How Much is Too Much?

Some websites, including several that I publish, generate revenue by running ads. Because these ads generate revenue there’s an urge to add more and more of them as a way to increase revenue. But at some point there are just too many darned ads. How do you know when you’ve got to that point? How much is just too much?

Ideally a web publisher wants to maximize revenue while preventing ad blindness. Ad blindness occurs when visitors to websites see so many ads that they begin to tune them out. People can have ad blindness in regards to all ads or to a specific ad. For example, do you even give the ad a look any longer? That’s the ad with a series of high school annual photos. I know I’ve seen it a million times and I no longer give it a second glance.

In terms of maximizing ad revenue, my experience tells me that there is no magic bullet. What works for one site may not work for another website. Websites vary widely in their content, their audience and their ad programs. The only true way to know when you’ve reached the saturation point is to look at the statistics. What sort of ad programs did you use? Did you use Google Adsense, ValueClick or something else? How much money did you earn from each program? As you make changes to your program track your revenue. See what works for your site and what doesn’t.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • If you’re selling a product do NOT advertise anything other than your product. You want to turn visitors of your website into customers. Be single minded. Do not confuse the visitor. Focus on selling your product and forget the siren call of online advertising.
  • One factor that adds to ad blindness is when the ads don’t relate to the website content. For example, if I’m looking at a medical website chances are I won’t pay much attention to an ad for a pickup truck. However if there were an ad for a medicine relating to the medical condition I was reading about that may get my attention. Google Adsense specialize in this sort of targeted delivery. Google stipulates that the maximum of three Google Adsense units may be used per page.
  • Website publishers can use ad agencies to deliver ads from other companies. Sometimes problems in the delivery systems of the ad agencies can cause websites to load slowly or not at all. Remember that when you’re displaying content served by a third party that any problems they have can affect the responsiveness of your site.

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