Online Publishing and Advertising Overload

April 6, 2012

How many ads are too many?  Spend a few minutes trying to find information online, and you might wonder if anyone is even asking that question:

You click on a link to an article about a would-be spy tweeting CIA secrets and are met with an ad for remote recording devices. Start reading a piece about a mother with 16 kids and in the middle of the sentence that explains how that happens, an ad for diapers pops up. Still, if you do reach your destination page, you might find yourself bewildered, as if standing in the middle of Times Square—surrounded by flashing lights, fancy moving banners and an array of voices that all seem to be yelling at you. Wait, what were you looking for?

In digital media, advertising and marketing over-saturation is a key consideration for your web design, for two primary reasons (that we’ve mentioned previously):

1)    Website load-time: multiple ads and images can significantly slow load time and deter visitors from ever arriving at your site. Add to that, the types of ads that block immediate access and your chances of completely deterring them are greatly increased.

2)    People read differently on the Internet.  Your audience is more likely to scan pages for information, so focus is already compromised. When you have a page with multiple points of engagement, you force the reader into a pattern of decision making instead of content absorption.

When you think about building revenue by incorporating advertising and audience engagement into your web design, focus on balance not saturation, and consider these tactics as an alternative to too many ads:

  • Build context awareness—know your readers and engage them with relevant content and targeted recommendations.
  • Expand alternative revenue streams to reduce your dependence on space ads.
  • Take the best of print publishing—large layouts, consumable advertising, attractive editorial design—and build on it with a publishing-focused SaaS Web Content Management System. You want to create a clean, exemplary media experience that will provide a consistent reader experience across devices, while working from a platform that allows you to adapt and grow, along with the technology.

If you focus on these three tactics, your readers just might be more inclined to focus on your website.