Who Else Wants To Stop Advertisement Overkill?
Part of what I do at MoonBase3 involves content marketing – on a daily basis, I get to read a lot of really cool articles about marketing, tech and life as we know it. It might be my favorite part of the job.
The more articles I read, the more I’m seeing how important it is for companies to start taking Inbound Marketing seriously. Yes, it’s true that we’re now glossing over banner ads and popups – but the answer to this is not adding more advertisements – it’s finding a new way to advertise.
These ads are the web equivalent of junk mail or SPAM emails. We ignore them because they aren’t relevant to us. We ignore them because they’re very often ugly and poorly designed. We ignore them because we have no reason not to.
The other day I came across an article while looking through our twitter feed – “America’s Best and Worst Food Franchises.” Forbes is a site I come across fairly often, so I clicked through. And then this happened.
Nope. No Way. Do not want. Bounce rate 100%.
What happened next may not shock you, but may shock Forbes – I immediately left the article. I no longer cared who the best and worst franchises were, I just wanted to get the heck out of there fast.
That night when I got home, I came across this article from WomensForum, apparently celebrating 18 years without a single lesson in page layout.
Sorry Leo, you may have been dreamy, but I need to escape this advertising purgatory pronto. I should also note that the “Savvy” video ad in the bottom right corner actually never loaded.
There are many things wrong with these pictures, but I’ll narrow them down into the big ones.
- Advertisement Overkill. Too many ads. WAY too many ads. In the case of the Forbes article, the ads actually obscure the content because there are so many of them, and because they aren’t that visually different from the images in the article. (I should also mention that Forbes has yet another full page ad with a countdown you have to wait for, and then click continue to even get to their articles).
- Slow Load. You’re bound to have slow page load times with this much action on one page. It’s websites like these that make you really understand what seconds feel like.
- Mobile Nightmare. When you put a lot of ads on a page, not only are you going to peeve your readers, but anyone viewing your mobile site is bound to accidentally click a minimum of one ad while scrolling, creating a false engagement with the advertiser. While that may look good for your website ad sales, that’s dishonest to your advertisers, and in case I hadn’t made it clear yet, really uncool for your readership. In a weird twist, the Forbes and WomensForum mobile sites are actually easier to read than their desktop site.
- Paginated Lists. Ugh. This is a UI practice that I wish would go far, far away.. Don’t make me click to see each part of your list, and click again to read the caption/commentary on the images, especially when I’m already dealing with advertisement overkill and slow page loads. You’re just guaranteeing I’m not going to finish the article. At the very least, implement a “view all on one page” option.
- Just Plain Bad Design. Not only does the over abundance of ads make these pages visually confusing, but the basic layout of the pages are not aesthetic in any way. If you’re going to use banner ads at all, they should be incorporated into a clean and simple design – not one that allows them to take user attention away from the content.
- Video Ads Playing Sound That You Can’t Figure Out Where It’s Coming From. I just want to point out how incredibly annoying they are. Stop it.
I understand businesses need viable ways to advertise to consumers online. At this point, if we keep using digital ads, I’d rather Google track my every move and whim so that, if nothing else, I’ll stop seeing irrelevant retirement planning ads. (I’m not old enough or rich enough… yet.)
So c’mon, everyone! Embrace inbound marketing with open arms. Let’s pledge to market to consumers that actually want what we’re selling. Let’s write helpful articles that solve their problems and offer new insights into their favorite topics. Most importantly, let’s stop advertisement overkill.