Friday, December 12, 2008

Cluttered Web Sites Benefit No One

Study: Cluttered Web Sites Benefit No One
by Gavin O'Malley, Yesterday, 10:14 PM

Web sites cluttered with ads hurt the publisher, the consumer, and the advertiser, according to a study from online media and technology firm Burst Media.

Put another way, ad clutter not only annoys audiences, but diminishes ad effectiveness, found the study of over 4,000 Web users administered to better understand how clutter impacts Web users' Web experience, as well as its impact on the perception of advertisers who place ads on cluttered sites.

"One of the main obstacles to getting consumers' attention online is ad clutter," said Chuck Moran, vice president of marketing for Burst Media. "It is critical for advertisers to ensure their messages are being placed in a high-quality content environment to receive the maximum exposure they deserve, and to preserve their brand's reputation."

A full 75.5% of the respondents who remain on a site they perceive to be cluttered say they pay less attention to ads appearing on its pages.

In addition, although respondents accept that advertising will appear on a Web page, for a majority--52.6%--there is low tolerance for more than two advertising units per Web page.

Nearly 30% of survey respondents immediately leave a site if they perceive it to be cluttered. Notably, women are more likely than men to abandon a site that appears cluttered--at 32.1% to 27.5%, respectively.

About 52% of respondents have a less favorable opinion of an advertiser when their advertising appears on a Web page they perceive as cluttered. About 56% of women claim that clutter negatively impacts their opinion of an advertiser, versus 48.3% of men.

The survey also found that ad clutter's negative impact on respondents' opinions increases with age. Less than half (46.8%) of respondents ages 18-24 were impacted negatively by clutter, whereas more than 63.% of respondents 55 and older were unfavorably impacted.


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