Comprehensive Guide to Designing a Great Banner Advert
The banner advert is still valuable. It’s declined in online marketing importance, but known names in the business like print-print.co.uk still believe it has its place when used correctly. The trick is to avoid it seeming tacky. When it’s tacky and ‘in your face’ it can rub people entirely the wrong way.
In this article, we provide a full list of design tips for more clickable banner ads on your website.
What’s the Message?
Too many banner adverts don’t actually say anything. It needs to have a clear message. You have a limited amount of space available, so your message needs to be short and sweet. Stick to a single thing. The banner advertisement will be prominent, so have it fit in with the main goal of your website.
The message must also have a call to action. Once you’ve published your banner, you don’t want customers scratching their head about what you want them to do. If you want them to click on something or sign up to something, tell them about it. Don’t be bashful about it.
One of the first attributes you’ll determine is the color scheme. The color scheme should always fit in with the rest of your web design. Most companies will try to make it as similar as possible.
Just because your banner will be similar doesn’t mean it needs to be the same. Having exactly the same color scheme will make it blend in too much. In some cases, companies have made it blend in so much their customers haven’t noticed it’s a clickable banner ad.
An idea you could utilize is inverting the color scheme. If your website uses mainly forest green with white highlights, have your banner advertisement use white with forest green highlights. Inverting the colors allows you to stick to the same scheme, while allowing it to stand out.
Always make sure your banner ad has been branded with your logo. Your logo is the only part of your business that you carry forward into visual media. By repeating your logo again and again, your target audience will come to associate it with you.
Your branding won’t impact the amount of times people happen to click on your ad. They already know it’s yours. What it will do is help them to remember your logo. This will ultimately carry over into more conversions for you.
It’s why a company tends to get better results from its advertisements later on in its history.
Simplicity Works Best
Simplicity will always work better than complexity. As you already know, banner ads have gained a negative reputation over the years for being incredibly annoying. You need to ensure you distance yourself from this reputation.
Most banner ads used to have a lot of complexity. They’d use a lot of text and cram it into a tiny space to try and say as much as possible.
Psychologists have shown this only leads to information overload. Deviate from this practice and opt for something simple. A single slogan repeated over and over again has a bigger effect, otherwise audiences simply start to tune out. It’s why conventional TV and radio adverts have had severe diminishing returns over the last few years.
There’s no hard and fast rule as to just how simple you should make it. Some people advocate a simple sentence, whereas others believe it should be a few words and nothing else. Play with your ads and find out what works for your business.
The Images You Use
The images you use will have a significant effect on what effect you create. For a start, always make sure you’re using a high-quality image. Any blurry images will only serve to make you look unprofessional.
Most companies prefer to use stock images. There are plenty of sites that sell stock images. You’ll have to pay for them, and someone else can still buy them unless you pay a huge price for them. Instead, consider taking your own images. This way you can copyright them and your banner ad will be unique.
Make the Button Stand Out
The button should always stand out, especially if you’ve used a contrasting color scheme. This is part of the best practices for designing effective banner ads because studies have shown they improve the Click Through Rate (CTR).
If we go back to our example color scheme of forest green and white, an orange color would contrast with both colors, which would make it ideal for this scenario.
Always have your banner in GIF form. If you try to publish a banner in Flash, some people won’t be able to view it. Many devices don’t support Flash, but the GIF format is always supported.
With so many different devices in use these days, a GIF should be considered as an essential for your banner.
If you can’t save your file as a GIF automatically, go online and search for a free file converter. Most of these converters allow you to upload your GIF file and receive it by email or direct download.
Make sure this file is small. Larger files take longer to load. If it takes longer than three seconds to render in its entirety, Google will punish you in the SEO rankings. Additionally, many users with slower connections will struggle to use your website, which might turn them away.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Your ads should have some sort of intangible benefit within them. In other words, by pressing the button on the ad, users should gain something of value. Create a sense of urgency by telling people they have a limited time.
It’s like the auctioneer’s chant. The auctioneer talks quickly to create a beat and a sense of urgency that encourages bids. You’re using the same principle to do exactly the same thing.
