Banner Blindness: Its Causes and How to Deal With It

Date: 2023-03-13 | Time of reading: 7 minutes (1360 words)

Banner blindness is a type of users' behavior when they ignore banners and other advertising. Numerous studies indicate that visitors often don't see navigation banners and advertising campaigns. Consumers prefer to ignore such content regardless of its location on the site. This phenomenon forms the effect of banner blindness. Let's try to understand the reasons for this problem, how to deal with it and how to make banner ads better.

Causes of banner blindness

1. Excessive advertising. A large number of ads online stresses people. Thus, on different sites they face static, interactive, animated and other banners. In particular, ads that can not be closed immediately cause a negative reaction.

  • How to fix it: leave room for banner ads, but do not overload the web page. Also, avoid the pop-up windows and videos that turn on automatically.

Page overloaded with adsAn example of a page overloaded with banner ads

2. Irrelevant advertising. People look for certain things on the Internet. When they see a block of ads with weight loss products or another annoying offer again and again, it distracts them from their search and makes them anxious.

  • How to fix it: decide what your target audience is, set up the right targeting and show ads to those who are really interested in them.

3. Negative experience. Many users associate interacting with banner ads with switching to dangerous sites. Therefore, subconsciously people do not pay attention to it. Visitors of the site do not consider that the banners have any useful information.

  • How to fix it: To convince customers that your ad is not just another spam, put some useful information on the banner, or briefly describe the benefits of your brand, or introduce the company, or place the logo.

4. Banner placement. Many people are already intuitively aware of where the banner ads are to be placed. Therefore, often typical banner locations are intentionally skipped by users and are in the "blind spot".

  • How to fix it: try the new placement of ads on the site, experiment with new locations.

Banners on the rightAn example of the typical location of banners - the right column of the site

How banner blindness affects online advertising

Advertising blindness cuts off all information that doesn't fit the customer's demands. If a person needs certain content and the banner on the site doesn't match it, the brain simply won't look at the ad unit.

Ads are not noticed by customers and do not bring any conversion, thus causing only the loss to the company.

Let's turn to statistics and consider how people react to Internet banners:

  1. Clickability of a typical banner ad does not exceed 0.01%;
  2. The average number of banners shown per month for a visitor - 1700;
  3. Ad blindness is typical for 86% of visitors of the site;
  4. 50% of people accidentally click on banners on their phones;
  5. Only 14% of visitors remember what banner ads on the Internet they have recently seen.
  6. The statistics do not show the most positive results, but that does not mean that banners on websites will go away.

Advertising blindness can be fixed. You should only understand the mechanism of how people perceive the site and what they focus their attention on. For this purpose, learn how to place ads according to certain rules and strategies, attract the attention of the right audience and motivate potential customers to click on ads.

How to deal with banner blindness

Locating a banner in the right place

The standard location of banners is in the sidebars or in the header of the page. People skip this area and do not concentrate on it, especially if there are some intrusive ads.

Studies show that readers browse the site according to an F pattern. That is, they do not see separate words, but scan the whole page by a certain route, pausing at places of their interest.

Place banners for ads in different areas of the site, so that readers would not have a chance to get bored with them. After making these changes, track click-through rates to understand which type of ad placement is the most effective

Applying native ads

Naturally-looking ads attract much more attention from customers. These banners increase motivation to buy products by 18%. The main advantage of such ads is that the brain does not skip them, but remembers them because of associations with the information that is being read. Also, a native ad does not cause a negative reaction due to the unobtrusive context.

Fitting banner adAn example of fitting banner ad

Behavioral targeting

Ads should be shown to those who are interested in your products. In this case, the banners attract attention. It's important for a company to know its target audience, their demands, their problems, and find solutions through their products. Take into account the behavioral aspects and interests of customers, and create personalized offers that contribute to improving the content of the banner ad.

Banner design

The design of the advertisement may also cause frustration in the reader. For example, garish and distracting colors, too big fonts, a huge number of pictures and other things. You should have an individual style, but do not overdo it with attracting attention. It is enough to highlight the call-to-action button with a bright color for optimization.


Experiment with creating different banners. Create several forms of ads with different size, font, color, location. Eventually you'll realize which of the options proves to be the most effective and clickable.

A call to action

CTA (Call to action) forms show the user how to interact with the content. If there is no call to action, people simply won't understand that they need to click somewhere and go to the site. That's why it's important to create the call to action buttons in ads like "buy", "download," "get",""watch", "learn more", etc.

CTA Buy nowA banner ad with a call-to-action button Buy now

CTA Download hereA banner ad with a call-to-action button Download here

How to improve banner advertising

Add motion

The most clickable ads are those that have dynamics. Add animation to them, and you'll experience positive results.

You shouldn't make it too difficult to create a complicated design. It is enough to just focus on one thing, such as a call-to-action button. But if yo

Fit the content

If the ad fits in perfectly with the subject of the site, the likelihood that the potential client will pay attention to you increases. Getting in the reader's sight is easier if you place banners on pages with similar content. This contributes to a more loyal attitude from consumers.

Eliminate the words "advertisement," "promotion," and so on

Words like "promotion", "advertisement", "as quickly as possible" and so on have no credibility with customers and don't increase CTR. If a person sees these terms, he is immediately aware that this is advertising content. Most likely the ad will be ignored.

Banner advertising in newsletters

Advertising blindness occurs in newsletters as well. It is important to pay attention to the block that contains the necessary information for potential buyers. To do this, follow these rules when creating banners for mailing lists:

  • draw attention with contrasting shapes, animations, and unusual design;

  • get readers interested in the text content, keeping in mind that brevity and comprehensiveness are important;

  • demonstrate to the customer the benefits that are described in the ad;

  • use CTAs to engage your audience in action.

To overcome banner blindness, minimize the number of ads and test different elements of the site. This helps identify the true demands of your customers.


Online advertising is useful for both site visitors and advertisers. Visitors find interesting products for themselves, and vendors sell their goods.

Often advertising in the form of banners causes a negative reaction of consumers due to its obtrusiveness and impossibility to see the content. This is how the phenomenon of banner blindness occurs. To avoid this, the following rules should be followed: make ads natural and fitting to the general context, and get rid of the typical clichés in the ad.

Use testing to improve click-through rates. Try new formats, designs, locations of banners on the site and other things to find the best approach.







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