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7 Banner Ad Design Tips to Get More Clicks and Conversions

Julia RichardsDecember 2020
7 Banner Ad Design Tips to Get More Clicks and Conversions

Banner ads have been around since the Stone Age. Okay, fine, not quite the stone age, but it sure feels like it!

This mainstay of the internet age has been with us long before social media was even a word.

The reason these creative ad banners have been around so for long is that they work.

If you want to know how to create an ad banner that gets people clicking, follow the eight tips below which our professional, in-house banner ad designers have come up with.


1. Optimise for location

The location of your banner ad is a crucial aspect of deciding how to design it.

You need to have several different formats of the banner ad which match where the ad will be placed.

Animated ads work best when placed by themselves on a page. But these tend to get buried in the confusion when mixed with other animated ads around it.

Location applies to:

  • Where specifically on the page the ad will appear.
  • On what website the ad will appear.
  • On what device the ad will be viewed.

Designing banner ads for mobile devices means you would use slightly different imagery (e.g. a finger-clicking a button as opposed to a mouse cursor). Also, smaller devices demand that the design is more straightforward and more comfortable on the eyes.

Banner Ad Design

2. Brand your banner

Every marketing action you take must m

atch up with your branding guidelines. Only in this way can you build an awareness of your brand.

Even if a user doesn’t click your banner ad, the fact that it matches your brand means they will remember it and so, possibly, interact with it next time.

It’s essential to refer back to your branding guidelines and ensure that the colours of your brand are appropriately incorporated into your banner ad.

And your logo should be on the banner, at the very least. The logo should be noticeable but not take too much attention away from what you want the user to do as a result of seeing your banner ad.


3. Have a clear call-to-action

The whole point of a banner ad is to have the user take some sort of action. The CTA is the culmination of the banner’s story arc if you will.

After hooking the visitor into your ad’s story with a well-optimised design and excellent copy which gains their interest, you need to smoothly direct them to some determined action that you want them to take.

The position of the CTA button is crucial. It needs to be placed in such a place that does not detract from the design, and which follows the natural eye-movement path of the user.

Several studies have been conducted on this that actually determine where a user looks by detecting pupil movement when looking at ad copy.

The CTA needs to be “in its own space”, not cluttered around other design elements that might hide it. And it must use a colour that is noticeable without being garish.


4. Stand out

More often than not, you’ll be competing with a lot of other brands’ ads when advertising on a web page with your banner ad.

It’s essential to differentiate yourself from the others by using:

  • Extremely creative designs
  • Strong headlines that pop out
  • The concise and compelling copy which is easy to digest and quick to assimilate.

Remember, even if people don’t click right away, you need to make your brand stick out. Your brand has to make an impression on them.

A positive impression means they’re more likely to react favourably to your brand next time they come across it.


5. Avoid too much copy

Use the headline and the overall look and feel of the ad to grab attention, and use copy sparingly.

Your message needs to be clear and concise.

The best copy gets to the point right away and utilises a minimum amount of sentences.


Landing Page Design Best Practices That Drive Traffic and Conversions

6. Align the objective with the design

If your objective is to raise awareness to some social ill, pushing someone to buy something with a “Buy Now!” button goes against that objective. Utilising a different call-to-action such as “Help out now” or “Learn More” would work better.

Similarly, if your objective is to target millennials and you’re using 1960s pop culture references, you’re going to come short in your banner ad design.

Sure, such references can be used when trying to create a contrast. But even then, your objective would be aligned with your design, and you would use those contrasts knowingly.

7. Test and learn

It’s vital to test the banner utilising Web Analytics reporting tools. The fact that the banner has been designed professionally doesn’t mean that the game is over.

The game is only now beginning.

You have to analyse how many clicks you get compared to the number of impressions. And, out of those clicks, you need to see how many conversions you’ve gotten.

Run one ad for a week or month, and then run another and compare the performance of each of them. You might think you’ve designed the perfect ad only to discover that people interact better with another one which is quite different.

Nothing beats seeing how ads perform in the real world!


Professional banner ad designs

It might be worth it to look into hiring a company which specialises in banner ad design services. Competition in the advertising space is fierce. Gone are the days of “trying to do it all yourself”.

A banner ad must be designed professionally in order to have any hope of competing.


About author
Julia Richards
Julia Richards

Our head of content, Julia has spent the past 20 years assisting entrepreneurs with all aspects of business launch and growth strategies in various industries around the globe.

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