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.