What Makes Users actually CLICK on Online Ads?

Online Advertising

Why Some Online Ads Work and Some Fail?

There’s a lot of variety in the world of online advertisements. Some ads are simple static images, while others go to great lengths to grab a user’s attention with moving graphics, video, or sound. There is a distinct dichotomy between ad styles and the users who are most likely to take action on them. Seasoned internet veterans may simply glance past static ads, only noticing those that innovate to draw attention. Novice internet users may be more engaged by simpler ads that are easy to read and act upon.

On the completely opposite side of the spectrum, there’s a vast subset of internet users who loathe any advertisements that interfere with the usability and design of a site in any way. Advertisement ideas which impede a user’s experience in any way may even result in individual’s blacklisting that company and avoiding their products or services altogether. Businesses and advertisers have to be careful in the modern era of the internet to find a balance with advertisements that don’t go too far, but still take steps that lead to actionable results.

A good place to start trying to figure out what makes some online ads effective and others just a giant waste of money is to look at the ads that you are taking action on.

The ad I most recently took action on found that balance rather perfectly. It was an ad that wrapped the content of the site, meaning it replaced the background image behind the site’s main column. This background was not actionable, but it was connected to a standard banner image at the top of the site above the navigation bar. This ad idea worked because it grabbed my attention with the large wrapper image. It did not interfere with the content of the site in any way, as it only occupied the background. Once my attention was earned, my eyes were naturally directed to the standard banner ad which I then clicked through to find more information.

Even though this was a product I’d never used before, I was engaged visually without being overwhelmed. The business found the perfect balance to both grab my attention and bring me through to the point of action. Advertising ideas need to find this kind of balance and use it in order to reach the greatest number of web users. If ads go too far in either direction, towards the simple or towards the flashy, they will alienate too large a part of their audience.

What’s the last online ad that you acted upon?

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