Want to monetize your website with ads?
Alright. This is a major bone of contention with me. I can't even report how many times I have been sent a link (or found one via Google) for a website that hopefully has the tutorial, article, or other information I need. If you're like me, it's in the hundreds or thousands, right?
What I have discovered at an alarmingly rapid rate, are the number of sites that have sold so much ad space that I can barely find the information I was looking for. This doesn't even touch on the fact that the site takes much longer to load because several advertisers believe it to be impressive to have a Flash ad. Don't even get me started on Flash ads!
How do you know if you have too many ads?
You know you are overselling ad space on your site if there if you have to scroll just to get to the content. If you have more ads at the top than content. On a desktop, there is at least 5 inches of ads between the header and the content so that is another way to gauge what your users will have to encounter, unless of course, the users have enabled an ad-blocker.
I have yet to understand the purpose of placing such a large advertising block between the article title & the article itself. To be honest, I usually leave a site straight away if I have to work that hard just to find the content, especially if I'm there to look for specific information which is buried beneath the ads.
I appreciate the people who make money selling ad space on their website, and I applaud them for being able to monetize the site.
What's the big deal?
The problem is when you have more ads than content you lose the audience.
Enter: The Ad Farm.
Personally, I had a DVR (when I had cable) to filter the ads and commercials for a reason. They interrupt the flow of content (even on tv) and just I wish there was a way to do that on the internet. Ad blockers work most of the time but on a mobile device, it's a nightmare!
I guess it's a matter of what your intention is. Do you want to attract visitors who are actually looking for your content, or only generate income by selling ad space. Lately, I have encountered way too many sites that are broken down by 75% ads & 25% content. And some have not put any effort into making sure the ads are just as responsive as the rest of the site (for mobile users). If you're goal is to generate income by selling ads, then super. Mission accomplished. But if your blog exists to share valuable content and information with visitors, then be sure to structure your site so it's easy to navigate, use, and find the content.
What do you think?
Do ads on websites bother you? Do you use an ad-blocker? Do you have ads on your own website? If so, what kind of feedback do you get? We'd love to hear about your experience so we can all make the web a better and more enjoyable place.