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Users block websites for poor content and too many ads, says survey

Richard Bell

A recent survey has revealed that users visiting a site will tend to navigate away from a page and head for similar sites offered by competitors if the content is too cluttered with advertisements.

The study, from SurveyMonkey, fell in line with Google’s decision to penalise pages that display too many adverts above what is known as ‘the fold’ – the portion of a site that can be seen without the user having to scroll down. This algorithm has been in place for more than a year.

The results suggest that marketers must cut the number of ads and focus instead on delivering unique and user-relevant content, which is what – according to studies – users are after when they navigate between websites. Giving consideration to site layout as well as providing top quality content will allow sites to greatly improve their conversion rates. Great content is a step towards establishing a website as a top name for industry relevant news – and a place to which users can return without being bombarded by sales material.

The study found that the number one reason people block sites is because of too many advertisements, with 64% of the respondents choosing this as a reason for blocking a site.

Highlighting the importance of delivering good content, 60.6% of the survey’s respondents stated that poor quality content was a reason for them looking elsewhere after landing on a site. Just over a fifth said, specifically, typos and grammatical errors would turn them away.

Almost half of the respondents revealed that incorrect search results being displayed is one of the reasons for them navigating away from a page, while a third said too many links put them off. More than two fifths reported that objectionable or adult-oriented content was a reason for them blocking 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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