Banner 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 have 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 for your various banners. I’ll list
them and then continue to discuss each one in a bit more detail.
Call to action
Good ad copy
1. Small file
This is one of the most important things you have 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 are not going to click on it. So 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.
2. 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.
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 are 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 banner.
Banners with moving elements attract the eye a lot more than
static banners do. The whole idea of designing banners is to grab
attention of website visitors, using small animation help to do
this. I say small because I don’t want you to go overboard and
fill a banner with lots of animation, this is a bad idea because,
one it increases file size, and two it is generally annoying to
people after a while especially when they are trying to read an
article or tutorial. If your banner annoys them, they will most
likely just leave without clicking on it.