Which is more important:
Banners or Buyers?
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. ~ Albert Einstein
For the majority of advertisers, online marketing is a mystery. Terms that they came to know and rely upon yesterday mean nothing today. When was that last time you asked someone how many "hits" their website received? These days it's all about "pageviews" and "uniques" (and if you're really up-to-date -- "average time spent per visitor," "pageviews per session," and "bounce rates.")
While these statistics provide some relative measure of how engaged visitors are with any particular website, the problem is that it doesn't really matter how engaged a visitor is with someone else's content -- you need to know how likely it is that their visitors will become engaged with your advertising message. After all, do you care how much time a user spends clicking around on someone else's website? Of course not! You want a user to click away from that other site as fast as humanly possible -- making an exit in order to visit YOUR website.
According to eMarketer.com over 54% of small businesses are NOT going to invest their advertising dollars in banner advertising:
You have to ask yourself -- at the end of your campaign, what do you want to show for your investment? Do you want 500,000 banner impressions or do you want 20 or 30 people who've expressed a genuine interest in learning more about how your products and services can make their lives better?
Do you want Banners or Buyers?
The Cold Hard Truth
Repeated eye-tracking studies by web usability expert Jakob Nielsen vibrantly illustrates that not only have web users developed a "banner blindness" that allows them to instinctively avoid online display advertising -- but it also keeps them away from anything even remotely resembling an ad block. Take a look at the heat map below generated by the study:
The areas where users looked the most are colored red; yellow areas indicate fewer views, and blue were the least-viewed areas. Gray areas didn't attract any fixations. The green boxes were drawn on top of the images after the study to highlight the advertisements.