Advertising vs. Content: A Balancing Act
Picture this. You’re jumping online to check your favorite website for some information on a specific product or service. You know exactly what you’re looking for and where to find it. You type in the URL and when the page loads you move your cursor to … oh, let’s say, those fuzzy pink bunny slippers you’ve been wanting. Before you can click on the image of the adorable footwear, a popup fills your screen. You click the X to close the new window and continue your journey toward the fuzzy bunnies.
But then another popup arises … and another … and another. You end up clicking five different “close this window” boxes before you ever get the chance to check out the slippers. Irritating right? So, why would you EVER do that to your own clients? Sure, if someone were looking for your specific, unique product they might stick around and tolerate the many extra clicks to get to what they’re looking for, but in most cases, after the second extra click, your potential client would be moving on to another site where it wasn’t so cumbersome to get to what they wanted.
When you’re the owner of a commercial website, it’s great to be able to gain additional profit from incorporating ads either as popup windows or interstitials, but it’s really vital to keep your priorities in line. Sure, ads are important and, of course, the point of your Internet business is to make money, but what about your actual content? Your users are visiting your site to gain access to your products and services, or information about the two. And, if they’re like most web surfers, they’re in a hurry. The fact is, an extra ten or even five seconds feels like an eternity in this instant gratification era of ours where we want what we want right now, and where in most cases, we can get it.
Creating extra clicks/steps for your users or making them sit through a 30-second advertisement for each page they visit is not only frustrating, it gives the impression that you’re not nearly as concerned with imparting your wisdom and services to your clients as you are with making a few extra pennies from each person who happens upon your site.
Put yourself in your users’ pink fuzzy bunny slippers. Most web visitors expect an ad or two from the sites they visit, but if they’re bombarded with ad after ad and have to jump through umpteen loops to get to the content they’re looking for, they’re going to move on. Take advantage of the additional income from advertising, but not your clients who are dropping by to see what you’ve got going on. Respect their time and find a balance between the ads and content on your website that works for you and your clients.