Eye tracking research has confirmed the existence of "banner blindness" in consumer behavior online. Banner blindness is the term given to the noted behavor that visitors exhibit consciously or subconsciously in ignoring banner information that is not part of the main stream of information. "Users almost never look at anything that looks like an advertisement, whether or not it's actually an ad," reported the researchers. "On hundreds of pages, users didn't fixate on ads. The following [above] heatmaps show three examples that cover a range of user engagement with the content: quick scanning, partial reading, and thorough reading. Scanning is more common than reading, but users will sometimes dig into an article if they really care about it." "The areas [above heatmap] where users looked the most are colored red; the yellow areas indicate fewer views, followed by the least-viewed blue areas. Gray areas didn't attract any fixations. Green boxes were drawn on top of the images after the study to highlight the advertisements." Compounded by recent studies
suggesting that 60% of mobile clicks on banner ads are attributed to
fat-fingered accidental clicking, and the diagnosis for banner ads is that
the ROI is simply not there.
Read the full report from Nielsen Norman Group here
*(feature pic from Nielsen Norman Group)*