As an online marketing specialist I rely a lot on the expertise of reputable names in the business. Among those I turn to often are the Neilson Norman Group and Hubspot. The Neilson Norman Group (aka NN/g) has been around since 1998, and have thoroughly established themselves as the website usability gurus. They have been performing innovative research from the beginning, carrying out user testing and design evaluations before anyone else. HubSpot is one of the initiators of the idea of inbound marketing, which is essentially how all websites operate these days and wildly outperforms outbound marketing for return on investment.
A recent article by NN/g titled, “The Most Hated Online Advertising Techniques,” combined with a HubSpot article called, “Why People Block Ads (And What It Means for Marketers and Advertisers)” offer a good overview of online marketing techniques that really annoy users. These provide an excellent reminder of what NOT to do with your website, even if it’s tempting. Here are a few of the highlights.
Pop-Ups are a Pain
Although pop-ups are a lot prettier than they used to be, people still hate them. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed by HubSpot in “Why People Block Ads (And What It Means for Marketers and Advertisers)” by Mimi An said they “dislike” them, noting they rudely interrupt their browsing. The worst kinds are the ones you have to look reeaaalllllly closely to find the tiny “X” to make them go away. These really do nothing good for a business, and can even damage its reputation as, quite obviously, those insisting on including these types of pop-ups are oblivious to the wants and needs of their customers and are more interested in the “hard sell” than quality customer service.
More Exasperating Types of Ads
According to both HubSpot and NN/g, Internet users are not fond of any kinds of ads online. This makes perfect sense, as we all know that when we use the Internet we are either trying to perform a specific task, such as make a purchase, or browse for enjoyment. We don’t want to be disrupted by being advertised “at.” The best way to gain a solid online presence and make sure your business and products are known is to build a great website using ethical SEO practices and consistently engaging your customers with great content and interesting social media posts.
NN/g’s article “The Most Hated Online Advertising Techniques” by Therese Fessenden says that the average overall score for all types of online ads was 5.23 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 equating to “strong like” and 7 equating to “strong dislike.” The most hated type was the “Modal” ad, which are those that appear overtop of a page’s content and must be clicked to make go away (sort of like a permanent pop-up). These are especially aggravating to mobile users, scoring a 5.94.
The second most despised type of ad was the “Autoplay video with skip,” which NN/G describes as: “(A) video advertisement (that) starts playing automatically when you arrive at a website, followed by video content from the website you are visiting.” I think we can all agree that these are highly irritating, especially if they carry on for longer than ten seconds. These scored a 5.79 for desktop users.
Followed closely behind those were “Deceptive links,” “Prevideo, no skip (mobile only)” and “Persistent banner, top.” “Deceptive links” are defined as, “(Those) when you reach a website where (users) need to take an action, such as downloading a file or running a test. Near the links to download are other similar links, which are advertisements.”
“Prevideo, no skip (mobile only)” is fairly self-explanatory. These are the ads that play before the video you actually want to see, and that don’t give you the option to skip past.
“Persistent banner, top” is the ad that appears at the top of the page and stays there no matter how far you scroll.
Instead of using ads, consider a well-designed call to action instead. These invite users to take an action on their own accord, and are transparent about what will happen once that action is taken.
Install an Ad Blocker
Ad blockers are a great way to rid yourself of annoying ads forever. There are browser extensions that work fairly well, such as AdBlocker Ultimate for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge as well as Android. These will also reduce your chances of a malware attack.
Emphasize Website Design Services of Calgary
Our team at Emphasize Design is here to help you every step of the way during your website build process. It’s what we do and we love it! Discover our attractive website design solutions and pricing packages to fit every Calgary business.