Bad Web Design: Advertising Mistakes

Okay, we know we all need to pay the bills. I know that many of us want to
get traffic to our web sites. And some of us just want to make enough money
to pay for our costs so that this thing we love to do is free.

But, come on, that doesn’t mean you should plaster a hundred ads or a dozen
banners on every page of your web site. A banner here and there, a small
button or a few text links is fine, but I’ve seen some web sites that have
dozens and a few that have hundreds of ads on each page! Now this is just
tacky and is virtually guaranteed to get your visitors to hit that handy
back button fast.

One of the worst kinds of web sites, in my opinion, are those that are just
huge advertisements. Especially those that are advertisements for dozens or
even hundreds of other services. People do not surf the web looking for
banners, text links and other advertisements to click on. In fact,
statistically, most people are surfing because they are looking for (a)
information, (b) entertainment, or (c) someone to talk to. Most web surfers
are not looking for something to purchase.

A good web site offers excellent content (which can be graphics, text or
interactive features). Even those sites which sell something also offer
content which is of interest to their visitors. Go take a look at any really
good shopping site and you will see what I mean. Look at Amazon.Com or
Barnes And Noble and you will understand – these sites offer tons of
content. Reviews of their products, consumer comments and large amounts of
data about the items being sold. This is what people want – information.
Some common things on web site that you should never do.

Banner exchanges – It’s real simple – these do not work. Oh, you will get a
click or two, but banner exchanges tend to look tacky, take up valuable
space on your web pages and increase your load time. To make it even worse,
many times you will lose far more traffic than you will gain. Don’t even
bother putting even one of these on your entire web site.

Notices saying “please, pretty please, keep my site free and click on
something”. This just makes you look like a rank amateur. In my humble
opinion, it’s very tacky to expect people to click on links just so you can
“keep your site free”. Come up with or find a good product or service, and
sell it if you must. Advertising is not in of itself of value – only
products or services have value.

Pornographic ads (unless your site is a pornographic site) – You want to
chase away your visitors fast, then include pornographic ads. Yeah, you
might get a few dollars from them, but you will lose visitors and your site
will not be “family safe”, which can be important.

Gambling ads – I understand that these advertisements may be the only things
(besides pornography) that people will click on nowadays, but quite a few
people do not want to be exposed to these things. I believe that these kinds
of advertisements will cause you to loose a large amount of traffic.

Web sites that are just advertisements – I suppose there is a place for
brochures or full site advertisements, but I personally hit the back key as
soon as I run into one of these. I want content. If I wanted this many
advertisements I’d buy a magazine or look in the classified section of the

Any large graphic advertisements. Remember one of the very important things
in web design is load time. Your site must load fast. If you include large
graphic ads you are increase your load times.

Sites which are just lists of pay-surf, MLM or other money making schemes.
There is nothing wrong with include some pay-surf or MLM ads here and there
on your site. Including a section on these programs is also fine. But come
on, please put some real content there also. Otherwise people will hit the
back key fast and never come back.

Brochures – I’ve seen a large number of web sites in my days, and one of the
ones that I click out of the fastest is one that looks like a brochure. It
feels just like someone took the company brochure and converted it to web
format. What on earth makes companies think these are of value to anyone?

Popup Windows – If you do a survey of web surfers, you will find that these
are among the most hated “features” that exist. No one likes pop up windows,
and if your site has too many of them you will loose visitors fast. Oh, you
may get a few more clicks or signups for your newsletter, but the amount of
time your visitors remain on your site will be limited and of less quality.

900 Numbers – Sites which advertise 900 numbers (a) don’t work, and (b)
clutter up the web needlessly. My advice is to find something better to do.

About the Author

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This
website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet
profits, enjoyment and knowledge.
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