Design Tips for Killer Banner Advertisements

Banner design, especially for advertising a site, or a product is not just about a visually pleasing bit of artwork. Programs can automate much of the banner design process but there are also some seldom mentioned tips that can improve your sales and make your banner far more effective as a sales tool.

  1. Banner design is an ongoing process, since a banner is only effective for a limited time. After the third exposure to a banner ad, the surfer is not going to respond to that banner it is time to create a new one.
  2. Banner text should include a call to action. Even the best banner design showing a product no one can resist will fail if there is no call to action. Text such as "click here" "reserve your chance now" "enter to win" or whatever is applicable to the product is the call to action. You must engage the user and then tell them what to do.
  3. Animated banners produce results. Banner ads are usually competing against a host of other ads on the same site. Animation gives your banner design interest and can help it stand out.
  4. Heavy slow loading banners reduce response rates. If your banner weighs more than 25 KB then the rest of the page will probably have loaded before your banner and your chance to capture the surfer's attention is gone.
  5. Text captures interest makes your headlines interesting. The text you use in your banner headline should be mirrored on your site to assure the surfer they indeed came to the right place.
  6. Place your web address on your banner. It does not have to overwhelm the banner but www.yourdomain.com helps brand your site and can earn you extra visitors.
  7. Windows Alert banners work. With a relatively unsophisticated audience, the banners designed to look like a windows alert can increase the click through rate (numbers of users who click the banner as opposed to those who just see it) dramatically.
  8. Banner borders can increase response rates. It may seem strange to say but a blue border may increase your response rate. Such minor details can make a major difference in a banner campaign.
  9. People love the word free. If you offer something free, use the word free in your banner. Don't lie about what you offer it may only be free information, but the response rate to the word free is much higher than in response to other words.
  10. Internet users are conditioned to recognize blue underlined text as a link to another site or page. Use this fact in your banner campaign and increase your response rate by using blue underlined text.

Designing a banner is often more about the text, the colors, the animation and the loading times than about the quality of the design, though a pleasing design is important. Focus on what your target audience wants, and how you can provide for that and do not forget to tell them to "click here" or "Act now".

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