Be careful with how this works, though. If you word your deal in the wrong way by sounding overly excited, you’ll come off poorly and as if you’re over exaggerating everything. Tone it down a little.
Properly Prepare a Home for a Realtor Showing
It is ideal to present a home in the way you’d wish to view a home for sale. This means that it should be clean, fresh and inviting. There are a few steps that your realtor can discuss with you to ensure that this happens.
Some of the basics are briefly outlined below to reduce confusion in preparing your home properly.
Staging a home is an important process. What you want to do here is present the home to families so that they can see themselves in the space.
Basics of staging:
- Dress rooms appropriately with furniture
- Remove clutter
- Arrange furniture in a smart pattern
- Take down family photos
- Consider repainting some rooms that may be undesirable colors
The home should feel, but not look, lived in. This may seem like a double negative but presenting a neat and tidy space is the whole idea.
Remove Personal Items
Any items that reflect a personal style or taste should be removed. In essence, you want the home to look like a magazine photo. The potential homebuyers should be able to envision their family dinners at your table.
The homebuyers should also see their own furniture in the space and be able to envision family gatherings in the backyard. This is what helps to sell a home. Creating a lived in but generic look is the goal.
Get the Carpets Cleaned
If you have carpeted rooms in the home, it is ideal to use expert carpet cleaners prior to staging. They will ensure that the carpets are fresh smelling, looking and feeling. Clean carpets are important to many potential homebuyers.
Most are not going to want to install new carpet or refinish hardwoods that may be underneath.
Freshen up the Exterior
The exterior, or curb appeal, of a home is also important. It is the first impression that potential homebuyer have of the property.
With that being said, a bit of fresh landscaping may be in order. You can accomplish this by purchasing a few inexpensive plants to spruce up the entry way and give the exterior some character. The existing trees and shrubbery should also get a trim.
Keeping with the exterior, the paint should look fresh and clean. Touch up any chipped spots that might be noticeable. This is also the ideal time to repaint the entry door so that it makes a statement. Also consider exterior or patio lighting.
These simple steps for home staging can be time consuming but it is all in an effort to sell your home quickly. The right family will feel at home as soon as they walk in the door. Do as much as you can with the home for as little as possible.
Only having to do some minor cleaning and de-cluttering is a benefit when it is possible. Some homes need more attention than others. When this is the case, realtors can step in to help or they can suggest the use of a home staging company. These professionals know what potential homebuyers like to see.
Keeping Outdoor Carpet Clean
Outdoor carpet is often used in swimming and entertainment areas. This is not a difficult area to keep clean as long as there are a few rules in place. First and foremost, have carpet cleaning services available on-call.
The reason for this is that accidents and spills can happen at any time. It is also possible that a storm could come in and bring a lot of dirt and debris with it. Take this into consideration when installing outdoor carpet.
To spot clean the general area, a steam cleaner that is handheld or electric in nature is ideal. With these, the preparation to use them is minimal. You are also able to use fewer products to ensure that the spot is taken up.
Pretreating a stain on outdoor carpet:
- Identify the type of stain
- Add an oxidizing agent to lift the stain
- Use sponge to pull up some of the stain
- Use a hard bristled brush to scrub the area in circular motions
- Bring in the steam cleaner to pull up the rest of the stain while it is still damp
These steps will help you to get dried and fresh stains out of an outdoor carpet.
Broom it off and Vacuum Daily
A deck brush or stiff bristled broom should be used for outdoor carpets. It helps to get ground in debris out of the carpet. It will also push off dust and external plant debris.
After brooming off the outdoor carpet, a thorough vacuuming is in order daily. This helps to prevent dirt and debris from staining or damaging the fibers.
In order to keep the carpet clean and soft, even in outdoor areas, consider contracting a carpet cleaning for service once per month. A professional cleaning goes far deeper than what can be done on a daily basis.
Professional equipment uses multiple scrubbing heads on the machines to bring up any stubborn dirt that has set in. It also helps to bring up stains that are deep down into the base of the carpeted area.
