Online advertising has long been affected by what has become known as ‘banner blindness’. This has been caused in part by a tendency for many sites to simply fill their pages with banners.
This banner advertising is often in the form of affiliate links or through ad agencies. I am sure you have seen the flashing ‘you are the 1,000,000 visitor’ – large horizontal of vertical banners that virtually scream a you.
The current trend is, fortunately, away from these large banners and back to easier on the eye 125 x 125 square banners. However, they still promote banner blindness through their sheer weight of numbers. Where there was once one large flashy banner, there are now six to eight square ads – a little in the way of overkill.
Online advertising is done for two reasons. One, obviously to attract click through’s to your pages. The second reason is to spread brand awareness. The thinking behind the latter is that if you throw your banner around in enough places, whilst you may not be getting clicks, subliminally you are developing an awareness of your brand.
For click through advertising, the best value is often in pay-per-click. For brand awareness, 125 x 125 banners can do the job. There are some provisos. First, don’t bother placing your banner on a site if it is surrounded by a lot of noise – that is – other banners, adsense or any other ‘turn offs’. The best placement is above the fold, on its own so it does stand out.
The key to online banner advertising is not to throw them around everywhere. Just like a roadside billboard, place them strategically so they stand out. It may cost a little more per placement, but you can get away with far fewer placements. Better coverage for less total cost – you cannot argue with that.