Ad Survey: Location, Location, Location

Even in cyberspace, location is everything. According to survey results released by USATODAY.com, six out of 10 readers responded favorably to the actual location of an eye-catching and innovative ad that appeared on the news site’s homepage.

That may not sound startling, but print newspapers traditionally carry no advertising on their front pages.

To test the effectiveness of the ad, USATODAY.com said it surveyed readers at various times between March 15 and March 19. A total of 8,901 readers responded, answering such questions as “How does online advertising affect your experience on Web sites?” and “How does the location of advertising affect your experience?”

Sixty percent of respondents reacted favorably to the homepage location of the ad, saying that it made the ad “more noticeable” (34%) or “more interesting and fun” (20%). Another 6 percent simply said they liked it “very much.”

Readers appear to take online advertising in stride, instinctively recognizing it as a vital revenue source for free online publications, USATODAY.com said. “You gotta pay the bills,” wrote one reader. They also said they prefer ads that don’t clutter the page or significantly increase download times.

Readers were also encouraged to submit additional comments about the site and its use of advertising. The publication said it will use insights gained in the poll to shape the content and function of its free Web site.

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