I saw a new online task management application this week called HiTask. The first time I visited their site I noticed they had Google Ads across the top of their pages:
Google was so adept at matching the keywords of the site with ad links that I was seeing ads like “Tasks” and “Task Management.” To the untrained eye, these could very well be parts of the HiTask site and pull users into clicking on the ads.
This was very clever placement for generating ad revenue but it completely distracted potential customers from signing up for the service.
The good folks at HiTask must have noticed this because, last I checked, the ads have been moved to the bottom of the pages.
I’m all for having ads on a site. (They help pay the bills on this site.) However, your advertising strategy for content sites must be different from online web applications.
For web-based applications, your goal is to get people to sign up for your service. Get people to convert on that call to action first, then show them ads.
Distracting prospects with ads may give you a few extra dollars today but undermines your long term objectives of gaining customers. Keep your eye on the long term prize!