The recent times have witnessed the tremendous increase in the trends of online advertising. It’s a kind of promotion done on the internet and World Wide Web platform. As compared to traditional ways of advertising, online advertising offers better competitive advantages as it immediately publishes the content and is not limited by the geographical boundaries where you need printing services or actual print stock. Owing to the increasing popularity of web services and online marketing, Online Advertising has become a major revenue source for many websites. Earlier, online visitors’ didn’t quite trust the online ads and even the advertisers were unsure about their value or effectiveness. Today, most visitors look out for ads on commercial websites, and advertisers have also recognized the potential of various online ad opportunities. Ads have always been an integral part of print publications like magazines and newspapers and now they have an essential part in the online periodicals and publications.
Although, only website owners and those who wishes to endorse their product or services are concerned with the online advertisements, but lately even the web designers are affected by online advertising because they are now required to design and develop websites that can produce ad revenue and still meet the needs of visitors. Clients with websites that depend on ad revenue need a design that provides the necessary screen space and a proper layout for selling ads, and advertisers need placement that will get them the exposure they seek. Thus online advertisements have come to affect the web design and development stages and the designers need to be aware of it.
Here one may come to wonder why online advertising has gained such importance, that it needs to be incorporated from the designing stages itself. Well today there exist businesses and website owners which rely solely on advertising income from their websites and thus it requires proper consideration from the designing stage itself. Not having enough space or the right locations for ads will degrade the business. Trying to manage the same by giving more spaces to advertisements might result in an unorganized and erratic looking website. Thus ample amount of time must be dedicated to it and a well thought after website should be eventually developed.
Advertisements should also be duly considered during the design process because of the impact on visitors. Although a website may rely on advertising income, visitors are a critical part of the equation. Without them, ad revenue disappears. The website owner and designer need to incorporate ads in a way that still allows for a positive visitor experience. Besides it should be careful to not lose all the visitors to the advertisements. Once a user click on the advertisement which leads them to a new page, they hardly come back to the previous one. If a website has to sell its own self and simultaneously advertise various other products and services, it needs to consider the online advertising and the designing together.
How Do Advertisements Impact the Design of a Website?
At this point we are clear with the fact the online advertising is vital for the sustainable growth and development of the website. Thus adequate attention must be given for the advertising space from the designing stages itself. If a designer do not considers the importance of online advertising and do not provide adequate spaces for displaying advertisements, the later inclusion of advertisements would look awkward and repulsive to eyes. However considering the same during the designing stage and distributing strategic locations for displaying advertisements would yield a more professional looking, clean and organized website.
Online advertising has an impact on the following design decisions:
Layout and Spacing:
While advertisements are hardly the primary concern of Web designers in general, not accounting for them will result in a very awkward layout that can either detract from the flow of the website or put the ads in a spot where they will not receive enough attention from visitors. In order to maximize ad revenue for the client, with minimal interference in the appearance and usability of the website, the designer must take advertising needs into consideration throughout the design process.
Advertisements require big chunks of spaces in the website and hence affect the web design. It could be a big large banner ad or several smaller ones put together, but the lay out will be considerably affected. Some of the recent trends in incorporating the online advertisements in the layout of the website are:
- Header ads: It is one of the most common trends of displaying advertisements at header section of the website. The header space is located at the side of a logo, above or below the navigation menu. The trend of selling advertisement space in their head is quite common across many different types of websites and will likely continue as long as these ads produce solid results for advertisers.
- Ads above all content: A number of news websites make use of this trend. All the advertisements are displayed above the website and then the content follows. Although it separates the content from the advertisements thus not letting one hamper with another, but it pushes a lot of content down the fold, sometimes letting the users jump to the advertised links, rather focus on the article.
- More ads on secondary pages than on home page: To attract more visitors, and come up with a more informative websites, certain designers don’t publish the advertisements on the home page, strictly limiting it to the informative content and illustrations. The following pages may contain a lot of advertisements, still leaving a prominent space for the content. L.A, Times, Readers digest etc follows this strategy.
Advertisements affect the color scheme of the website. Web designers have no control over the color or design of the banner used for the advertisement. Thus they need to come up with the design and color scheme which would go in accordance with the advertisements. Online advertisements are often colorful and bright, in order o grab the attention of the visitors. If the website is also loaded with a vivid color scheme, especially the conflicting color combinations, it may put needless strain on the users, perhaps forcing them to bounce back as well. Some websites that display a lot of banners will need a toned down color scheme which may avoid burdening the visitors. In some cases, these websites need the ads to stand out in order to draw more attention to them, and color if altered accordingly could be a good way of ensuring the same.
The presentation semantics and the flow of information is very crucial for a successful web design. Online advertisements affect the flow of information of the website. Designers decide upon the flow of the content and information keeping in mind the human psychology, and how a particular reader would move his gaze around the page while reading it. If the website owners wish to maximize the revenue through ads, designers would have to incorporate the ads in the places where users look the most. Perhaps in the header etc. and if the web owner wishes to emphasize on the content of the website, then advertisements will just be present here and there with content getting the main stage. Examples of this are blogs that place ads within the content of the post or just in the sidebar. Ads directly above or below post titles are typically seen and clicked by more visitors than ads in the sidebar, so they will sell at a higher rate. Decisions here need to be made by the owner of the website, but the designer needs to be aware of the decision so that the ads can be implemented in the design.
What do you think? Does it or doesn’t it have a great impact on web design?