Ad Blindness

PubGenius dives into what Ad Blindness is and how to counteract it.

Let’s take a dive into what Ad Blindness is and how pubGENIUS counteracts this problem.


How many ads do you see a day?

Just try to estimate how many ads a single average person would experience during an average day. Take into account ads from the internet, audio ads on radio, commercials while watching tv, billboards on the street, busses and cabs on the roads, labels on clothes, and even the packaging of food items. 

J. Walker Smith of Yankelovich Partners in 2004 released his company findings saying that the average person experiences over 5,000 ads every single day, as compared to 500 ads back in the 1970’s. 

Daily ad consumption picture comparing the 1970's to the current day.

Wow. 

This is to be taken with a grain of salt, as a person in a more populated metropolitan area would be more exposed to advertisements than one in a rural area. 

There is no way to remember all those ads, let alone give notice to them. This is the issue that PubGenius faces as an ad-ops solution provider working to facilitate ads to sites all over the internet.


Ad blindness

It is impossible to imagine a world without ads these days, and unsurprisingly, we have developed ad blindness to block out most of them subconsciously. 

Everyone knows the banner ads on the top of the page. The ads running down the side of a newspage. The first “promoted” search result on Google. 

The Nielsen Group has completed extensive research on banner blindness and you can see below their findings displayed in a heatmap of their eye tracking studies. With the red areas being where users looked the most, the yellow indicating fewer views, and the blue areas being the least-viewed. Gray areas had no attention at all. The ads on the pages are indicated by the green boxes that are drawn. 

Nielsen Group's eye tracking study on banner blindness.

We commonly see this when publishers rely on the revenues of their ads. Most ads these days are subconsciously blocked out due to the abundance of them.


So how can we make them stand out?

Here at PubGenius test new ad placements and sizes for different screen formats is the best way to fight this. For each different site, the best ad formats will be slightly different. 

Also, blending in the ad units seamlessly into your content is the best way to gain viewability. We don’t try to put obstructive ads on your page, rather, we try to complement your site with our ads.


Finding the balance

Overcoming ad blindness is a crucial way to increasing ad revenue. Depending on your page, we can provide suggestions to the type of placement, location, size, and widgets to best blend ad units to your page. The ultimate goal is to increase your ad viewability while also increasing the user experience. This will result in an increase in overall CPM’s as well as overall site health.

The graph below shows the before and after of our initial testing results with one of our publishers. After balancing the factors of placement, location, and size, you will see an increase in CPMs.

Programmatic advertising solution to solve ad blindness displayed in a chart.

How do I translate this to my own site

If you are suffering from low CPM’s and your monthly unique visitors is not translating over to revenue as much as it should be, do take Ad Blindness into consideration. And do not hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. 

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