Web banner design is among the most widely used forms of marketing in today’s online world and comes in several shapes and sizes. Banner ads are advertisement images embedded on web pages that showcase a product, service, or brand and link to the advertiser’s website. Since they are an affordable, effective, and measurable medium to increase brand awareness, most companies use them in one form or another. Creating the most clickable banner ad possible is the name of the game. 

If you have been struggling to boost your online traffic, follow this list of tips and guidelines to create a better, more clickable ad. 

1. Correct Ad Placement Goes a Long Way

Purchase space on a website where your ad will be featured above the fold and near the main page content. 

2. Maintain the 3 Basic Components

  • Your Logo: Not surprisingly, your company logo is key to building brand awareness. Make sure it’s visually dominant but doesn’t overpower your value proposition or the call to action. 
  • Value Proposition: The value proposition announces the product or service and calls attention to itself with attractive offers and prices with content such as “For a Limited Time,” “25% Off,” or “Best Quality.” This should be what the viewers see first. 
  •  Call to Action: The call to action, or simply CTA, is the button that invites users to click. Phrases like “Go Now,” “Learn More,” or “View Offer” are great examples. The call to action should be clear and easily visible. 

 3. Simple Is Better

Viewers will generally only glance at your banner ad for a second or two. Keep content and images or any other visuals simple. As the saying goes, less is more.  

 4. Have a Clearly Defined Frame

Since people’s eyes are naturally drawn to a subject inside a frame, ensure your ad’s background doesn’t blend with the background of the site it’s featured on. Effective banner ads have a clearly defined frame with graphics extended to the edges of the box. If your ad is white, it’s best to include a 1-pixel gray border around it. 

 5. Text Should Be Instantly Readable

Make your headline and body copy different sizes. All copy should be four lines or less. Try to avoid using cursive or script fonts, extremely thin font weight, all uppercase copy, or font sizes smaller than 10 points. 

 6. Use Animation

Animated web banner ads can be very effective in website banner design, but don’t overdo it. Make sure they don’t distract from the ad’s message. Using simple animations that last no more than 15 seconds and don’t loop more than 3 times is usually enough. It’s also a good idea to make the last frame of your animation a clear call to action. 

 7. Complement but Don’t Blend Too Much

Viewers tend to trust ads that blend with the sites on which they’re featured. However, don’t make it blend in too much. Banner ads always need to stand out and be clickable. 

 8. Maintain Brand Consistency

Your banner ad will link to a landing page that includes your offer. Avoid confusing your potential customers by using fonts and colors that veer away from your brand. Make sure the ad matches your branding and the landing page. 

 9. Bring a Sense of Urgency

Subtlety isn’t always effective for banner ad design. Using contrasting, bold colors can instill a sense of visual urgency to the text. 

10. Keep Your Files Small 

Since there is a possibility that viewers can scroll down and miss your ad, it needs to load fast on a page – under 150k is best. When it comes to ad size, the smaller the better.  

Of course, these are just some banner ad design tips and guidelines, but it takes much more to create truly awesome, high-performing, clickable ads. If you’re not a professional designer or are too busy doing what you do best (which is running your business), consider hiring a talented designer to create the perfect ads to boost your online traffic. 

About the Author

Chris Galliera

Chris is one of our Graphic Designers. When he's not creating something visual, he's either playing guitar, riding his mountain bike or researching stocks for his next big (or small) investment.

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