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Banner ads - who needs 'em!

Posted on by Clive Walker in News

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!

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  • 17 Aug 2006 21:25:50

    I’m proud of my F1 gallery [now 3rd in the world :) Link: formula 1 photos] and blog receiving around 20,000 unique visits a week and maybe 3000 repeats [rss, bookmarks etc] but I don’t bother with advertising. Last time I played with ads it earned pence.

    From experience it’s the people that sell the advertising that rake it in, not the advertisers and it’s the same on any scale. Adwords is prime, advertisers struggle for click throughs and conversions, and Google makes a fortune.

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