Way back in 2007 as Publishing & Marketing Director of History Today, and much to the chagrin of the online team, I pulled the plug on banner advertising. They argued it was the way forward, we had to be seen online etc. My argument was purely down to the cost effectiveness of the medium and banner advertising wasn’t. It was still more profitable, though less so than previously, to get new business via traditional Direct Mail. I tasked them (and myself) to improve our SEO which we did, but that’s another story.
The defining year in the death of the banner
Admittedly banner ads are taking a long time to die.
Back in November 2012 Alyson Shontell of Business Insider wrote:
Banner ads, those benighted rectangles and boxes, have been the primary way publishers make money online since a digital offshoot of Wired magazine ran the first one 18 years ago.
But the industry is ripe for disruption, and many feel it won’t be long before banners are replaced by a better, more attractive advertising solution.
One industry source said “The traditional standard media model is challenging,” “There’s a lot of pressing need for innovation around the approaches people are taking [to make money online]. I see a lot of people refusing to acknowledge the trend lines here … 2012 is really the defining year in death of the banner ad. Read more
Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy at NewsCred says:
“They simply don’t work,”
“Your customers ignore them. Your future customers might even hate you for interrupting their content experiences. The only reason spending on banner advertising is not dying faster is because marketers are shifting money from traditional marketing (print, radio, TV) to digital formats. But click through rates on banners are less than .1% in most industries. Eye-tracking studies show that everyone ignores them so even for branding and awareness, this tactic is hard to justify.”
Some stats to consider:
- You are 31 times more likely to win the lottery than to have someone click on your banner ad (Business Insider).
- You are 475 times more likely to survive a plane crash than to have someone click on your banner ad (Business Insider).
- Around 31% of ad impressions can’t be viewed by users. (Comscore)
- 8% of Internet users account for 85 percent of clicks. (ComScore)
- 50% of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (GoldSpot Media)
Enough banner, if you need more convincing, Google ‘Death of banner advertising’ where you’ll find a multitude of companies dancing on the grave of banner advertising and at the same time offering you their alternative visions.
Slip, Slide Away
I have to hold my hand up and say I used to be a great slider fan to the extent of using them on many of the websites I’ve built. As with many online things, the novelty had started wear off and I was thinking of alternatives when I read an article by SEO guru
- Only 1% of the people actually click on a slide, which almost always was the first slide;
- People simply ignore your slider, because it triggers banner blindness;
- They slow down your site, negatively impacting your SEO and conversion rate(!!);
- They don’t always work well on mobile devices,
- They push your content down, which Google recently mentioned yet again is notsmart;
- It dilutes your message, because suddenly there are multiple messages on your homepage.
Later this month, the first website I built and designed using a Slider, www.vgtips.co.uk will become sliderless. In the past, at some points there would be up to eight or nine slides featured, but over the past few months, bearing in mind the above advice, this has been reduced down to a maximum of three in preparation of going sliderless in a new Genesis Studio Press theme.
If you find banners return a decent ROI stick with them, if they don’t, think afresh.