ana

    i rarely, if ever, click on ads, but understand why some bloggers choose to place ads for revenue and partnerships with other websites. i do find ads very distracting though, and chose from the beginning not to have them on my blog. once the traffic started to build, however, my blog host started placing occasional ads on my blog. i ended up paying extra to host my blog independently rather than have ads pop up for my readers. i don’t have any immediate plans for setting up ads either, but i’m not ruling it out entirely. for now, no ads works really well to create the calm and clutter-free feel i want for my blog.

    1. You’re 100% right Ana!

      Ads are a big source of distraction for your visitors… If you want to be perceived as an authority in your niche, you should have your readers focus on your content and provide them as much value as possible!

  4. Mary

    Any suggestions on good affiliate programs to help with ads? I’ve had a blog for about a year and have kept it ad free until now.

    1. Hi Mary,

      I can’t really answer out of the blue like this… It all depends on your niche. Search for related products or services in your niche, then start rotating the offers until you make a sale, then give more ad impressions to the products which are generating money.

    2. Jules

      I’ve worked with LinkShare and CommissionJunction – both quite large, with lots and lots of advertisers. If you truly want to put ads on your blog / site start very, very slowly.

      It’s easy to jump in and get involved with too many companies – I speak from experience. Commission Junction will terminate your account, if you don’t generate sufficient traffic to their advertisers – again, I speak from experience.

    3. Thank you for sharing your experience with us Jules!

  5. Gina Valley

    Great advice.
    Ads tend to be so annoying!

    1. Thank you for your comment Gina!

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