With that said, one can only imagine that I had to put a lot of thought into my recent decision to include advertising on the websites that I own and/or control. After all, in every other type of media, advertising is used to offset and even cover the costs involved… so why not the internet.
As a user of the internet, I visit at least my fair share of interesting and informative websites every day. Most of these websites have advertising of some type included. Some is good while some is not so good. I’ve certainly had plenty of opportunity to decide what I like and what I don’t like… So I made a list. Maybe you’ll agree with my list… and maybe you won’t.
Welcome to the World Wide Wait!
“Ever since the dark days before high speed internet, I have been proud to wear this uniform.”
Back in the days of dial-up internet, I took my first bold step into the world of website design and management. In those days, data did not come down very fast. Our computers were slower… Our connection was slower… The lines were slower… The servers were slower. Everything was slower. The one thing that wasn’t slow was the human patience. Experts pretty much agreed that people would not wait any more than about a minute for a website to finish loading.
The same applies today, except the expectations are greater. Two to three seconds maximum is what most people tolerate. I’ve seen statistics that suggest that every second beyond that decreases customer satisfaction by as much as sixteen percent. That is huge!
What I have noticed is that most of that waiting time is taken up by the advertising.
I don’t care how good your content is…. If the ads don’t load quicker, I’ll never see it.
The Incredible Moving Website
Some thoughtful webmasters have addressed the issue of the slow loading ads by making sure the script that loads the ads comes after the actual content.
To them I extend my thanks… But many have forgotten some basic points.
On such websites, I can quickly begin reading while other elements are still loading. But then a banner loads at the top of the page that pushes the content downward… so I have to scroll down to find where I was. But then an ad loads into a column that, up to that point, was not formatted to its full width… So the formatting of the context is changed yet again, and I have to once again stop and find my place.
That About Covers It
If I actually made it to the point of still being on the website when everything is loaded, I often notice what has become a growing trend. That would be shameless self promotion.
I get it… You want me to subscribe to your blog… or you want to promote your book… or you just released a new CD. But I don’t know yet if that’s what I want… so the script that pushes the ad in front of the content will only cause frustration while I close it and continue to read… and it also leaves an unconscious message to not follow the link when it is also found properly formatted on the web page.
Do You Hear What I Hear
Over the years, better technologies have led to a faster and more efficient internet. At least that’s what one should expect.
The sad reality is that it has also led to better ways to get more data into your computer faster than ever before… and that has led to more advertising.
Unfortunately, bandwidth still costs money… and the cost in Canada (where I live) is generally greater than the costs in the United States, where much of this content originates.
One of the biggest bandwidth hogs is in video advertising.
Granted… If I’m on a video site, such as YouTube, I expect such things. But if I’m reading a website, I don’t need the bandwidth. And most of the time, I have already scrolled past the location of the imbedded video long before it ever starts playing… so I have to leave what I’m reading to go find it to shut it off.
By this point, I usually figure out that the website owner believes that the ads are more important than the content… and since my attention has been drawn away from the content enough times already, I have no problem moving on and looking for a better website to explore.
And Now For The Shameless Plug!
I believe, generally, that a good rule of thumb is to not put people through what I don’t want for myself. It would be especially true now, since I just made this rant about it.
So what more can I say?
Subscribe to this blog (or at least bookmark it, since I haven’t found a suitable subscribe function yet)… Or you can buy my book, once I write one… Or you can buy my CD. Okay, I haven’t released one yet, but the music on this website is still free.
And finally… Don’t be afraid of the advertising. If you see something you like, then we’ll both be happy… and that’s a good thing.
Oh yes… My Cafe Press store has not been accessible from here since I switched platforms. I plan on correcting that as soon as I update what I have there.