by Brian Kitching
1) Good Point of Sale
Take the time to think about what the bottom line of what your banner
is trying to sell. You may have 20 incredible features or services you
would like to tell the world about, but try and sum it up in an "Excellent
One Line Sales Pitch."
2) Ockam's razor in advertising
Keep things as simple as possible. The competition is fierce on the
web and time is minimal to make an impact. Studies have shown the average
web-surfer to stay on a page for about 10 seconds before clicking somewhere
on the page and leaving. This means your banner should download and
present your message quickly (this relates directly to rule #1)
3) Static or Animated?
Animated banners get more clicks than static banners as a rule. Animation
will grab the eye opposed to a flat image just sitting on the page.
Although static banners can be presented in the form of a button, product
cover (example: e-book) or as a seal or badge of certification, there
are times and places to use each, decide which is best for your type
4) Logo and web URL
I advocate using both a logo and the web site URL in banner ads. Just
think, if they don't click on your banner they might just remember your
URL. If it is not on the banner there is nothing for your potential
consumer to remember ...except how great and inexpensive your product
5) Call to Action
It may seem obvious what the surfer should do when they see your banner
and want to know more, but a call to action still drives more clicks
than those without. It has become a standard to put "Click Here"
- "Get More Info" or "Apply Today." I would suggest
having some form of "call to action" on your future banner
ad to entice the surfer to click through to your site.
6) Oh, so many colors!
Give some thought to finding colors that may work for your banner. Using
colors that are consistent to your web site is a good idea, but think
about what the color scheme is on the web site(s) and/or pages where
your banner will be shown is just as important. Do some research. Know
where your banner ads will be displayed and have them designed accordingly.
7) What is on your banner?
Try to keep your banner content related to your product or service or
you may end up with lots of clicks producing few sales or leads. Using
people in your ad can help lend a feeling of the human element, but
should be done in good taste.
Unless you know your target audience extremely well it would be beneficial
to have several banners ads to experiment with. 4-10 should allow you
to collect enough data to see what is working and where. Keep track
of clicks on different sites and/or pages and every few weeks rotate
your banners around. This will help you see what's working and what's
not. Don't be afraid to experiment, it will make all the difference.
Brian Kitching is a freelance Graphic Designer and Web Consultant. He
had been involved in internet marketing and web design for 5 years.