Banner blindness is when a user consciously or unconsciously ignores banners (usually advertising banners) on a website.

While web users have been desensitized to banner ads and content the use of Adblock has been increasing. How many use an Adblock software – “The number is huge, but we don’t know how huge”. Adblocking software is estimated to have cost the advertising industrty 22. billion dollars in 2015.


Why does banner blindness matter?
Internet users are tired of intrusive advertisements and have begun to ignore advertisements consciously, they even ignore content that is not advertisements but only look like an ad. Other people have decided to consciously ignore the right side of a website entirely.

You might remember that Google used to have their ads on the right side of their search results but today the paid ads appear above the organic search results. The reason was simply that people began to realize that the right side of Google was paid ads and through poor targeted ads and frustration they started to ignore these ads.

It’s interesting to know that poorly placed ads or pop-up ads have a negative impact on the user as well as distort the quality of the data, about 50% of smartphone users accidentally click on mobile ads.


How can we reach those that use Ad-blockers or ignore website ads?

We want to ask ourselves what we are giving in return for the users attention. Consumers today (and arguably always) want their content in the form of entertainment. Is your advertisement funny, different or provide useful information?
Figure out what your target audience values and give it to them, in exchange they won’t get frustrated when you plug your product/service or other ads.

A way to increase the effectiveness of the ads on your website can be to limit access to the content unless an Ad-blocker is disabled. At the same time we take actions like that it’s important to optimize a positive user experience. Consumers experience blocked content more negatively than ads that blink and/or shake. There is definitely a fine line to tread to provide enough value to the consumer so that they will not be bothered by your promotional content.