Picking up from the last post on landing page design, which focused on textual density at the top of the page, this one looks at the issue of ads.
It’s generally fine to have ads on your landing pages, but you need to give serious thought to what kinds of ads you allow and how they appear. Here are some problems that could drive away your website visitors:
- Pop-ups. Pop-ups are irritating. People usually just want to swat them away when they show up, and many turn on their browser’s pop-up blocker to avoid dealing with them. You should think carefully about having any pop-ups at all. They can cause browsers to crash and interfere with how people engage with your webpage. If you’re determined to have pop-ups, try not to have more than one. A swarm of them won’t just annoy people; it will make you look spammy and disreputable.
- Ads everywhere. When someone visits your site, they might be trying to research a topic or purchase a certain product. You have to make it easy for them to know where to click and where to look on the page for the information they want. Too many ads on your page will distract visitors and make it more difficult for them to navigate your site. With ads everywhere, your page also looks spammy and cheap.
- Nauseating ads. A political blog I occasionally visit used to have ads about toenail fungus that would crop up between posts and feature close-ups of yellow, crumbly toenails. Eventually, they got taken down after enough visitors complained and the blog manager figured out how to disable them. When you put up ads, be mindful of what they might show and listen to feedback from website visitors. You may not always have control over what your visitors see, as ads could be based on their personal search history, but if visitors keep complaining about your ads, look into the issue.
- Distracting ads. You hope that visitors will click on your ads, sending some revenue your way. However, make sure they don’t overwhelm your site’s content. This can happen even if you only have a few ads. Maybe they’re huge and garish, clashing with the tone of your page. Maybe they expand over your content as you move the mouse across them. Whatever the case happens to be, don’t let them detract from your content.
A poor use of ads is a serious landing page design problem, making your site look unprofessional. Take care with the kinds of ads you choose and where you place them on the page.
(Image links to source: Marc van der Chijs on Flickr, with this license)