If you are planning for an effective marketing strategy, one of the prolific forms is the banner ads. Yes, banner ads are not dead. They are going to be around for a while. They are affordable, measurable and enhance the brand awareness. However, if your designer is not skilled enough, your ad may not be the right marketing tool. A lot of design work starts here. There’s more to creating a banner ad than just opening Photoshop canvas and choosing some pictures.
Banner ads- as they are important both for the advertiser and the site owner, the success of a project can be ruined by a bad design. There is much to work with the exact size, positioning and the content in the ad apart from the images. Although it is a little difficult to design a banner for someone else’s site because of limited space and control over positioning , the right planning and deliberation can make your ad stand out of the crowd.
Let’s find out the best practices that can make your banner ad look perfect on a site.
How to Design Banner Ads That Will Make people Click
Banner ads should be relevant to the site its take you to just like a website that have unity between its individual pages. If a visitor clicks on your banner ad to get through a website which has little to no visual relationship with the ad, it can seriously destroy the users experience and force them to stay off the process. Your ad should comprise of identical images, colours and typography used in the site to make the visitors partially accustomed to the site they intent to visit. Therefore, simulating the key designing decision of the target for your ad is important to prevent the users from dropping off the site when they wonder where they have ended up.
The right position of the ad:
If you want to create an eye-catching banner, it is important to know where the banner will be positioned. If you are working with automatic placement on AdWords then there is nothing to worry. The banner will be displayed on a number of different sites around the internet. Or else it is quite difficult to know its placement. Start examining the placement as you as start designing the ad and make a note of few things including how many ads are already present? Are there any text ads? What is the style of the other banner? How does your placement look like and much more to add. The more detail you get, the better it is for your design.
The standard size and specifications of the ad:
The Interactive Advertising Bureau or IAB, maintain specification and standards for almost all banner ads. The IAB guidelines detail a range of common ad unit sizes. This includes 970*250px billboards to 300*250px Sidekicks including delisted and older units that are starting to be replaced. If you are already aware of where your ads are going to be shown and understand the sizing of the space, then there is no problem. However, your unawareness will only make you adhere to the IAB-endorsed sizes. But this will ensure the best chance of compatibility when you find a space. The bureau guideline also emphasizes on certain specifications such as limited Z-index, file size and maximum video frame rate.
The Google AdSense highlights the following successful sizes-
- 160*600 wide skyscraper
- 300*250 medium rectangle
- 336*280 large rectangle
- 728*90 leader board.
Follow the hierarchy:
Banner ads are designed to promote brand awareness and drive traffic to a website. However, to accomplish such objectives, 3 basic hierarchies should be maintained-
Company logo : Make sure that the company’s logo is visually dominant in the banner to build brand awareness
The value proposition : Value proposition showcase the different services a brand provides and grab attention with its lucrative offers, products and prices such as ‘50% off’, ‘limited time offer’ or ‘free’. Such propositions should be your first priority and must occupy maximum space in your ad
The call to action : The call to action usually comprised of text or buttons that says ‘click here’, ‘watch out more’, ‘register here’. These should be the focal point of your ad encouraging viewers to click on it.
Animation and motion:
Implementing animation and motion within your ad can significantly enhance user engagement. However, too much of it can be annoying for the users. Instead use refined motion effects that can easily grab the attention of the viewers and give them the opportunity to increase interaction with the site. Avoid using intense animation that can make the users focus on it. Also it is important to ignore the plugin-reliant technologies such as Flash and use the complaint solutions available. This is applicable especially when the same ad is used as a part of the mobile campaign.
File size and images:
If you want your viewers to interact with your ad, you need to plan your design accordingly. You cannot make the users sit around and wait for a massive ad to load in. If you want them to initiate features like audio, video or motion in your ad you need to invest your efforts a little more. In a nutshell, the file size of the initially loaded ad should be kept at a minimum. If your file size is too large, you will eventually create performance problem for the page and lose out on impression.
There should be a fewer images that can be counted with your fingers. Trim your ad images to encourage the interests of the users. The images should be to the point and able to reflect what the ad is about. Take time to comprehend what you want your users to do when they view your ad and construct your design accordingly.
Colors play a major role:
Colors express the type of emotions the ad will invoke in the viewers. The choice of colors should be on point as they are the first thing that viewers notice in an ad. Colors have association with different cultures and can also be subjective. Therefore, make sure you know your target audience before choosing colors for your ad. A few colors including red, orange, green, blue, purple, black, yellow, brown, grey or pink can be typically chosen.
A few other factors to consider:
- The ad text should be readable
- The design is consistent with the company’s brand
- Accurate file format should be used
- Instil a sense of urgency
- Make your ad stand out from the background website
Your banner ad will speak the success or failure of a site, so make sure it has all the components to engage the visitors. By the end, design 3-4 different ad banner variation and run A/B test to see which one is performing the best.
If you design banner ads for yourself, what factor work for you to get maximum CTR? Do share your tips and don’t forget to share this useful tutorial with your friends on Facebook and Google plus.
This is a guest post by Eric from PalmettoWebDesign. If you would like to write for ShoutMeLoud, check our submission guidelines.