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Friday, January 09, 2009

Nearly one third of online adults will immediately leave a website if they perceive it to be cluttered with ads, and more than 75% of those who remain on cluttered web sites pay less attention to the ads there, according to findings from Burst Media survey.

So what does this mean for your website and your web audience? I think it’s simple, less is more. The survey of about 4,000 web users found that cluttered sites not only annoy their audience, but they also diminish the effectiveness of ads. They sited lower recall, click throughs, and overall poor performance. If you’re trying to earn a monthly income on Google Adsense, then take note.

The more you crowd your site with tons of affiliate offers, ads, content, etc., the more difficult it becomes for browsers to know where to navigate. Worse yet is that browsers are leaving sites when they cannot quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. If you want to optimize ad revenue, take a new look at your website.

Is it cluttered? Does is have a simple navigational path? Can you easily find what you’re looking for? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then perhaps you need to rethink your layout.

More specifically, respondents to this particular survey said they accept that advertising will appear on websites but have low tolerance for any more than two advertising units per page. Keep this in mind when trying to overload your ads per page. Keep your ad units to a maximum of two and no more.

Clutter can affect perception of advertisers too. The survey also found that ad clutter has a negative impact on consumers' perceptions of an advertiser's products and services:

• One out of two respondents has a less favorable opinion of an advertiser when their advertising appears on a web page they perceive as cluttered.
• One-half of women claim clutter negatively impacts their opinion of an advertiser.
• Additionally, the survey showed that women are more likely than men to abandon a site that appears cluttered (about one third vs. twenty percent).

Ad clutter has a negative impact on how browsers respond to your website and their behavior. Don’t chase your audience away, engage them. Keep your design and layout simple, easy to follow and intuitive. This will keep users on your site longer and allow them to find what they’re looking for.


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