Clutter-Free Web Pages Deliver Better Ad Returns

ecommerce website consumer spending

If you are a website publisher chances are you belong to the overwhelming majority that relies on advertising for revenues.

You will obviously want to keep visitors engaged thus keeping your advertisers happy and your income steady. However, plastering your website with ads is definitely not the way to go about it, according to a study conducted by SAY Media and IPG Media Lab.

The findings of the study suggest that publishers are smothering their advertising returns by placing numerous ads on their pages. A clean environment, meaning a page with one brand ad, keeps visitors engaged with an ad for twice as long and drives ad recall higher.

Using a combination of eye-tracking data and survey methods, SAY Media and IPG Media Lab examined the response of 3,200 Internet users to ads published on cluttered and clean web pages. According to the eye-tracking data, all study participants viewed advertisements on clean pages. In contrast, just 76% did so on pages littered with ads from assorted brands. Moreover, ad interaction time for clean environments came in at 6.4 seconds as opposed to 3.2 seconds for pages strewn with ads. Research from comScore shows that visitors spend an average of 40 seconds on a web page, meaning that brands are being forced to smarten up in the advertising department.

A vicious circle seems to have been created and publishers need to break it in order to improve advertising returns. SAY Media president Troy Young noted that low yields are prompting publishers to increase the number of ads on their pages but the resulting clutter drives down viewing time, ultimately impairing results.