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5 Ways to Beat Banner Blindness

1426 words · Reading time: 7 minutes

The internet is filled with adverts but the more adverts that we are presented with, the less we see. In this article, we’ll show you how to beat banner blindness and ensure your banners get noticed.

In order to beat banner blindness, first, we need to understand why it happens.

In 2018, The Neilsen Norman Group released a study which looked at how users interact with webpages. What they found confirmed every marketer’s worst fears.


The picture above shows data from eye-tracking technology on a website they tested. The result speaks for itself. The user looked once at the ad space and then didn’t go back there. This meant that they completely missed the offers and the CTA.


Placement is one of the leading causes of banner blindness. This is because people are so used to seeing ads presented in certain places that they, after a while, they simply stop looking at those places.

It’s not game over yet though! Here are 5 ways that you can beat banner blindness and get people to see your ads:

1. Creative Ad Placement

If people stop looking at your ads when they are placed in certain places then the most obvious answer is to move them. Unfortunately, if you are using a paid traffic source then you will most likely be limited to where you can put them. But, if you have your own website then you have the freedom to place your ads wherever you want.

2. Native Advertising

Native advertising provides the perfect solution to banner blindness. By incorporating adverts naturally into the main body of the site means that they become almost indistinguishable from the rest of the content. Therefore, while they might not jump out, they are more likely to be viewed.

For more information about native advertising, check out our article Going Native: What is Native Advertising.

Another thing to test out is the size of your ads. Most people use standard sizes. However, this can result in people subconsciously skipping past as. Once again, this is something which you will only really be able to do if you are displaying ads on your own website.

3. Create eye-catching designs

A great way to combat banner blindness is to use more attractive banners. This might take a bit more time on your side, the payout could definitely be worth it.

With a bit of time, you can learn simple HTML5 to create animated and interactive banner ads that people enjoy clicking on. This has been tried by large companies with great success. Pringles made one of the most successful banner ad campaigns which relied on people clicking their ad 97 times to get past it. The result? People loved it.

When it comes to designing your ads, you should always keep these golden rules in mind

Layout: All relevant information should be closely grouped together. You have a very limited amount of time to get your message across. Therefore, the closer together, the less time it takes for people to piece it together.

Relevance: Your add should contain relevant information only. Don’t try to attract people’s attention with gimmicks. You might get your ad noticed, but people will only click if they are interested. What’s more, if you design your banners purely as click-bait, then you might get a lot of clicks, but they won’t convert and you will end up with a rubbish ROI.

Contrast: Using contrast is a really quick and effective way to get people to see your ads. Contrast can be used with colours, images, fonts and even context and semantics. The aim should be to more clearly highlight what you want people to do and clearly show them how to do it. Here are a few good examples




4. Re-target Interested Customers

One way to get people to see your ads is to re-target them. If people have previously interacted with your ad, then they are more likely to notice it in the future.

You can re-target people based on steps they reached in your funnel. So, if someone gets to your landing page, but doesn’t buy, then they most likely had a much higher level of interest than those who saw and ignored your ad.

5. Use Video Ads

Videos are a great, easy way to utilize banner space. This is because they jump out at people and are able to provide far more information than a simple banner.

They are a little more time consuming to create but they can help your products and brand stand out and add a more professional quality to your business.

Video ads are the most successful and accurate way to promote products on Facebook. One of the reasons for this is that Facebook allows you to retarget to customers based on the percentage of the film they watched. This shows that they had a high level of interest and probably don’t need much persuasion to convert.

Common Banner Mistakes

Here are the most common mistakes people make when designing banners

1. Rainbows


You may think people like rainbows. You may like rainbows. But you’re wrong! Rainbows are awful, especially in advertising (unless you are Skittles).

Filling your ads with too many colours will make them look amateurish and ugly, so don’t do it. Pick 1-3 colours and stick to those. You can use varying shades of each colour but don’t go crazy.

2. Non-existent or Confusing CTA


Ok, so there’s a lot more wrong with this than just the CTA and we’ll let you see just how many problems you can spot. But the CTA in this one is so bad it perfectly illustrates the point.

For a start, the CTA is not clearly defined. Secondly, when it is, you could be forgiven for thinking it says ‘not available online, in the store or as phone-in’. In fact, we’re not entirely sure if that’s what they mean or not. Given that they don’t provide an address or a phone number, it seems quite likely. Plus, the company logo is so small you could easily miss it. Which brings us to our next mistake.

3. Highlight your brand

A lot of people fail to say who they are in their ads. If you want people to know your brand then it’s really important to tell them. The largest companies in the world can get away with it if their brand game is strong enough. See if you can guess which companies these ads are from.

Answers at the bottom of the article.







Was that a little too easy? Well, that’s the point! The number one rule when it comes to adverts is ‘show, don’t tell.’ You should know exactly what an advert is for, even when you remove the brand name or text. The copy is there to convince people to buy it.

4. Don’t forget about your target audience

When it comes to creating banner ads, your message and your design should speak to the people you are trying to sell your products to.

When it comes to creating banners, it’s really easy to get carried away. However, remember to keep it simple. The more things you have going on in your ad, the more confusing it will become.

Think about what your customer wants and why and then offer them exactly that, in a way that will speak to them. Remember, if you want people to do something, then tell them to do it.

5. Less is more

Once again, this is about keeping it simple. You may want people to know everything there is to know about your company, but your banner ads are not the place to tell them, even if your goal is to promote your company.

If you really want people to have access to additional information, then place it on your website and make it easily accessible. But, you should also make it as easy as possible to navigate them back into your funnel. For example, you could invite people to find out more about your company. They will then land on your about page. Here, you should put another clear call to action to put them back on the right track to your landing page.

Remember, keep it simple and guide your visitors through every step. Your banner ads should have one clear message only. Any more and they are already too confusing. If you want to have more than one message, then have more than one banner and target accordingly.


A) Veuve Clicquot

B) M&Ms

C) Coca Cola

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