Banner or advertising blindness — what it means

Banner or advertising blindness — what it means

Banner or advertising blindness — what it means

This is a psychological feature of perception that allows us to filter incoming information. The human brain is not able to process all the data coming from the world around us: sound waves, visual images, effects, and information that requires analytical intervention. Due to the sheer volume of information, the brain is forced to prioritize, leading to selective perception. We ignore what we consider unnecessary.

How do users determine where ads are located? Through experience and memory, people recognize the characteristics of ads, their location on the page, and how they are presented. This leads to ignoring such information. If you launch an advertising campaign without knowing about banner blindness and use standard banners without taking visibility zones into account, your ads will be noticed by only 14% of site visitors. That’s a waste of resources.

Causes of banner blindness of users

  • Why does our brain ignore certain content? Consider why we tend to ignore what we don’t want to see.
  • Mismatch between target audience and ad content. Poor targeting becomes a problem for many ad campaigns. Besides spending your budget on an audience that doesn’t match your target, you’re also contributing to what’s known as banner blindness. Some marketers limit themselves to just age and gender in their targeting, which is an ineffective approach;
  • Excessive amount of advertising. This is another reason for the occurrence of banner blindness. Even quality ads and offers lose their effectiveness if there are too many of them;
  • The annoying effect of advertising. Content must be prominent to attract attention. However, sites, to increase the number of clicks on banners, overdo it, making advertising too intrusive and not allowing skipping it. Users begin to perceive such content as something hostile, irritating them;
  • The same visual style and layout of banners. This is the main reason. The brain easily identifies banners because they are often placed in the same places on the page (top, bottom, sidebar) and look similar. The brain memorizes these features and begins to automatically block similar content.

How to fight banner blindness in advertising

All of the factors mentioned above that cause banner insensitivity become “vulnerable areas” in our hypothetical sales model. We need to study them in detail and improve them. By addressing these vulnerabilities, we can significantly reduce banner insensitivity (although it’s impossible to get rid of it completely by definition).

Choice of ad type

  • Classical banners: These elements are rarely used because of the high risk of being ignored. The effectiveness of their use depends on the right choice of placement. It is important not only to place the banner appropriately but also to adapt its content to the context.
  • Teasers: Particularly often ignored because they are placed in groups. Because of this, it is difficult to achieve an effect through location. It is considered the least preferred method of advertising.
  • Push notifications: Guarantee 100% delivery, circumventing the problem of being ignored. Users often open these notifications without knowing the content beforehand. Effectiveness depends on accurate targeting and quality text.
  • Popups and popunders: Guarantee full visibility, but can be annoying due to their intrusiveness. Suitable for specific cases, for example, as in gambling.
  • Video advertising: Usually resists ignoring well. Used in a variety of formats, including embeds in streaming services and social media.
  • Influencer advertising: Effectiveness depends on the audience’s trust in the influencer. If the trust level is high, integrations can be fully viewed, while if it is low, they are ignored at par with teasers.


Precise targeting of CA

As you explore advertising social media and platforms like Google, you’ll find extensive ad management features.

Key Aspects:

  • Creating a detailed profile of the target audience;
  • Determination of age groups;
  • Selection of gender;
  • Analysis of geographic factors;
  • Behavioral consideration;
  • Studying interests;
  • Selecting the most effective advertising location and format.

The main rule – the more allocated groups of CA, the more effective. Adapt your ads to each group to increase conversion rates.

Targeting allows you to determine with 60-70% accuracy the interests and employment of people, for example, among the owners of online stores.

Conspicuous banners

Let’s face it, conspicuous does not mean bright, colorful, screaming. Noticeable means to stand out from the rest of the information on the page, but at the same time do not go beyond a kind of Overton window, which will indicate the advertising content.

But this is only one approach, there is an alternative. Where the banner, on the contrary, is created bright and noticeable. In this case, blindness will work to its fullest unless you use 2 tricks. Competent targeting, that is, the display of a relevant offerer, as well as a suitable channel for promotion. That is a resource on which such inserts have managed to establish themselves well, authoritatively, or have a low rate of total integrations.

Block layout

Let’s look at the results of research on oculomotor activity during web browsing. Typically, our gaze forms a shape resembling the letter “F” when we look at a screen: starting on the left side of the page, and then moving to the middle, leaving many areas unviewed.

Eyes automatically fixate on faces, prominent images, and large headlines. When viewing a page, we often look for navigation elements such as menus, options, and links. The top of the page tends to get more attention.

Traditional places for ad banners, such as the right and bottom of the page, often go unnoticed, as confirmed by many studies. However, the top banner ad needs special attention. Many commercial websites place key information in this area, including prices, bonus programs, and terms and conditions. Current discounts and promotions are also usually posted here.

Native advertising

Native advertising is a key marketing trend that has been used successfully over the past decade. Its essence is that the advertising content is hidden and not perceived as explicit advertising. The goal of such advertising – is to deliver information about the product in such a way that the consumer considers it as ordinary advice or information, as a result of which he will conclude the necessity and usefulness of the product without realizing that it was an advertisement.

What Testing Gives

Only testing will allow you to determine exactly how successfully you have placed an advertising banner and whether its scheme meets the given criteria. The main difference between an experienced professional and a marketing novice is that a more skilled professional will need fewer adjustments after testing.

So don’t ignore the usability testing steps. Analyze user behavior, click-through rate, time on page, demographics, and other characteristics of customers who made the transition. Experiment with placement and content, tracking how it affects the change in conversion rate after each modification.


Not everything that flickers and loudly attracts attention is effective advertising. By neglecting the basics of “banner blindness” by not considering them, you risk losing more than 80% of your audience. Or you could be wasting your budget to no avail, focusing on an audience that doesn’t align with your goals. Every marketing strategy and best practice should be activated only after you’ve considered the importance of eliminating common banner blindness.

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