Keep Guest Food and Drink in a Designated Area
To maintain a stain-free and clean area around the swimming pool, it is best to make it a rule to keep food and drink off of the carpeted areas. What this will do is prevent sticky spills that may go unnoticed for several hours.
Sticky stains are harder to get up and might require an additional professional cleaning to be done.
When there is carpet in outdoor space near a pool, it is ideal to perform these daily cleaning tasks. Once per month a contracted professional service can be used. This is a deep cleaning that is often needed in high-traffic areas.
Some throw rugs can be used in a carpeted area that has been soiled deeply while waiting for professional services. Keep in mind that this is temporary. Throw rugs can be put away for the next time or next big, sticky spill or stain.
Reasoning to Use Online Accounting Software or Outsource Your Payroll to a Company Who Does
Doing your finances by hand is something that is impossible especially if you have multiple online accounts. When you use accounting software online you will find that things can be easier or they can still be confusing. If you were not someone who is tech friendly, it would be a good idea to do so. Today, we are going to discuss why you should use online accounting software or outsource your payroll to a company who does instead of trying to manage your finances by hand.
When things are done on the computer, the information can be recorded at a faster base. This means not only can you manage your payroll from the software but also you can track your gains, losses, inventory status, and more.
Automatic Documentation is Produced
Using online accounting software allows you to create invoices with ease, make notes, purchase inventory, and print statements whenever the need arises to do so. You do not have to worry about messy paperwork or wondering where one of your Microsoft Spreadsheets may have disappeared. Automatic documentation makes it less likely for errors to occur too.
Accounting software’s make it less likely for you to make errors, since you do not have to do everything manually.
Stay Up to Date
Software or a payroll company will make sure that all of your accounting information stays up to date. Regardless of when you need to pull the information you can rest assured that it would be readily available.
Online software’s can provide the data available instantly simultaneously if you program it that way in your settings.
Aids with Management
When you are trying to monitor your business and stay on top of your profits and losses online accounting software is essential. You need to know which customers owe you money and see if you are profiting more than you are losing.
Saves You Money
When you either do your own accounting with accounting software or outsource to a payroll company you save more money than having an in house person. Not to mention the fact that you usually get audit protection and you records are always neat and available.
When you are a business owner, it is very stressful when it is time to review the finances. Imagine if you only had to step in an analyze your finances if something drastic happened? When using online accounting software this would be possible. Once you get all of your financial information put in staying on top of it and updating it is easy. If you do not have the time to do that you can still alleviate your stress by hiring a payroll company without spending a lot of money.
If you are a business owner, even a small business owner, you should be using online accounting software’s. The benefits that come with doing so will make you wonder what took you so long to make an account.
Deep down we all want to help make a difference and make the world a better place to live in. However, if you lead a busy life then you might wonder when you could possibly find the time to do as much as you would like to.
Well, there are some easy ways to make a real difference that you might not have thought of before.
Buy from Charity Shops
What could be easier than buying something from a charity shop, with the proceeds of your purchase going to a good cause? If you like reading books then this is one of the best types of purchase in many charity shops. They also tend to sell things like clothes and small pieces of furniture. Even if you don’t see anything you would normally buy, maybe you can find something that could come in useful in some way while allowing you to contribute to a charity.
Donate Your Old Stuff
Of course, all that stuff that they sell for a good cause in charity shops has to come from somewhere. That’s right: they rely on people like you taking along the old stuff they no longer need and donating it. This is incredibly easy to do and also means that you can get rid of stuff you no longer need and gain some extra space in the home. You’ll feel good about doing it and do some good at the same time. You could also be helping a needy person who is looking to buy some cheap goods, so it’s a win all round really.
Use a Charity Collection Bucket
One of the best ways to gather some funds for a worthwhile cause is to use some easy charity collection buckets. You can put these out at work, in your local bar or at some sort of event. They are secure, tamper proof and allow other people to contribute as much or as little as they want whenever they want to. You might collect just a modest amount in this way but every little bit helps. On the other hand, you might be surprised to find that this simple method of raising money for a charity ends up raising more than you have originally hoped for. It’s got to be a worth a try in any case.
