Recently, I took off my inline ads from my list of income generating systems that I have for this site. But before I delve into that, what are inline ads?
Have you ever come across content with links that look slightly different from other links on the web page, and when you click on it, you are taken to a page selling something related to the linked term? Well, those links are inline ads.
The first time I came across one, and clicked on it, I closed the window and tried clicking on it again. I thought I accidentally clicked on a different link. So I tried again. And when the same thing happened I realized that this was a new thing. My initial response was that of a webmaster and not of a surfer. More along the lines of – Cool! How can I get one of these on my site.
After a bit of googling and surfing, I signed up with one of the online programs that would allow me to do this and pasted the code on my site. I had a big smile plastered on my face, gave myself a pat on the back and went on my usual business.
After awhile, I realized that after some initial clicks on my inline ads, the clicks went down to almost nothing. Hmmm… maybe if I made the links to look like the other links on my web page. That seem to increase the clicks back to where it was before. But conversion rates was dismal.
Anyway, I left it as it was for awhile.
I started to notice more and more of these links as I surfed the net. Then I came across a site that did what I did i.e. have the inline ads links look like the normal links of the site. And boy, did that open up my eyes.
I was so annoyed at the fact that everytime I clicked on a link it would open up a window trying to sell me something. I even started to develop a link clicking phobia. If I felt like that, chances are so will my site visitors.
I immediately removed my inline ads code.
I mean, think about it for awhile.
If I had those links styled differently, readers will avoid clicking on it after they realize that those links will just open up a window and try to sell them something. If I had it styled like the rest of the links on my page, readers will develop a clicking phobia and would probably just venture off elsewhere.
So really, why bother?
Until recently, when I came across a site that actually had a small pop up window appear when you hover over the inline ad link. Much like the one shown at Darren’s post.
And like before, I got excited. This could be the answer. I can style the inline ad link differently so that readers know that it is an ad link but instead of opening a new window with the complete salespage, it would just tease the reader with a small headline and a short description. If they’re interested, they can click and find out more. If they’re not, they can just move their mouse away and continue reading. It seemed quite unintrusive to me, until I read all the comments at Darren’s post.
I thought it was a great idea or is it?