Sure, you may argue, but nowadays almost everyone and their brother has an ad blocker so the effort is pointless. That is not true. At a global level, only about one third active internet users have ad blockers on their browsers. This leaves you with plenty of potential customers who don’t mind seeing ads on websites.
Various Types of Banner Ads
We will focus now on showing you how to create a great ad which gets lots of clicks, ending in purchases on your website. The first thing to know it that, just like social media ads, banner ads have standard sizes and specific placements on a web page. The most common (and effective) banner sizes and placements are:
- 728 x 90 pixels – placed at the top or bottom on the web page
- 200 x 250 pixels – floating on the right or left side of the page
- 300 x 600 pixels – on the top half of the web page
- 320 x 100 pixels – mobile banner (moves down with scrolling)
Now that you have started figuring out the sizes on your computer screen, you realise that banner ads are quite small. Therefore, you should consider your design elements, copy text and CTA (call to action) button very carefully.
Here are a few helping considerations to keep in mind when you start preparing a banner ad campaign:
1. Apply the Rule of One
The rule of one is simple: each banner should promote one brand, have one design element, one message and one CTA. Banner ads are not like Facebook™ ads where you can display several products. You get a little page space and it should contain one focus element: one product and an irresistible call to action for it.
After all, your ad has to compete with the actual content of the web page as well as with other ads. You don’t get to display your entire product catalogue there – you have one shot to grab people’s attention.
2. Pay Attention to Typography
The smaller the available space, the more important typeface is. The best practices in banner ad design state that you should pick a sans-serif typeface with light stroke (thin character lines) and opt for a bold font for the headline. Do not go overboard with formatting; italics and underline texts have no place in your banner ad design.
3. Be Careful about Animation
Most banner ads are not static anymore. They display some sort of animation, in order to grab people’s attention. When it comes to animations, here are a few simple rules to remember:
- Do not build your animations in Flash – this technology will soon disappear and websites are already removing it. Chances are, your banner ad will not be approved;
- Focus on one simple animation;
- Do not loop your animation too many times, it gets annoying for the viewer who is trying to read a text next to your ad.
4. Try to Blend in with the Website Design
This is not just a good idea – many webmasters approve ads if their design and colour scheme fits with the general page design. After all, they worked hard to make their website look great, they would not ruin it with garish colours and conflicting design elements.
At the same time, the ad should be consistent with your own website design – this reassures people that they reached the right web property after clicking on the ad.
5. Place Your Ad within a Frame
People’s eyes are naturally attracted to framed objects. From paintings to photographs, we have been conditioned for centuries to look at something placed in a frame, because it is worth watching.
A simple frame of slightly darker colour than the background around it will guarantee a first look from anyone reaching the web page. What is inside the frame will keep the person’s attention and trigger a response to the CTA.
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