Let a Charity Use Your Computer’s Spare Capacity for Analysis
You may remember having heard at some point in the past about how computers that are sitting idle can be hooked up to a grid to help solve mathematical issues and even to look for a cure for cancer. We don’t hear a lot about these things just now but they are still available. There are a number of sites that run special programs when your computer is idle, to work away on behalf of a charity. There are many different calculations they can carry out using your PC’s spare capacity. While the end result won’t be obvious to you, you can be sure that you are doing your bit to make the world a better place.
Don’t Forget To Come Out To Bryant Park In September
You will be able to join in on the Women’s Leadership Summit which is an ongoing series of events dedicating to empowering females around the world in all capacities. Whether you are a world leader, start up entrepreneur, or just trying to make a difference in the world these are aimed at you. Together we can inspire and motivate the world to unite and see to it that Women are given the opportunities they deserve. With 10,000 people attending a 3-day public event, we can truly start a movement and make some change occur. With UN delegates, major global leaders, and corporations behind us, not to mention the Happiness Assembly, this event is positioned to be world class.
With 60 A-list speakers and celebrities along with great music we can have fun while doing the right thing. Stay tuned in to Global Good Group and Global Good Networks where we will continue to release news about this upcoming event and the date. Please share your thoughts with us and get involved!
STATS ABOUT THE PROBLEMS BEING FACED
Only 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.
Globally, women occupy only 25% of senior management positions.
Women are paid 23% less than men in senior positions.
Women are paid less than men in 99% of occupations.
Business ownership is concentrated in men’s hands throughout the developing world.
Women hold 3% of clout positions in mainstream media.
Women comprise 5% of directors and 14% of film writers in top 250 crossing films.
Gender inequality persists in education, work, participation in government, economic assets.
Support Women Leadership Summit in Bryant Park
View Directly On Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjIl2bHk_mc
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Global Empowerment For Women With Fortune 500 & Great Causes
This past Wednesday night in Manhattan, New York the likes of many powerful female leaders attended and spoke at the Women’s Empowerment Summit. With faces such as Frances Hesselbin, the CEO of the Girl Scouts for 14 years, plus other women who have dealt with presidents and Fortune 500 brands, this was a masterful event. When we were personally invited by the host Yao Huang to help provide our network’s reach and connections to inspired other female entrepreneurs we were more than ready. With around 300 people in attendance the event was a major success and brought some of the world’s top leaders and newcomers together in a fun filled and educational event.
Not only was this event inspirational and great for interconnecting amazing people this event was the hot spot to be. Networking went on before and after the events where entrepreneurs were able to have doors open up right in front of them. To give you a better idea of how high-profile these women giving advice were, one of the other speakers such as Christine Comaford has been referred to by bill gates as “super high bandwidth” and Bill Clinton has even given her props for “fostering American entrepreneurship”. Having helped over 700 of the Fortune 1000 brands Christine is a great person to now be in contact with for many of these female entrepreneurs to grow their brands and impact.
Both GGN Co-Founders including myself and my partner Rick Jeffries were able to meet amazing leaders and people from major brands including NBC Universal, Fast Company, and even the United Nations. We were able to offer them our network as a way to promote their great causes they support and brands they are working on. Here at GGN we are all about mobilizing resources to increase the impact for what we and others believe in, this summit gave us the ability to provide further reach and global marketing tools to those who could benefit. -Josh Bois, Co-Founder Global Good Networks
Carole Hyatt also spoke at this event who was responsible for famous shows such as The Muppets where she was stepped on and made to look only as the Co-Producer rather the official producer of the show due to the fact that she was a women. Stories like this show how hard she has worked and not gotten the credit she deserved, yet she was still able to become a bestselling author and an international motivational speaker in addition to running Fortune 500 consulting groups.
