the Banner Ad?
If you ask the Internet marketers of today, many if
not most of them will tell you that banner advertising
is dead. They say that it's expensive, the click-through
rates are low and that unless you know exactly what
you're doing, it is likely that you'll end up spending
more money than you'll make.
just a few years ago the same people were rushing to
invest their money in banner advertising campaigns.
In those happy days, the click-through rates were at
least ten times as high as they are now. What has happened?
Has the audience become more resistant to Internet advertising
in general? Or perhaps the whole concept of banner advertising
has become obsolete and we'll need to think of new ways
of reaching people?
perhaps. There is certainly at least some truth to these
claims, but they are hardly the only reasons behind
the current crisis. Personally, I think that those responsible
for planning the banner advertising campaigns are largely
to blame for what has happened. The difference between
the successful banner advertising of yesterday and the
pathetic banner advertising of today is vanity.
Sounds odd, but you'll only need to look at the banners
displayed on a few popular sites to see what I mean.
They have a nice-looking background, a beautiful picture
or two, a professionally-designed logo, smooth animation
and bright, pleasant colors. In a nutshell, those banners
are works of art and that is exactly why they perform
marketing, less graphics
Unless you are trying to brand your business, your main
focus should not be on what your banners look like.
Pay attention to how many sales you make and how high
your ROI is, forget the aesthetics.
readers may be worried that such an approach might damage
their reputation in the eyes of the consumers. Unless
the ads look good, they might affect the company's brand
negatively. Large, well-known businesses definitely
should worry about that, but if you're a small business,
you shouldn't over-emphasise the importance of branding.
You've probably seen hundreds or thousands banners in
the past weeks, but can you remember what even twenty
of them looked like and what company or product they
any further ado, here are some tips on how to make your
banners look worse but perform better:
camoflague your banners
Many banners co-exist in harmony with the design of
the site they are displayed on. While this makes the
site look better, it also prevents anyone from noticing
what the poor advertiser is trying to say. Instead of
allowing your banners to fade into the background, do
everything possible so that they will stand out. Make
it clear that your banner is something that should be
clicked, not merely stared at.
practice, this goal can be achieved by utilizing Windows-style
navigational elements, notes instructing users to "click
here" and colors that contrast with those used on the
site. The result won't look like something you'd want
to frame and hang on your wall, but it will be effective.
with the graphics
Pictures of attractive persons or tropical islands may
be nice to look at, but they also increase the time
it takes for your banner to load. If your banner is
placed near the top of the page and doesn't appear instantly,
the audience will scroll down the page and never see
it. Images also take up quite a bit of space and may
force you to limit the amount or the size of the text
used in the banner.
good rule of thumb is that unless the picture is somehow
essential in convincing the user to click, drop it.
When advertising a sweepstakes, adding a picture of
a pile of cash can feel like a good idea. However, in
many cases a text screaming "WIN $10.000" would be just
as effective and would load up much, much faster.
to the chase
Banners are not TV commercials. You'll have to continuously
fight to get the attention of your audience and you'll
also need to fight to retain it. Long-winded advertisements
that take ten seconds before even mentioning what is
being advertised may work on TV, but not on the Internet.
these instructions, which essentially tell you to create
banners that look simple and perhaps even a bit unprofessional
might seem foolish. But simple, straight-forward banners
that stand out get clicked on.
advertising is not a beauty contest. It's a selling
contest. At the end of the day, what matters is whether
your banners helped you make a profit, not how cool
Harpf runs the A Promotion Guide website, where he offers
free tips on how you can use banners, search engines and
other methods to promote your site. His site can be found