Banner ads are often more annoying than intriguing but, by paying attention to a few simple design rules, you’ll be better equipped to create a banner ad that draws in the clicks rather than turns people away. According to wordstream.com, the average click-through rate (CTR) for banner ads is 0.25%, but you’ll want to aim for a CTR of at least 2% if you want your campaign to succeed. Banner Ads are used in Adwords for both Display and Re-Marketing Campaigns. The following are some of the defining characteristics of a successful banner ad:
1 – Interactive Elements
Although simple banner ads can also work, those with interactive elements present even more potential, provided they aren’t distracting. Interactive banner ads are no longer limited to shooting targets as they move across the screen, and advances in HTML language also mean you no longer need to use the now largely obsolete Flash platform. Using HTML 5.0 alone, you can easily create banner ads with buttons and multiple links while having far more scope to show off some creativity. Just make sure to follow Google’s Advertising policies when creating your ads and stay within their allowed formats. You don’t want to work on an ad for hours and find out it will not work within their system.
2 – Compelling Visuals
Compelling visuals are far more likely to get people’s attention than the use of large, clichéd graphics such as stars and commonly overused promotional words in bubble text. Choosing relevant imagery can enhance your message, but it is important not to confuse your target audience with abstract concepts that appear to make no sense. However, images alone don’t necessarily make a great banner ad, and some do just fine with excellent text content and eye-catching typography.
3 – Optimized Formatting
According to Google Adsense, the best banner sizes to use at 336×280, 300×250, 728×90 and 160×600. However, where you place the banner is also important, particularly if you’re paying for space on a website. It should always be featured above the fold and near the webpage’s main content. Finally, be sure to keep the file size to a minimum, since no one is going to wait around just for an ad to load.
4 – Irresistible Call to Action
The call to action (CTA) is the most important element of all in any banner ad, but it’s also one that many marketers get wrong. Generic CTAs, such as ‘click here’ or ‘buy now’ are not exactly very creative, and they are unlikely to improve your CTR. The CTA needs to be clearly defined, and you can choose from a variety of formats, such as simple buttons to QR codes. The CTA must never be misleading either, and it should clearly tell your target audience what to do next.
5 – Clear Branding
The designs you use for your banner ads should be consistent with your company’s branding to avoid confusing your potential customers. In fact, your brand’s distinct style, typically characterized by the typography, colors and logos it uses, should be reflected in all of your advertisements and other online and offline resources. Clear and consistent branding will help people come to recognize and remember you.
Designing banner ads that bring in a high CTR is a challenging process, and it’s far easier to annoy your target audience than it is to impress them. Use too much animation and interactivity, and you might end up discouraging engagement or causing unnecessary distractions. Always keep the content of your ads relevant and accompanied by a strong call to action.