We are proud to be able to have attended and supported this event. The future is up to us and you and we are excited to connect great people, brands, and causes all together to make a lasting and measurable impact on the world.
Signed, Josh Bois Co-Founder Global Good Networks
Change Is Capturing the World
The pace of change in today’s world is astonishing. It is not just technology advances that are bringing this about but instant worldwide communications have certainly made a great contribution. It is the speed with which ideas can spread and encourage changes in policy that had previously been so slow to implement. Not everyone buys into this new world but the younger generation generally does; it is the generation that is tomorrow’s leadership.
No one can be certain about how the coming years will develop but there seems little chance that there will be a reversal of momentum. Businesses are emerging every day, driven by the enthusiasm of youth and meeting the demands of that generation. Many people want to use their talents to express themselves in a commercial way rather than relying on joining an established firm and pursuing a career there.
Some things in society are not changing and they include everyone’s wish to be happy. The headline news is often bad; there seems little space for the heart warming stories people would prefer to hear about or read in the media. There are many happy events and couples still set out in adult life together intent upon raising a family and helping their children develop into responsible adults.
People meet, fall in love and get engaged much the same as they always did. They look forward to their big day when they confirm their relationship in front of family and friends. It is a day that produces a lifetime of memories but one that also needs photographs and a video to retain as a memento. Wedding photography is a skill and requires imagination both from the photographer and the happy couple. They may know what they want but will also be open to ideas.
The final album needs to achieve more than images. It needs to demonstrate the joy of the occasion. Some of the photos may be taken in a studio with a Lastolite Collapsible Background to focus totally on the couple themselves. Others however will be taken with family and friends in the shots.
Sometimes a black and white photograph can look stunning, a silhouette perhaps in a location that almost seems to be more important than the couple themselves. Everyone is looking for something a little bit different in their wedding album. Modern cameras provide the means but it is often imagination that creates the results that achieve something special.
A fresh approach
Often the best photographers and indeed the best fashion designers set out with the career in mind and bring a fresh approach to the business. There are plenty of people willing to support talent and enthusiasm and certainly the means to get a message out through the Internet and Social Media. It is certainly the first place that many people go if they want goods and services.
Their talents are only part of the story. They have to create visibility; that visibility is an audience that my want to employ them for their special day. With the growth of a portfolio the job becomes easier as they will have plenty of evidence of their talents.
The days when a photographer would sit in a high street location and wait for people to come through the door have largely gone. Self promotion is far easier today and fairly inexpensive. Good news can travel very quickly if a budding photographer can create it. After all people like to hear good news as a contrast to what tends to make the daily headlines. Using the World Wide Web has become second nature to the younger generations and increasingly to everyone else. The change has come and it will continue.
5 Future car technologies that truly have a chance
Technology is advancing at a rapid rate across all industries. One of the most exciting developments (outside of the medical field) is the work that is being dreamt up on automobiles. Things like self-driving cars, cars that run off electricity, or even cars that run off of used canola oil; the possibilities are endless.
Today we are narrowing down the top 5 dream scenarios for the automobile industry. Scenarios that have not yet broken into the mainstream media, but have realistic chances of becoming something the average consumer can use in the near future.
Self Driving Cars
This is not a new idea, but this dream can definitely come into fruition within the next decade. For quite a while, TV shows and movies have displayed self driving cars in futuristic setingss, but it has never been offered as a legitimate driving option until recently.
Google has already developed self driving cars that have driven over 200,000 miles on public highways and roads. Even large automobile companies, like GM (General Motors), have begun testing with self driving vehicles’. The time saved waiting in traffic is estimated to be cut at least in half with self driving cars (less accidents as well as optimal route integration). That little perk alone should make this dream worth wishing for.
Airbags are nothing new in cars. Yet ever since airbags begun deploying inside of cars, more and more airbags get added into the vehicle every year. What started off as just an airbag for the front two passengers, has now developed into side airbags, knee air bags, even airbags that go off underneath our seat during an accident.
