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Surveys concur on issue of online advertising

Richard Bell

A survey published earlier this year has supported the notion that too many ads or irrelevant content can turn website visitors away and lower conversion rates.

Supported by the recent study from SurveyMonkey – which found that users tend to click away from sites that display too many advertisements above the ‘fold’ – an earlier survey published in March found that 90% of internet users had been annoyed by ads they encountered.

The InsightsOne survey, which collected the opinions of adult users from the U.S., found that email content ads and ads appearing in a website’s sidebar came in second and third place respectively in a list of the most annoying varieties of ad placement.

Respondents in the survey compared social media advertising to junk mail received in a printed format.

Around 60% of the respondents said they had been annoyed by ads promoting services or products that were not relevant to their tastes as consumers – highlighting the need for tailored advertising.

More than a third of those surveyed said they would click away from a page if it displayed too much irrelevant or invasive content, and one in 10 said they would be prepared to stop using the products being advertised if the ads were too intrusive.

The study has shown that brands must avoid being overly promotional – and look to other means besides populating the web with a plethora of ads – if they want to increase site conversions. Observers believe a balance must be struck between optimisation and informative, relevant content marketing – the latter of which provides users with a reason to visit a website beyond simply taking in product information or making a purchase.

While ads are able to garner immediate visibility, engaging content could have a more lasting effect and encourage positive sentiments in the users visiting a website.

Richard has a First in English Literature and Creative Writing, and has experience writing fiction and short stories (which he has published both online and in magazines).

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