Nothing makes you look cheesier than having a bunch of ads next to your honest message. Especially ads that you really have no supreme control over. I can forgive some solid sponsorship that directly relates to the visitor’s needs and interest.
Browsing around a real estate marketing blog that uses Google AdSense Advertisements to supplement their income, we stumbled across this completely off topic ad: Image to right.
The message may mislead your audience.
In an environment where readership and subscription are the goal, establishing the focus of your message is essential.
The GoogleAdWords ads are often generated by relating keywords from your content and publishing ads that carry similar keyword focus. So, if you are writing blog articles about San Diego Real Estate, be certain that you will see ads from people who purchased advertising for San Diego Real Estate. Not smart.
Unless you are commanding a daily readership that reaches into the thousands, expect ‘sofa change’ earnings. Blogs that have a regional focus with regional content will most likely never garner the audience that makes sidebar advertising worth the effort and consequences. Your business is helping people make some of the largest and most important financial decisions in their life. Don’t make it look like you need a few bucks to pay for your hosting.
We have seconds to illustrate to the new audience that we understand their needs and have the content they seek. The body of your blog is your articles. The sidebars are generally for navigation and ‘calls to action’ – that are relevant to your message. Advertising is nothing short of a distraction from that flow.
Pleasing to the eye is that which shows organization, order, relationship and flow. Nothing screams “I don’t belong here” like ads that don’t even match your blog’s look and feel. So, unless you are looking to design the site around the look of the ads, your blog will always have a a breakdown in harmony.
As much as 50% (and growing) of your blog’s traffic is viewing your site with Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari, instead of Internet Explorer. A simple extension called Adblock will render all sidebar ads on all sites, invisible. What’s left? Blank space.
Your blog is a reflection of your business professionalism. Don’t sell-out your appearance so cheaply. Imagine your car, business card, newsletter, lapel, or yard signs covered in advertising other than yours…