Challenges of Advertising on Mobile Platforms

For sites that are monetized via advertisements, mobile development presents some significant challenges. Mobile web development generally involve compacts websites, reducing the size of the menus that users have to work with and modifying the presentation of content so that it fits more readily on the smaller screens characteristic of smartphones and tablet computers. This can make including advertisements on pages exceedingly difficult and, of course, that may have an impact on how much money a given website is able to make off the advertisers with whom they work.

Size Issues – Size Does Matter

The vast majority of advertisements appear along the margins of a webpage. After all, people don’t come to websites to look at advertisements, they come for content. On mobile websites, the content itself is oftentimes arranged so that it dominates a much greater portion of the page than it does on the desktop version of the website. Those advertisements that would normally appear in the margins of the page can sometimes be relegated to the top or the bottom of the page but, more often than not, there simply isn’t room to display them.

Some websites utilize a solution involving using an overlay screen that allows their web advertisers to get eyes on their advertisements, but this presents additional problems. On some mobile devices, exiting out of one of these overlays can be extremely difficult and, because it causes user frustration, it might result in visitors simply looking for another website that can give them the information they are seeking. Of course, because mobile devices have limited power, some of them will simply freeze up when one of these overlays comes up over a website, causing even more user frustration. In addition to all of this, most mobile companies have metered plans these days, which means that visitors are paying to download advertisements, which can cause resentment.


Text advertisements are generally suitable for use on mobile sites, as they take minimal bandwidth to download and aren’t likely to cause any issues with hanging up a mobile device or crashing it altogether. Of course, these are not as eye-catching, or as profitable, for the sites that run them.

Many tablet computers are fully capable of displaying advertisements and content together, owing to their larger screen size. For websites that are displayed on smaller mobile devices, however, finding a happy medium between being able to display advertisements and offering a good visitor experience will likely continue to be a challenge.