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3 Banner Ad Best Practices (And 1 Easy Shortcut)

banner ad best practices

Learning and applying banner ad best practices is key to making the most of your ad budget.

After all, what is the use of spending hundreds or thousands on advertising if you don’t see a return on your investment?

While there are a lot of variables that go into any banner ad campaign, we are focusing this post specifically on ad design: the look, the feel, the content, etc.

Read on to learn three straightforward banner ad best practices that every marketer needs to keep in mind.

Banner Ad Basics

What are banner ads and why are they worth it?

Also known as display ads, these visual advertisements appear on other people’s websites in order to attract them to YOUR business. Think of them as the billboards of the internet.

A user cruising on a mommy blog, for example, might come across your ad for that new sleep training book you have published.

Obviously, since a banner ad is interrupting the user in the middle of whatever they are currently doing, the goal is to catch their attention quickly and get them to click.

The Fastest, Easiest Way To Design Awesome Banner Ads

Before we dive into the three banner ad best practices that everyone needs to know, let’s talk about the shortcut to success.

No, it’s not a special hack, unbeatable template, or other silver bullet.

It’s just common sense.

The best way to get awesome banner ad design done quickly is to outsource it. And while that might sound expensive, you’d be amazed at the value that you can find from the freelance banner ad designers on Legiit.

And when you calculate in the fact that you should be able to use a good banner ad for years on end, it is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Check Out Freelance Ad Designers

3 Banner Ad Best Practices

If you will be designing your own banner ads, here are the most important tips you need to know. These three banner ad best practices will help ensure that your designs are getting the best ROI possible.

#1 Get The Fundamentals Right

Most display ads follow a standard formula for a reason: it works. The following elements are fundamentals that pretty much every ad should include unless you’ve got a really good reason not to (such as limited space).

Value Proposition. This is the promise you are making to customers: the value you will deliver. A landscaping company, for example, might promise “A Lawn That The Neighbors Will Envy”. A marketing company: “Land More Sales With Less Effort”. Your value proposition should occupy the most space in your ad and draw the most attention. It tells customers what you are selling and is often the deciding factor for them.

Call-to-Action. Also known as a CTA, your call-to-action is typically a button with actionable text such as “Claim Offer”, “Buy Now”, or “Get Started”. If a user is intrigued by your value proposition, your CTA gives them the opportunity to take the next step.

Brand Identifier. Usually, this is your logo. It could also just be your company name. Including this element is important to help build up your brand awareness, but it isn’t going to drive clicks unless you already have a very well-established brand. Place it somewhere that is less prominent than your value proposition and CTA.

Visuals. Most banner ads perform best with accompanying visuals. What you choose depends a lot on your value proposition, but the general principle is that you want visuals that evoke positive feelings and help customers understand what they are getting. A display ad for a dentist, for example, is better off using a shining white smile than a picture of infected gums. In other words: sell the solution, not the problem.

Related: Graphic Design for Small Business

#2 Establish Clear Textual Hierarchy

Your typography obviously needs to be easily legible. Stick to fonts that can be read quickly, and avoid script fonts that might be harder to decipher while the page is scrolling.

The other element of your text that can’t be ignored is hierarchy.

This simply means that some text is more important than others. The way you establish this is usually font size and placement. But hierarchy can also be established with elements like bold and color.

If your value proposition includes two statements, for example, decide which one the viewer needs to read first. Make that statement a larger font and place it where it is likely to be read first (top or left depending on the shape of the ad).

Keep the other textual elements in mind as well. You want your value proposition to be more prominent than your CTA. And your logo should draw the least amount of attention.

#3 Keep It Simple

We have a tendency to over design sometimes. We get so caught up in how awesome our brand is—or how effective our product is—that we try to cram way too much info into a tiny banner ad that is going to occupy less than half of a percent of the page that it ends up on.

A good practice is to always draft multiple versions of your ad. This lets you play with wording and approach the ad from several different angles.

Then, when you think you find the one or two that you like, try to simplify them even further. Put your drafts to the 3 Cs test: Are they concise, clear, and compelling?

Concise. Have you used exactly as many words as you need to and not a single word more?

Clear. Does the viewer know exactly what value you have to offer? They don’t need to know everything about the product. But they need to know what problem you are solving so that they can click on the ad if they want to learn more.

Compelling. Does the ad give viewers a reason to hit that CTA? The word “compelling” comes from the Latin compellere: to drive together. Your ad should drive your business and your ideal customer together by promising them the best solution to their most pressing problems.

Get The Best Ad Design On Legiit

As you can see, a lot goes into designing a good display ad. If you want to cut to the front of the line and get it done the easy way, the freelancers on Legiit are a great place to start. Check them out today!

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