Excellent web banners make an impression on site visitors. While not everyone utilizes banner ads today, they can still make a big impact on viewers and help you stand out from the competition. The best web banner designs grab attention from the first moment. They mesh well with the overall website design without blending in too much.
According to Statista, mobile banner ad spending is $43 billion, and will hit $65 billion by 2025. Companies still spend significant amounts on digital banner advertising so knowing how to create beautiful web banner designs is vital. Despite what some say about banner ads being dead, the numbers don’t confirm the myth.
How can you know if your web banner designs hit the mark? Here are some tips to ensure you get the most from your efforts.
1. Know the Purpose
What is the purpose of the banner? Do you want to drive traffic from one place to another? Perhaps you simply want to announce a sale or a special. There are many reasons for banner ads, and knowing the objective of yours helps you choose the right placement, size and even wording.
When you understand the impact you want to make, you can more easily crafft calls to action that tap into the purpose of the ad.
2. Check Mobile Responsiveness
Using mobile banners ads is around 120% more effective than video ads. Make sure your banner ads respond to different screen sizes. You can expect a significant portion of your website traffic to come from people on their smartphones. Get out ahead of the trend by creating banners that adapt automatically.
3. Add Contrast
Make sure your web banner designs stand out from the surrounding items. If the background is white, use a black, red, purple or some other dark color. Try to go with something a tiny bit jarring to grab attention.
You don’t want your banner to match too closely because it will just blend in with all the other elements on the page. You want it to pop and grab attention from the first moment the person lands on your page. Their gaze should move right to the banner ad.
4. Use High-Resolution Images
Don’t just throw any graphic up on your banner. Choose relevant photos that are clear and beautiful. The more vivid the image, the more it will enhance the message of your banner. Some web banner designs stick to a more minimalistic approach with only solid colors or perhaps a gradient. However, these designs can look a bit old school and dated.
Today’s banner ads feature everything from photo backgrounds to animated elements. Try different techniques and see what your target audience responds best to.
5. Choose Standard Banner Sizes
You can make your banner any size you’d like, but some selections are more effective than others. Google AdSense reports the most successful sizes are:
- Leaderboard – 728 by 90 pixels
- Half-Page – 300 by 600 pixels
- Medium Rectangle – 300 by 250 pixels
- Large Rectangle – 336 by 280 pixels
Stick with the tried and true for the most impact. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when experts already found what works best.
6. Consider Typography
Is your banner readable? If someone gets up from their computer or views it on a smaller screen, does the text still appear sharp and crisp? A beautiful script font might add personality, but if the user struggles to read it, then it isn’t very effective.
For the most part, stick with a serif or sans serif font. You should also choose ones easily recognizable. You can make any text stand out by swapping out colors or adding italics or bold.
7. Include a Call to Action
The call to action (CTA) entices the user to click on your banner. Without a strong CTA, you might as well not bother with the web banner design at all. The user might not even realize they should take action if you miss adding a CTA.
Leighton Interactive did a study on the average click-through rate (CTR) for CTAs. They discovered 4.23% is the average CTR across all industries. Button CTAs did slightly better than text alone.
A CTA should include action verbs, such as click, buy, shop or subscribe. Try to keep phrasing short and to the point. You’ve likely seen ads on social media pages where they read, “Join Now” or “More Information.” Ideally, the action is the one you’d go with, but even a “more information” tag is better than no CTA at all.
8. Tap Into Pain Points
If you know your target audience well, then you know what drives them. Figure out the emotions behind the problem they face and you’ll be able to drive conversions.
For example, if you want to get people to sign up for your home improvement series by using web banner designs, you can figure out why people look at remodeling projects. What drives them to want a new kitchen or to revamp their landscaping?
Once you know the reason, figure out the psychology behind it. If someone wants to install new fire alarms it is to keep their family safe. Fear and love drive them.
Try Different Tactics
If one thing isn’t working well for your web banner designs, change course and try a different size, color, wording or CTA. Over time, you’ll get a feel for what your audience responds best to. Keep experimenting until you land on the perfect mix.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.