How to Avoid Ad Blindness Online

avoid ad blindness

With more than 85% of Singaporeans using the internet as the primary source of information, it is not difficult to see why online advertising is booming in the country. Businesses have started the embrace the importance of marketing their products and services online.

One of the challenges of online advertising is ad blindness. So, what is Ad blindness? This primarily refers to the target audience deciding to ignore your advertisements. Recent research shows that only 14% internet users can recall the last advertisement they came across online and the product or company that it promoted.

Despite the advanced consumer targeting software and technology used by digital marketers in Singapore, relevance remains one of the main challenges they have to deal with on a daily basis.

 Reports show that only 3% of internet users in Singapore think online banners and ads are important to their lives. The well-informed online users who are looking for specific information on a site aggravate this problem. This group of internet users tends to ignore online ads as they consider them unimportant.

Here are some easy and useful tips to help you avoid ad blindness online.

Ad Placement

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The first thing that you need to note is that a large percentage of your target audience disregard routine and cliché materials that they come across online.

Try to place your banners in unusual places. Here are three ideas to help you out:

  • At the top of the web page where it is more visible
  • In between the posts published in your blog

The ad should not only be beautiful but also interactive and unique to capture the attention of the audience. Experiment with different ads to know which one works best for your brand. Google Adwords gives online advertisers an opportunity to test and performance. Use it to know which ads need to be deleted and which ones need to be promoted more.

Make Use the Right Content

You need to understand the needs and expectations of the target customers to provide relevant solutions to them.

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Do not create and post ads online without first knowing your target customers needs. Secondly, use the right content including the keywords that resonate with the preferences of the prospects. Thirdly, make use of cookies to create relevant personal ads. The cookies will help you identify website visitors who have visited your website in the past.

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Make sure that you use the right ad network to connect with clients who are interested in your niche and the products or services that you offer. Concisely, making sure that your website has advertisements that are relevant, useful, targeted, and delightful will result in a high CTR and more results.

Optimise the Ads for Mobile

Singapore has the highest smartphone penetration in the world. Most people use mobile devices to access the internet, as they are more convenient than desktops. Hence, make sure that all your online ads are mobile friendly. Consider the following tips as you do this:

  • Activate your Facebook promotion campaigns
  • Incorporate videos in your ads
  • Make sure that your ads have a “Call Now” button

One of the highlights of internet advertising is that it is possible to monitor the performance of your ads accurately. That is, you can know the number of people who saw the ad and clicked on it within a given period.

Apart from optimising your ads for mobile, your website also needs to be mobile friendly. This will make it possible for the audience to view the contents on a smartphone or any other mobile device without straining.

It is also important to note that a majority of publishers are usually willing to pay more for premium space that is uncluttered. Therefore, make sure that your website pages are free of unnecessary elements.

Try Non-Standard Ad Formats, Colours, and Sizes

As mentioned earlier, most internet users disregard standard or conventional ads and website elements that they come across online on a daily basis. Applying the same colours, sizes, and formats used by hundreds of other businesses can lower the performance of your ads.

Below are some wise tips to help you stay ahead of the curve.

  • Go for the memorable and non-conventional spots on your website when selecting ad space to enhance user recall
  • Your banners should part of the website page not as an outer ad
  • Improve your brand personality by using unusual colours, animations, motion effects to increase interaction, and any other extraordinary idea that will make your ads more interesting to view and engaging

Ideally, the banner ads should have an emotional hook to capture potential customer’s attention.

Leverage Affiliate Programs

Displaying your ads on related publisher websites is one of the best ways of avoiding ad blindness. The affiliate programs will give you an opportunity to collaborate with other companies who are interested in or targeting the same audience. Evaluate each affiliate programme to know which one is most suitable for your business to avoid spending your time and effort in vain.

Follow your Passion

You need to provide content that your audience will love. Expert digital marketers in Singapore recommend creating content about topics that you are passionate about. For example, if you are interested in technology and your website sells tech products, write articles about it, share videos and infographics to establish an active community of followers.

With a massive following of people who are interested in your content and products, the chances of your ads been ignored are low.

Do not be Afraid to Experiment

If your ads are not performing as expected, experiment to know what you could be doing wrong or elements that need to be changed. Here are six excellent recommendations that you can use for this purpose.

  • Ad placement
  • Relevant content
  • Non-standard design elements
  • Optimise the ads and website for mobile
  • Try several affiliate programs
  • Follow your passion

For example, you can repackage the material already published on your site, change the website design, and content calendar to reinvigorate the audience.

Invest in Video Advertisements

Recent research shows that an average internet user is exposed to 32 videos per month. The report also showed that one-third of all online activity is watching videos. 45.4% of the global internet users watch at least one video online every month.

You can target this large video loving audience with video advertisements instead of the conventional banner ads and blocks of text. A research done by Media Mind in 2012 showed that videos recorded a CTR of 1.03% while the traditional banners achieved only 0.1% in the same year.

More importantly, the completion rate of video ads is higher than traditional banners. Millennial Media report also found out that mobile videos advertisements are five times more engaging than the standard banners. This is because videos are easy to understand compared to text.

The target customers will get a better understanding of your brand and products by watching videos than reading blocks of text. An average internet user in the current digital era spends 16.49 minutes on average every month watching video advertisements. 80% of internet users remember video ads that they view online and an overwhelming 46% take the desired action after watching them.


Ad blindness is a challenge that can hamper the growth of your online business. Start applying all the above-tested tips to avoid it and get maximum ROI. Consider delegating the task of creating, distributing, and monitoring the online ads to a team of professionals who have the necessary skills and expertise.


How to avoid ads blindness online

– Ad Placement
– Make Use the Right Content
– Optimise the Ads for Mobile
– Try Non-Standard Ad Formats, Colours, and Sizes
– Leverage Affiliate Programs
– Follow your Passion
– Do not be Afraid to Experiment
– Invest in Video Advertisements

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.

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