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Tips for designing effective advertising banners.

An effective banner design can make the difference between an unsuccessful and successful banner ad campaign. We have found that the following banner design tips can increase CTRs (click thru ratios) and resulting in sales.

Eye catching

The first thing you want to do, is to catch the viewer's attention. Try to create a catchy phrase, something that will arouse the interest of the viewer and make him or her curious.

Keep it simple

A rule of thumb is to keep it short and simple. Remember, the banner is not your website. The text on your banner should be informative and give the viewer an idea of what your website is all about.

Relevant content

Make sure that the content of your banner is relevant to the products or services you are offering on your site. A woman in a tiny bikini would attract the attention of a male surfer and probably get lots of clicks, but when the surfer discovers that you really sell dvds he is sure to leave your site. Thus you may end up with high click thrus, but none sales.

If your service is free, tell the viewer

It turns out that the word "free" increases the click thru rate. If you offer free games download don't just say "Download games", say "Download free games".

Don't lie

Please make sure that you deliver whatever you promise on your banner. Don't claim that your web hosting plans are free, when they really cost $50.

Link to a specific page

If someone click the banner, they want to go directly to the information they are looking for (the very reason that they clicked the banner). They don't want to go to your general homepage and spend time looking for the information.

Aspects of Color

Many studies have indicated that people respond better for bright colors, such as green, blue, and yellow, or certain color combinations, like a rich yellow on dark blue.

Call to action

Some surfers still need to learn that a banner needs to be clicked on, not just watched at. Make it obvious that the banner is to be clicked on.

Include your logo and website url

Remember that even if a banner doesn't get a click it may still increase your name and brand awareness. But don't dilute the banners punch line or the copy. Often it is best to keep the url and logo together on either side of the banner. The logo should be small and the url can be displayed in small font size.

Banner file size

A banner should load before or with the main page text and grab the viewer's' attention immediately, and the smaller it is the faster it load. The ideal file size of a banner is 10kb or less. Decreasing the banner size leads to tradeoffs in animation and the number of colors used.

Running time of animated banners

How long should you make your animated banner run? A typical web surfer spends less than 10 seconds looking at a specific area of the website. Thus the banner must display all its contents within this time.

Use several banners for your ad campaign

You probably don't know everything about your audience preferences and behaviour patterns, and it is unlikely that one banner will fit all. Start with several banners. As your campaign progress you will come to know which banners are generating higher click thru rates. Track each banners CTR, and if possible conversion rate, and give the banners with higher CTR higher priority.