Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Web Design Tips: Ads

I have designed quite a few websites ranging from businesses to artists and one of the things people look to do is find ways on how to generate a little extra income to help offset the cost of maintaining their website. There is a growing trend among website owners to put ads on their website or blog. As tempting as this might be, most of the time it is not a very good idea.

Reasons:
  • You wouuldn't put someone else’s advertisements on your business cards or your stationary so why would you put it on your website? The main goal of a website it to market YOUR art, YOUR product or YOUR service. Your goal is not to be marketing something or someone else. Your website is a marketing tool and think of it as such. You want it to be the BEST representation of you.


  • If you put someone else’s advertisement on your website, you’re only inviting them to leave your site and go else where. Why have a website if you’re only going to be a thorough-fare to someone else’s site?


  • By placing animated, blinking, moving graphic advertisements on your site, it’s going to be distracting the attention away from the real reason why you want them coming to your site in the first place and thus taking them away from your website, artwork, service or product.


  • You want your site to be clean and ads are often blinking or moving so distracting. One of the chief complaints from people viewing is annoying ads make it an unpleasant browsing experience. There is an 8-second rule that designers use because it is typically in that length of time a visitor will view your website before they decide if they are going to stay. And if there is an ad that is distracting and annoying them they might not even give it a few seconds before moving on.


  • Always remember that first impressions count and often people view ads negatively so they would view your website negatively because you have ads on them. We don’t want your website to become a distraction to the point people move on. We want them to keep coming back for more and to tell others about what you’re doing on the web. There are ways to enhance your site with effective animation that keeps the design subtle and not overpowering. That will be a tip for another day.

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