Article written by : SEO Web Online
As a newbie blogger I know how tempting it is to put ads on your blog in the hope that you are going to make thousands from affiliate sales or Google Adsense.
When I first got started I put lots of banner ads all over the blog (not this blog, a different one), and was excited about the income potential. As it turned out I made close to nothing from those banner ads and looking back on it, I am not surprised that was the case.
The main problem with this type of thinking is that the banner ads become the focus of the blog, and not the content. That particular blog ended up going nowhere and is now no longer in existence. The blog basically offered no value and was all about getting page views and clicks on the ads.
If you think about when you visit a website, you are visiting to check out the information presented and not to click on advertisements. Banner advertisements are interruption marketing, just like advertisements on radio or television – and not many people could care less about any of them.
Here are nine reasons why you should stay away from banner ads – IF YOU ARE JUST STARTING OUT:
1. You’re not getting anywhere near enough traffic
Unless you are a well known celebrity you will hardly be getting any traffic if you are a newbie, so what is the point in putting banner ads up?
A lot of you will be shocked when you find out what an average click through rate is for banner ads? On Facebook anything that is over .01% is considered as a good click through rate. That is one person in every thousand clicking on the ad.
It is true that certain banner ads catch the eye (such as bikini clad women, get rich quick ads, or celebrities etc), but if you are getting ten hits a day to your website then don’t expect this to make you a fortune.
The only websites that should be considering banner ads are the ones that are established and are attracting consistent traffic. And by consistent traffic, I am talking about sites that attract over 1,000 hits a day.
2. You have not earned the trust of your readers yet
A brand new website has not earned the trust and respect from anybody yet, and most of your readers should be able to tell that you are just starting out.
This inexperienced feeling will make your readers even less inclined to click on any of your banner ads. The newbie is usually desperate to see some results and people will smell this a mile away.
This is especially true if you are trying to promote “make money online” ads or “get rich quick” advertisements. These type of ads are everywhere online and most people don’t believe them anyway.
3. The advertisements will stand out more than your content
As I mentioned before don’t allow the banner ads to be the main focus of your blog. To make a blog successful you must always put your content and your readers first.
A blog that is loaded with banner ads just looks unprofessional and desperate, and will turn your readers off within seconds of landing on your website. Your bounce rate will be sky high due to the dissatisfaction from your visitors, which will not impress Google at all.
First impressions are vital on a blog, and a blog loaded with ads everywhere gives a very poor first impression. The first thing that people should notice is how amazing your content is and how interesting your website is.
4. Banner ads are nowhere near as effective as they used to be 10 years ago
Back in the early days of the internet, banner ads were a novelty (just like email was) and people were intriuged enough to click on them. Ads like “Congratulations You Are The One Millionth Visitor” in flashing lights attracted loads of people clicking on them.
But people now realise that ads like these are just scams and won’t go near them. Old fashioned advertising styles are nowhere near as effective as they used to be. These days it is all about providing value and engaging with your readers, instead of interrupting them with noise.
5. If you put too many ads on your blog you will just annoy your readers
This one overlaps with a few of the other points mentioned, but it is worth taking note of.
I know that I personally get annoyed at some websites that go overboard with advertising. It is as if they are begging me to get my wallet out and give them money. If I come across these types of sites, I make a point of not visiting again.
Pop ups are a classic example of annoying your readers. Sure you will get some subscribers and sales from them, but you will lose far more than you gain. If I go to a website and see a pop up interrupt me, I immediately get frustrated and look for the close button.
Many people will advise you to use pop ups and other similar aggressive marketing tactics, but I strongly advise you to not use them. Put yourself in your readers shoes for a moment and you will understand why.
6. If people do click on the banners then they are leaving your site to visit someone else’s.
When people click on these banner ads you are effectively sending them away to look elsewhere.
Unless you own the page you are sending them to, you are effectively losing traffic. Wouldn’t it be better to keep the reader on your own site?
I know the point is usually to try to make affiliate sales, but unless it is a really great offer most people will not buy anything. Affiliate marketing is better done with a fully blown review of the product that lists the benefits of buying the product. And this only usually works if the reader knows and trusts the person who has written the review.
Slapping up a few banners on a website and leaving it at that very rarely works.
7. Google will penalise you if you have lots of ads, particularly if they are pointing to low quality websites
Google acts in the best interests of its users and its mission is to provide the best possible user experience for them. They consider over advertising as a bad user experience and will therefore push your pages down the list of the rankings.
Search traffic should be maximised as much as possible and over advertising will make it hard to get any search traffic at all. An abundance of ads above the fold is almost certain to be noticed by Google, and as a blogger you should be doing as much as you can to make Google your friend, not your enemy.
8. Ad networks like Google Adsense could send your visitors to sites that are your competitors
If you are using Google Adsense or other ad networks you have no control over what ads they show on your pages. Usually these types of networks will try to match up your content with the advertisements as closely as possible to keep the ads congruent.
This means that it is quite possible that advertisements for your biggest competitors could be shown on your pages, which is obviously not good for business. You might make 50c a click, but is it worth that 50c to send people to your direct competition in your niche – I think not!
And in any case the Google Adsense business model is practically dead anyway. Many of the top Adsense publishers have had their accounts closed for basically no reason, and in general people are making nowhere near the amounts they were making 10 years ago.
9. If the ads are not related to the content on the blog, then they are going to look silly and no one will take any notice anyway
This is all about congruency and reaching your target market. If you have a blog about fishing bait, then why put up banners ads for razor blades or cars? If your blog is about knitting, then why put ads on there to make money online?
If you must put ads on your blog then at least make sure that the ads are relevant to the content that you are publishing. This should be common sense really.
I would like to add though that I am not actually saying that banner advertising is a waste of time completely. The point of this post was for bloggers that are new to the game and are hardly attracting any traffic at all. Newbies should be focusing on creating fantastic content and building a loyal audience before anything else.
Banner advertising can still be effective provided the banners are placed on a relevant blog that attracts MASSIVE traffic, and that the banners are clever enough to intrigue people to click on them. This usually means that you look for other blogs and websites that get a lot of traffic, and you place them on those sites.