It was only a matter of time before people tried to use airbags to slow a car down. Mercedes has been working on deploying airbags from beneath the car whenever the cars brakes are hit hard suddenly. The job of the airbags would be to push the car upwards, which should stop the dipping motion during hard breaking. This technology has yet to be used in any of Mercedes current cars, but cannot be many years away.
Energy Storing Car Body Panels
With so many car manufactures heading towards making hybrid models, the next step is to be able to charge these cars as easily as possible. Manufactures are looking into finding ways that the body of the car actually charges the batteries within them. My first thought was solar powered, but this seems to be going more along the lines of maintaining the batteries energy and using it more efficiently during the times the car is not turned on. With 9 leading manufactures testing this out in Europe, I would expect some more information on this very soon.
Communicating with other Cars
V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) communication is something that everyone dreams of. V2V would work by sending wireless signals from one car to another, warning of you of a possible collision; maybe even hitting the brakes for you. This technology could not only decrease the amount of accidents on the road, but it could change the way we drive all together.
Augmented Reality Dashboard
The fifth and final piece of technology that we could see developed in the near future is augmented reality dashboards. The easiest way to think of this is to imagine what Robocop sees out of his eyes. How he can analyze objects, how he can have information shown how close or far objects are, the threat level, etc… BMW is leading the way in this research, with some of their cars already equipped with the most basic versions of this.
With all of these advancements right on the horizon, it looks like things that were once considered fantasy; could be arriving at a dealership near you sooner than expected. I’m not sure how this will affect auto insurance companies, but as a consumer; I cannot wait!
GSBI Video and Social Entrepreneur Interview coverage for CNN iReport and Youtube
Read about the great works of GSBI on sites such as the World Bank and Santa Clara University. Every year some of the brightest people in Silicon Valley from major corporations such as Microsoft and innovative startups come together to share their knowledge and listen to the latest world changing innovations. The program is here to help fund and teach Entrepreneurs around the world how to further grow and scale their entrepreneurial efforts.
It was an honor attending this event and speaking with those having a real impact on the world.
GSBI is a great resource from Santa Clara University to connect Social Entrepreneurs with funding and leadership expertise. Their goal is to reach a billion people positively, it very closely resembles the mission that I have crafted for Global Good Networks and wish to carry through. Right on GSBI!
–Josh Bois Co-Founder of Global Good Networks
Watch the video below or directly on CNN.Com: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-835993
Global Good Networks exclusive coverage GSBI 2012 for CNN iReport
A few photo and video snaps at GSBI 2012 in Silicon Valley at SCU
Video by Global Good Networks Co-founder: Josh Bois at GSBI 2012
The Global Good Network is about connecting people and great brands to news and resources that change the world.
GSBI is a network for helping great social entrepreneurs further develop and get investment for their great ideas.
To read an interview between Josh Bois and GSBI 2012 Candidate Lisa Heederik the director of business development and co-founder of “Nazava”:
Read more about GSBI on their homepage: http://www.scu.edu/socialbenefit/entrepreneurship/gsbi/
GSBI Article on The World Bank’s Official Portal: http://wbi.worldbank.org/wbi/news/2012/02/24/gsbi-online-new-program-social-entrepreneurs
About the GSBI
Science and Technology for the Underserved
Launched 10 years ago, the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI™) is the signature program of the Center. The GSBI combines a proven curriculum with individualized mentoring by Silicon Valley leaders to help social entrepreneurs build their businesses and amplify their impact. So far, the GSBI has mentored more than 150 enterprises operating in 50 countries, reaching 74 million people. Also, nearly 95 percent of GSBI Alumni are still working in their social ventures and more than 50 percent are scaling, meaning that revenue is growing faster than expenses.
We collaborate with a diverse group of partners including successful Silicon Valley executives, academic leaders, and the network of Jesuit universities. Our mentoring network helps participants scale their ventures to create jobs, sell their products and services, and solve problems internationally.
Social entrepreneurs who apply and win GSBI scholarships build capacity to effect systemic change through our proven combination of curriculum and individualized mentoring. We help participants create strategic business plans that they can confidently present to impact investors and other funders around the world.