advertising is by
far the most popular and widespread form of advertising on the
Internet, almost every website has some form of banner advertising
on it. There's just no escaping the banner on the net.
Even though we've all
read the news about the declining effectiveness of banners on the
web I still believe that with the right 'ingredients' banners can be
a good source of visitors and income for most webmasters.
There are five of these
ingredients that I'd consider the most important, using all or most
of them will always enable you to get a higher click through rate
for your various banners. I'll list each of these banner design tips
and then continue to discuss each one in a bit more detail.
Call to action.
Good ad copy.
This is one of the most
important things you've to get right when designing a banner, if the
.GIF or .JPG file is large it will take a few seconds to download
and by then the visitor might have scrolled down the page meaning he
or she doesn't even get to see your banner. If people don't see your
banner they definitely aren't going to click on it. Therefore make
sure your file stays below 10K, 15K at the absolute most, it's
sometimes hard to do but if the others can do it, we can do it too.
Call to action
This is one of the
easiest ways to increase the CTR (click through rate) of a banner,
on this all the experts agree. Using a call to action simply
involves having the words 'click here' or some other words such as
'sign up now' or something similar which urges to viewer to do
My thoughts on why
using a call to action increases the CTR so much include the fact
that there is so much advertising off-line such as TV, Radio,
billboards etc, etc. With advertising on these off-line mediums
target audiences are generally just required to watch or read the
ad. All ads online have a link and the purpose is to get people to
click on the ad and visit the advertisers website, however with the
world being so used to off-line advertising many people just see
banners and think that's it, they don't realize that they're
actually meant to click on it to find out more. That's way having
click here or another call to action improves the effectiveness of a
Banners with moving
elements attract the eye a lot more than static banners do. The
whole idea of designing banners is to grab the attention of website
visitors, using small animation helps to do this. I say small
because I don't want you to go overboard and fill a banner with lots
of animation as this is a bad idea because one it increases file
size and two it's generally annoying to people after a while
especially when they're trying to read an article or tutorial. If
your banner annoys them they'll most likely just leave without
clicking on it.
Good ad copy
This one is kind of a
given but you should always include good ad copy in your banner,
lots of fancy animation and pictures won't entice them to click,
elements such as these only look after grabbing the attention of the
visitors. It's the actual text that will get people wanting to check
out your product. Try to emphasis the benefits not features of your
product or service. Tell people how your product will make their
life easier. Keep your wording short and concise, if you can use
words that have been proven to attract people such as 'free',
'proven' and 'secret' do.
Many of the very
successful banner ads of late have incorporated some kind of fake
elements in them. There are various fake elements banner designers
can use such as fake scroll bars, fake text links, fake selection
boxes, fake text boxes and fake submit buttons to mention just a
few. Banners with fake elements perform so well because people think
they're clicking on a link to go to another page on the current site
or they think they're clicking on a button but in fact they're
actually clicking on a banner with a picture of a button and text
These fake banners are
made using the Print Screen button usually found on the right side
of any standard keyboard. Simply open a webpage or application and
press 'Print Scrn' then crop the image around the button or scroll
bar area (the area you want to fake) and then paste it into your
banner and that's it you have fake elements in your banner.
Alternatively designers simply draw buttons, scroll bars etc. using
their graphics program.
Well there you have it,
the five most important banner design tips to
remember when designing banners. I'd normally
end an article like this now but before we end I want to talk about
targeting your banner.
Always always place
your banner on sites that cater for your
target audience (ie - the people most likely to buy your product).
There's no point putting a banner for a new golf club you sell on a
site dedicated to software, visitors to the site simply aren't going
to be interested and you're just wasting your money. You should be
aiming to place the golf banner on golf related websites, this way
you're much more likely to make money. If you're not exposing your
banner to your target audience none of the above tips and tricks can