Why 88 Percent of Online Ads Are Ignored

online ads

Mega websites with loads of traffic might seem like the perfect place for online ads, but research shows this is totally false. Bigger isn’t always better and new research shows an increase in the number of people overlooking online ads while surfing the net and even ignoring them all together on some of the bigger websites out there.

New research shows a 40% decrease in the number of people paying attention to online ads on major portal sites compared to last years numbers. This research doesn’t mean that they are ignoring them all together though.

Viewer engagement for online ads on big websites like Yahoo, MSN, and CNN have shown a noticeable reduction since early 2009. One of the reasons for this is too much emphasis placed in the advertising reach of generic, non-niche websites. Research revealed that 88% of viewers simply skip-over advertising on big portal sites while only a whopping one in ten said they pay attention “some” of the time. This number is up 40% since the study was conducted last year so viewers are definitely not responding on big portal sites.

So What Websites Convert Online Ads The Best

So where are online ads doing the best? You guessed it, niches sites. Research this year shows that targeted ads on niche websites will more likely get a 32% better response rate than big portal sites like CNN or MSNBC. When you focus the target group to and age range of 18 to 34 year olds the figure increases to a response rate of 42%.

This makes total sense because viewers that visit niche sites are already seeking information pertained to a particular niche. Research shows that 46% are seeking information from niche sites compared to only 38% that visit big sites like CNN, MSNBC, or Yahoo. Only 21% respond from social network sites.

Who’s Responding to Online Ads

Among viewers age 25 to 34, 58% said they use niche sites to find information. That could be partly due to niche sites focusing content on their age group. Of this group only 28% (one in four), said they would visit the big portal sites to find what they were looking for and this number is down 28% since last years report.

Niche websites tend to be more associated with the ad content that big portal sites. 31% clicked on ads because of the monetary value associated with the product while 12% said they thought the product was endorsed by the niche site. It’s all about the content. Viewers feel more connected to niche sites because the content is targeted to that particular subject. When you think about absolute reach verses relevant reach, relevant reach will convert better every time.

Of the age group 25 to 34 59% truly believe that niche websites host better content. Of those who responded, 65% (about two-thirds), trusted the niche sites to deliver more accurate and relevant content on information they were interested in. Clearly the research shows that niche sites have more active and engaged users that are more likely to interact with online ads and ultimately convert into sales.

So the smart money is on niche sites. Intelligently matched ads on niche sites create genuine interest and urge viewers to purchase. No longer can an online marketer base their online ads and campaigns on placement on high traffic websites and just hope for good conversion rates.


Reico is the owner and team member of The Applied VIsual, website design and development company. He is also available on Twitter @AppliedVisual

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