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Are Banner Ads More Effective Than Pop-Ups?

Driving traffic to your site can be aided through banner ads

As part of your internet marketing strategy, you might consider using pop-up or banner advertising. Either can be effective for driving traffic to your website. However, you should be aware of the potential pitfalls.

How do pop-up adverts work?

Pop-up ads are adverts which appear in their own, small browser window on top of the window the user intended to open. A less intrusive version is the ‘pop-under’, which appears under the window.

Pop-up adverts have been shown to be effective, with high click-through rates. However, they’re often thought by users to be irritating, as they block the content the user wanted to view and also use valuable bandwidth. If a lot of pop-ups appear at once, they can crash slower web connections.

You should also bear in mind if you intend to use pop-up adverts that many internet users can automatically block these from appearing, using an extension on their web browser.

What about banner adverts?

Banner adverts appear alongside the content of the website the user intended to view – either along the top or bottom of the page or running down the side. As such, they stay visible while the user browses the page.

Although less intrusive than pop-up adverts, banner adverts can also be blocked or ignored by users. They can also be thought of as annoying, especially if they’re animated or use bright flashing colours and sounds.

How can I measure which is most effective?

Pop-up ads are often thought to be the most effective, because they display higher click-through rates than banner adverts. However, this could be due to people accidentally clicking them as they try to close them or aim for a target link in the browser window below. This could also be said of banner adverts, which can attract ‘accidental’ clicks, although not to the same degree.

Whether you decide to use banner adverts, pop-up adverts or both, it’s important to analyse results thoughtfully – not just looking at how many click-throughs you get, but how long those visitors spend on your website and how many convert to a sale.

You should also think carefully about the potential brand impact of advertising in a way that can irritate customers, and try to mitigate this – by carefully targeting who the advert appears to, and making sure it looks eye-catching but professional.