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Designing Banner Ads That Get Results: 7 Handy Tips and Tricks

David Bosley

Digital advertising is a necessary, yet often frustrating challenge. You need to advertise and get your banners in front of people to drive traffic, leads, and conversions. The problem is that people don’t like to actually click on digital ads. This makes putting together digital advertising campaigns difficult, and designing the ads themselves downright difficult.

The good news is that there are certain things that successful ads tend to have in common, no matter the industry or specific brand. To help you improve on your existing creative, here are seven ways you can design banner ads to drive better results:

1. Size Matters

Start off by designing your banner ads with strategic sizes in mind. Sometimes, the size of your ad will make a big difference in how it’s perceived and how well it performs. Per Google, these are the top-performing ad sizes:

  • 300 by 250 – the medium rectangle.
  • 336 by 280 – the large rectangle.
  • 728 by 90 – a leaderboard.
  • 300 by 600 – a half page.
  • 320 by 100 – the large mobile banner.

2. Strike a Good Balance

A successful banner ad has three important components: your logo and branding scheme, something that grabs their attention, and a clear call-to-action. It’s important to include your logo in a clear, but not dominant fashion. You want somebody to quickly understand who the ad belongs to, but you need something else to grab their attention. That’s what you’ll need a value proposition for. Make this clear, eye-grabbing, and time sensitive. Finally, you need to include a call-to-action, such as ‘click here to learn more’.

3. Keep it Simple

If your banner ad is too cluttered or unclear, it’s not going to grab attention effectively. Make sure your body copy is a different size than the headline. Don’t use fonts that are hard to read or small. Your goal is to make sure that anybody scrolling past your ad can understand your message in only a couple of quick seconds, so try to limit the total amount of text lines to three or four.

4. Test a Single Variable

Over time, you’ll want to test all sorts of variables about your ad, including the headline, copy, offer, call-to-action, color scheme, placement, size, and more. However, you don’t want to go crazy and start testing too much at once. This simply makes it too hard to really understand what’s working and what isn’t. Start off by picking one important variable to test, and go from there.

Test Your Banner Ads For Better Results

5. Get Moving

If you have the chance to make a high-quality moving image, it can really capture people’s attention and generate great results. Banner ads like this do tend to be more expensive and load a bit slower, though, so you’ll want to use them sparingly.

6. Understand Personalization

We’ve talked previously about the rise of personalized and interactive ads, and for good reason. Personalized ads get responses. Target your ads very precisely and make sure they’re incredibly relevant for your target audience. On a platform like Facebook, you can even drill down to specific hobbies and TV shows.

7. Use Images Carefully

Don’t feel like you need to use an image as they can often distract and cause ads to load slowly. If you do decide to use one, find something that’s bold and simple. You don’t want a picture that shows too much. Focus on a single product, person, or item, and make sure it’s up-close and bold. You don’t want it distracting from your message or causing any confusion.