With the announcement by Google that they would start penalizing mobile website ranking for poorly designed mobile ads, a lot of marketers and business owners find themselves scrambling to check if they’re going to get pegged. Do my ads break this new rule? Are my mobile ads user friendly?
In this post, we’ll take a look at 4 advertising errors that may be breaking the cardinal rule of Google: making a website unfriendly.
Ad Supported, Paginated Content
Slideshow anyone? This is the most common example I can think of. You click on a link to look at an article about Hollywood stars and you end up on a slideshow. For each picture, you have to go through three pages covered in ads and maybe two lines of content before it rotates out. Not only are these a poor excuse for quality content, they’re also a good example of horrible user experience. -And have you ever clicked on one of the ads except by accident? I know I haven’t…
Overlay ads fill the whole page so you have to look for the “close” button to get rid of it. There are do’s and don’t’s of overly ads to make them user friendly:
- Don’t make it fill the entire page – use only the space you need
- Do make it easy to click away – make it so the user can click on the overlay as well (no x needed)
- Do provide a big “no thanks” button that closes the ad
- Don’t use the same ad for mobile as you do for desktop
Too Many Ads
Have you ever visited a site and been bombarded by ads as soon as the site loads? For some sites, I’ve even been so bogged down by ads loading that I couldn’t load the rest of the site. Well, Google says this is bad business.
In particular, they’re targeting excessive “above the fold” ads. If it’s visible before you scroll, it’s above the fold. If the first thing a visitor sees when they visit a site is an ad and not content, you’re guilty of this problem.
Interstitial ads actually take the visitor away from the original page they were visiting. Instead of a page with information, they’re redirected to a full on ad that may or may not have anything to do with the visitor’s search. In case you’re wondering, this is a major error, and one Google is currently working on stomping.
User-Friendly is Always Key
If you really want to get on Google’s good side – or at least stay off their bad side – you have to think of the user first. It’s hard, really, because you know that you need to rank. You know you need to be visible if you don’t want live off of word-of-mouth alone. I can understand how you might forget that being visible is only as good as the visits.
However, it’s becoming more important than ever that everything you do be focused on the user – while keeping the search engine in mind. In other words, not the other way around. Your users are potential clients, customers, and advocates. Keep them first in everything you do.