According to a recent study, websites cluttered with ads prove to be less effective for their clients than sites that have a clean layout and are less cluttered. Although it should not be a surprise that sites inundated with ads do not perform as well for advertisers, one stat did jump out at me: 52% of users had a negative perception of the advertiser when the ad was displayed in this cluttered environment. That translates to a huge number of users who are being negatively affected by online ads, due to the sheer number of mid and long tail websites that show more than two ads on screen to users.
These findings should add a whole new area of concern for advertisers when planning their buys – not only do planners and buyers need to ensure their messages are not running across inappropriate content, but they also need to prevent their ads from running across websites that may have safe content but are cluttered with lots of ads. Web publishers should take these findings as a clear message to design their site in a well lit, clutter-free environment so that clients, users, and the publishers themselves can all benefit.
And before our sales team asks, I’ll provide some insight into our network – the ‘look and feel’ of a site is a very important qualifier when our media team brings new sites into the network. Nearly all of our inventory consists of publishers that show no more than two IAB standard ads to users on-screen at any time.