Banner ads - who needs 'em!
I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.
I have a few websites of my own that I operate on a minimal income basis. Over the years, I have tried various forms of advertising in an attempt to garner some income. The main aim being to cover costs. Well, after several years trying, I think I’ve finally given up on banner ads.
By banner ads, I am being quite specific here. I mean the traditional 468 by 60 pixel banner that often goes in the header of a website. There are a lot of other size variations for image ads but I’m talking 468 by 60.
I have tried different permutations, carefully trying to match the advertiser with the (assumed) interests of website visitors, rotated them, and kept them constant. I have selected different banner colours and matched them with my website colours. However, apart from the occasional click-through, what have I gained? Sweet nothing!
Admittedly, the websites in question are not world-beaters, and the server is not creaking under any kind of Slashdot effect, but they get a decent number of visitors per month in their respective niches. I figured I may get the occasional sale from a 468 by 60 banner. But no.
Slashdot Effect: The effect of a prominent mention on Slashdot or another popular website leading to a large flood of visitors – and resultant server overload.
So instead of spending my Saturday mornings carefully choosing banners, I will be trying something else. Perhaps a small Google referral button. Maybe a text ad. I might even leave a blank space…. Anything but a 468 banner!