What Type of Ads Do You Click?

In mid April we published an article encouraging our readers to click on ads. That article sparked some discussion about what makes a reader want to click on an ad. This discussion was very interesting to us so we figured we would just ask you guys directly; what makes you want to click on an ad? Do you click on ads that seem relevant? Do you click on nice-looking ads? Does animation make a difference? Do you use an ad blocker? If so, why? We would love to hear your opinion on this subject, so please leave a comment and let us know.

Grant Friedman

Grant Friedman is a graphic design, blogger, and author. In addition to being the founder of this website, Grant is also the editor of Psdtuts, one of the world's most popular tutorial websites.

  • I use ad blocker to block ads from some site,
    but I usually unblock if the blog is the blog I read and I follow.

    What makes me click, if it interests me and can fulfill my needs, then I’ll be gladly to click it…

    Example of Ads I click are “design tools, gallery” or something related…

  • Beautifully designed ads, non animated.

    “Simple yet beautiful” and not with dollar signs in it.

  • Eli

    Kind of smart ads that make me think. They have to catch my attention though, because I don’t normally see many ads.

  • None – ever – no, no, never!

  • patrick

    Almost the same as Ronny, nope never unless its really applicable to my current frame of mind or need. Which equates to maybe 1 in a bazillion page visits.

  • Jen

    I click on ads that look relevant or interesting and have a nice design to it.

  • I rarely click on ads on the internet. They tend to not look/be legit. The exception would be on design websites, but even then usually only for companies that I’ve heard of through word of mouth.

  • I like to see an ad that looks professional, is relevant to what Im looking at, or searching for. Also I like a visual ad more than textual. The most important thing, I’d have to agree with Melody, if it doesn’t look legit, and a lot of ads on the web don’t, I’m not going click.

  • B. Moore

    Sorry but I click ZERO ads.

  • I almost always click on ads if they stand out well from others – as long as they interest me that is.

    ‘Blank Ads’ and ads that have very little text or ‘Do Not Click Here’ messages aren’t very popular but always makes me want to click them.. I guess it’s just curiosity as to where the link is going to take me. Does this work for anybody else?

    …I guess if everyone did it, I’d just get annoyed though!

  • Erin

    I am also sorry (or perhaps, not) to say that I click on zero ads. My attention is focused on the content of the pages I visit, not on the advertisements.

  • This is a great discussion piece, particularly in the design/web niche blog sector. Since the advertising is for the medium it’s being displayed on (e.g. Software) sometimes it comes across as downright lazy.

    Not to be a self-promotional whore, but I wrote a post on this a few weeks back called “Why Niche Banner Ads Fail” that talks a little more in detail.

    Zach Dunn’s last blog post..The Fifth Month

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  • It has to be what I need, or just overwhelming curiosity. As a designer, CMS implementor, and marketer, I’m always looking for what is making a site tick.

    Things I’m always thinking..
    * Be useful
    * Be timely
    * Be helpful
    * Be free, or share enough that I want to spend (we’re all injured spenders these days)
    * Be free of horrendous $$$blink$$$ Make money $$$

    Andy Ciordia’s last blog post..Caught by Google in Italy

  • I clicked on most of them as it is interesting to understand what are the latest software or technology available. Probably the more colorful ones capture my attention, like the TutCandy below this page. :)

  • What makes me click on ad? That would be several things. First, if the ad is applicable to what I’m currently working on, like if I’m planning on going somewhere, I’d most probably click on an ad that features something about the destination. Another thing to consider is the design of the ad. I always skip the ads that don’t look pleasing and well-made. Third would be the text (if any). Thanks!

  • I use a hosts file for a relatively ad free internet!

    More info –

  • Jim

    I think it’s quite sad that people are still blocking ads and not clicking them on sites they read often.

    Ads can be annoying, no doubt. But they’re usually the only thing keeping sites going. People often times complain when a site switches to a subscription model, or otherwise charge you for the content. But those same people are generally the ones who don’t click on the ads – which is what keeps the site free to begin with.

    I certainly don’t click on every ad I see. But I DO make it a point to click on an ad two or three times a week on sites that I visit frequently. It’s the best way to say “thanks” for providing great content.

    Which ads do I click? Generally the ones I’ve not seen before. Or ones that are visually interesting, or appear to offer something I’m interested in.

    I don’t click ones offering themes. And I generally avoid vague ads that don’t tell me who they are right off the bat.

  • Ejaz

    I occasionally click on ads, when
    1- Ad is new (many design blogs have almost same ads which we see daily, so there no point to click daily)

    2- Ad has something I am looking for at that time

    3- Ad has something very useful for my work
    but ad has to look profressional and should not be vague.