5 Best Ways To Use Banner Ads

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Banner ads were one of the earliest types of ads that appeared on the internet and were certainly very popular. HotWired ran the first banner ad online in October 1994 for AT&T and subsequently became a source of revenue for online advert companies, generating estimated billions of dollars in ad revenue. Actually, banner ads became increasingly unpopular as a result of the roaring success of the paid search model popularized by Google. The standard measure of a banner ad’s success is the Click-Through Rate (CTR) and at its peak, banner ads had a CTR of 5% and above. These days however, banner ads command a CTR of just 0.2-0.3%.

In spite of the drop in the popularity of banner ads, it still remains a viable means of advertising and still appears on a lot of websites. Unfortunately, a great deal of the complaints regarding the efficacy of banner ads is as a result of the inability of the advertisers to observe the basic rules and changes in order to realize good results. There are some practices that can be incorporated into a company’s banner ad program that will have a positive effect on the campaign.

1. Use of Color: The choice of colors for a banner ad is critical. This is because if the banner ad and the background color for the website is the same or similar, the ad will not stand out, meaning that the objective will be defeated. Blending the banner and the background color could lead to the impression that it could be taken to be a part of the content.

Additionally, avoid flashing and flickering banner as these could constitute irritation to the visitors and turn them off. In all, it would be counterproductive.

2. Proper Image Use: When the attention span of the average internet user is considered, it is always best to use elements that guarantee high visibility and impact. This scarce attention can be drawn by using the appropriate images. Images however have large file sizes that could significantly increase the overall file size of the banner, making it unacceptable to the publishers. The pictures can however be resized and edited to fit the desired size.

3. Use Animations: Banner ads are generally of two types; static and animated. While the former is stationary and simple, the latter is usually created using flash objects or animated GIF elements. The movements of these elements usually draw the attention of the visitors and when it is used as a slide, it is able to deliver a complex message which is difficult with an ordinary picture.

4. Advertise on Pages With Adequate Space: When a webpage is too ‘busy’, the chances of the banner ad getting noticed is very slim. It is best to advertise on a page where the competition is less even though the traffic is less.

5. Conduct Research: It is easy and cheap to conduct research online using free tools like Google’s Web Analytics Tool. This helps you to get statistics like daily visits, traffic sources, unique visitors, bounce rate and session rate among others.


The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from the Advertising Research Foundation

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Praise for The Online Advertising Playbook “Finally, someone has documented all we know about online advertising and how to do it right. As much as this confirms that online advertising really works, we know that marketers don’t always get it right. The ARF’s The Online Advertising Playbook provides critical insight on what sticks and what doesn’t in online advertising and marketing.”
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