Prevent Banner Blindness with Ad Rotation

How exciting! You just had a graphics designer create ten new banners for your site. Next you wanted to see which of these banners drew the most attention. You quickly setup a few ad campaigns across facebook and a few high traffic sites. After pulling out the bad performers from the good, you now have an idea which banner you are going to use for your next ad campaign and media buying.

In the beginning your banner ads are doing great, then slowly tank off in the coming weeks and aren’t performing that well after a few months. But why? You spent the time to do the research, test different banner ads and see what people were clicking. The problem is your banner is becoming invisible to site visitors… better known as “banner blindess“.

I see this all too often. Not only on ad campaigns, but also from direct advertisers. If you are going to run a long ad campaign, it’s crucial to change your banner ad often and prevent banner blindness. One of the best ways to do this, is by setting up a simple ad rotation. Instead of providing the site with a hard link to your image ad, create a script that will rotate several of your banners instead.

I recently talked with the Director of Marketing at and he setup a new ad rotation for his banner campaigns for this site. Not only was I excited to see a new rotation of banners to drive traffic to his network, but also for the visitors of this site as well. As blog readers and visitors to any site, you want to see relevant content, but not always the same banner ads.

If you have any active ad campaigns, be sure to change up your ad creative or bring implement a new ad rotation. WordPress has two ad rotation plugins that you can setup within minutes. Both are free and are called WPads plugin and Ad Rotator plugin.

For anyone not using WordPress, when you search Google for “banner ad rotation“, you are given a wide variety of java scripts, self hosting and paid hosting solutions for ad rotation.

How many people have become blind to your banner?

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  1. That is a really good idea, because as a regular visitor of many blogs, I automatically shut out the ad's that I see on a regular basis. So by constantly changing these, there is more chance of grabbing my attention.

  2. Solid post, thanks Zac. Like most experienced surfers i dont really see ads unless they grab me by the throat first !

  3. Zac

    very interesting and timely post. i have long wondered WHY networks dont have ad serving tools for affiliate partners. more than image serving. is it because affiliate marketers vs affiliate publishers dont want tools? or would not use them. or have the networks never asked "what do you need'?

    Even ad rotation is very very basic. can we no provide more. would affiliate partners want ad-serving that also gives them the ability to program in what they want they want… display, text link, both.. and more. Also a system that optimizes so the affiliates can focus on traffic and create content.

    I am very curious what you and people in your community think. we have been scratching our heads at MediaTrust, and after scratching we decided to do something about it and more. we are going to be releasing many new innovative technologies like this because we feel " highest payouts and exclusives " is NOT enough of a value proposition from networks to affiliate partners…

    What does the community need. What is missing… we want to know so we can serve our industry better…

  4. Thanks for these. Commission Junction has one that I've been using, but I have non CJ stuff that I felt I was pretty much stuck with. I'll be checking both of these out.

  5. Hey. Thanks for the post on ad rotation, it makes a lot of sense, and I know I have a tendency to block out ads I have seen before. Remember those ads for that game with the busty princess? I always seemed to notice that one though, hmm. Will check out WPads, looks like it will do nicely!

  6. Been thinking about getting a banner rotation plugin lately, was just too lazy to look. Thanks for the cheat. 🙂

  7. According to Jakob Nielsen, these are the four most effective ways to attract peoples' eyeballs to ads:

    – Making ads look like dialog boxes

    – Making ads look like native content

    – Using plain text

    – Including faces

    – Including cleavage and other "private" body parts

    This and rotating fresh ads is maybe the best approach.

    1. @:LOL – T & A always get attention! So does a picture of a pretty face. Sigh – us humans are soooo shallow and predictable. It does make a marketeer's life a bit easier though.

  8. Agreed. If you never change the banners on your site people will get bored and tune them out… but that implies also that your website has returning visitors!

  9. One of the best ways to do this, is by setting up a simple ad rotation. Instead of providing the site with a hard link to your image ad, create a script that will rotate several of your banners instead.

  10. Good topic Zac. When a site has the same banners are the time, it is only natural for regular visitors to ignore them over time. So it is important to rotate in fresh offers all the time. You can either rotate in different banners for the same offer or different offers altogether. Trying new offers may reveal some goldmines.

  11. good advice as always! I'll be sure to do this when i eventually put adds on my site!

  12. Very interesting post. But I do have a few questions…

    – It there something like an ideal frequency of changing your banners ads? (for ex. once a month)

    – What would be the best quantity of ads in a rotation?

  13. You're the man Zac! Always test your ads for better conversion and more money!

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