Marketers are perpetually trying to break through the clutter and gain the attention of their audience. Consumers, on the other hand, are getting more adept at tuning out the noise. If you’re in online marketing, you know they’re blind to it as well.

It’s creating that blindness we want to avoid. Visitors to your site learn where they can find the information they want. For site owners, it can be tempting to use some of the more valuable content locations for advertising to increase revenue. Any content real estate, however, reassigned an advertising role will quickly see the click through in that location drop. It also takes longer for that space to regain its value once that space returns to offering content. The consumer is quick to learn and slow to forget.

Consumers realize that the ads are a primary reason the content is available, so they’re accepting if its presented respectfully where value is being provided. Viacom is touting they’ve solved the riddle for online video ads. That’s also why the leaderboard banner at the top of many web pages has had such a long tenure. It’s accepted as “the ad I must see before I get to what I want” and the eye passes over this space on its way to the content.

Fortunately, it’s not a blind eye. These placements are guaranteed a certain level of awareness and therefore interaction because the payoff is moments away. Simply by knowing where the eye is going, and where the user is interacting with the page puts odds in your favor. It’s easy to see the fascination with heat maps as they detail specifically where your user’s eyes travel on the page.

Focus on the value your content creates, then integrate the ads in its vicinity. That’s the mix that will keep both your content and advertisements visible to your audience and best serve your business needs over the long term.

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