One-third of online adults will immediately leave a website if it is cluttered with ads. Over 75% of those who remain on cluttered sites pay less attention to the ads there, according to a recent Burst Media report.
Ad clutter – the overcrowding of a web page with advertising units to the point of degrading the web users’ experience.
Through their survey of 4,000 web users, Burst Media found that cluttered websites “not only annoy the audience, they diminish ad effectiveness and ultimately do a disservice to the publisher, advertiser and visitor.”
How much online advertising is too much?
Most people won’t stick around on a web page with anything more than two advertising units. Over half (52.6%) of visitors said they have a low tolerance for any more than two advertising units per page, with another 27.3% of people ready to leave when there is more than one ad per page.
Clutter hurts your brand reputation by creating a negative impact on visitor’s perceptions of your brand. Approximately one in two respondents has a less favorable opinion of an advertiser when their advertising appeared on a cluttered web page.
“One of the main obstacles to getting consumers’ attention online is ad clutter,” said Chuck Moran, VP of Marketing for Burst Media. “It is critical for advertisers to ensure their messages are being placed in a high quality content environment to receive the maximum exposure they deserve, and to preserve their brand’s reputation.”
It’s a continuous struggle to find the right balance of content and advertising on any given website. The best strategy is to find sites with little clutter and take advantage of the perfect combination of Web traffic, according to Jon Gibs, VP, media analytics, Nielsen Online, in a recent MediaPost article.
Gibs suggests to avoid following the myth that the longer the page the more ads it can accommodate, the more time a visitor spends on a page the more ads they can consume, and smaller ads create less visual information.
“A suitable clutter level depends on the comfort level of a specific advertiser, the target audience and online environment. Lower-income households are typically more comfortable with higher levels of clutter, whereas high-income households prefer lower, according to Gibs. “Retail stores consumers visit tend to mirror their online advertising comfort levels,” he said.
Nobody knows your brand better than you. Avoid advertising in cluttered spaces and hang onto your brand image.