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How To Design Banners With High CTR

Banners are the foundation of media buying,  but not all banners sell or get good click through rates (CTR).  So how in the world do you make a banner that will get you the maximum clicks and in turn, bring the most potential customers to your page?

First and foremost,  banners come in all shapes and sizes.  From square to rectangular, from tiny to large.   Before Google came out to dominate the internetscape;  banner sizes weren’t really that much standardized.   yes 468×60 was a very popular banner size, and still is today but beyond that it was a free for all.

Some popular banner sizes today:

  • 728×90
  • 468×60
  • 336×468
  • 300×250
  • 200×200
  • 160×600
  • 120×600

Since banners are everywhere,  users have become immune to them. That is why a good design will break the comfort of the viewers eye,  stop that banner blindness for a second.    The point is to catch their attention for a millisecond, have them wonder, and CLICK!

How To Get Started in Designing a Banner That Works? A: Research, Research, Research…

Hop on google, type in your keyword and check out competing pages. What kind of banners show up?  Take notes! No need to reinvent the wheel, just improve it a little to work in your favor.

You can alternatively try and other popular search engines image searchers.

TIP#1 Feature Pics of People in Your Banners

Even though some say its corny, fake, or whatever.  Research and hard stats have shown people like seeing others in banner ads.    It’s all a psychological thing at a subconscious level.

TIP #2 Show Them The Benefits

People like seeing happy, satisfied people.   Zero in on their emotions, show them the benefits of the product or service you are advertising.    Lay out your message so your communicates what the product will give them, what the benefits are.        All the want is to be happy,  something easy, and to save money.

Tip #3 – Ugly banners SELL, BELIEVE IT!

Have no idea why this is how it is, but stats show that ugly banners get great click through rates.   Not sure if its curiosity of people to see, or whether many people have absolutely no sense in design.    But time and time again it has been shown that the uglier the banner, the more CTR it will get.

Here are some great ways to come out as the king or queen of ugly banner design!

-Use blink or rattle animation in your ad
-Keep it simple, as if an amateur did it who can’t even draw a stick figure
-Use OldSchool HTML designs (bright blue links, underlined)
-White background, plain text works
-Weird edges, and/or borders
-Play buttons or strange warning messages, with windows/mac buttons.

*Again knowing your demographic will help in a great deal in getting an awesome ugly banner made.  For example, if you target mac users, don’t be using Windows buttons!

Tip #4 – Use Stats + Numbers, People Believe Them

People don’t trust anything, but this isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to banners and numbers.  You can write some kind of stats into your banner, and stats prove they will get slightly higher CTR.

Tip #5 – Color scheme your banner to blend in with the page

While the God of Google doesn’t enable you to do this on Adsense, you can pretty much get away with it when you do media buying elsewhere.    To blend in like a chameleon, use their page colors, font sizes, font styles, etc. – It will increase your click through.

Tip #6 – Don’t Overload Your Banner with Information

Less is MORE! That statement is very true! If you put too much into your banner, it will confuse the viewer and they will click very little, so its a sure way to destroy CTR.    Again Keep it Simple!

Tip #7 – Banners are done, now what? Tests, Tests and More Tests!

This is by far what separates the men from the boys in the world of media buying.  If you want to succeed you must test, and tweak as I wrote earlier.   Once you find a great banner design,  work on it and change some things then test and tweak it to improve CTR.

How do you tell which banner is successful? You look at its CPA [Google CPC] or CTR.   CPA is cost per acquisition [Google CPC: Cost Per Conversion] or CTR – Click Through Ratio.    An OK CTR is 0.2% (20 people out of 1000 impressions).

A/B/C Split Testing is also a great way to test the effectiveness of different banners.





The Most Common Media Buying Myths

I’m a total newb to media buying, but in my research I come across many myths and misconceptions, I too had before getting more into it. Here are some I came across that are just not how you might hear through the grape wine!

#1 – Only affiliate webmasters can become media buyers – NOT TRUE

You don’t have to be an affiliate promoting someone elses product or service to get in on the media buying frenzy. You can be the owner of a store, or any business for that matter. In short, media buying is about getting traffic – where you buy this traffic to is obviously up to you, inline with your personal goals of course.

#2 – Media Buying is full with pros, so it’s impossible to succeed. – WRONG

While its true that media buying industry is full of professionals with massive revolving ad budgets to buy display advertising in 100K+ per month blocks, there are MANY opportunities online available for any small business owner or affiliate.

Unlike google where everyone gets traffic from one place, here you have total freedom. No more google is god, and the dictator that decides who gets traffic and who doesn’t. If you find a site that you like, and believe they have your demographic that you’d like visiting your page – you can make an offer and buy ads on that site 99% of the time! Since many site owners are total newbs, and don’t know a thing about Internet Marketing, in more times than not you can get top shelf traffic to your website or landing page at a fraction of any other advertising method!

#3 – Buying Pay Per Click Advertising is much easier than Media Buying – PLAUSIBLE

While it may be easier to buy PPC ads, the downside to them is that they have too much guidelines to adhere to. While Media Buying has different cons, in the world of display advertising where you call the shots you have much more freedom to work with, couple that with your own ad server, proper tracking and you minimize your chances of a failure, and maximize your ROI.

#4 – When you buy display advertising, you set it up once and forget all about it – WRONG

Maybe True if you have endless cash to blow, otherwise it’s a definite HELL NO. What sets a pro media buyer apart from a newb who doesn’t know what they are doing is stats, stats, stats.

A Pro maintains and checks his campaigns regularly, tweaking where possible to increase CTR to maximize the ROI of the ad budget; whereas the newb – well it goes without saying…

#5 – You need thousands of dollars to get started in Media Buying – WRONG

I know one guy who is a huge media buyer in the dating world, he works with a revolving ad budget of 100-150K per month, and lives a very successful and luxurious life. The fact that he works with a big budget like that has turned me off for years to look into media buying as a profession. But, thanks to google I am putting my fears to the side and with more know how on my side – I know media buying doesn’t need huge marketing budgets – media buying is scalable.

You can start with $1000 instead of 10,000$ and run a bunch of split tests for different banner ads, and campaigns and then keep the one that does good and tweak it from there. Tweak, test, tweak until you get to a nice ROI and then scale it up by adding more products/services to push.

When it comes to media buying, the easy things is to go to an ad network and buy ads through them, they take a commission but there’s a ton at your disposal. Make sure whatever you do that the ad networks support pixel tracking, that is vital in successful campaign tracking and statistics keeping.

Alternatively, one lucrative area where you can score great deals (low CPM) is going direct to blog owners, website owners and telling them you want to buy ad space on their site. You’d be shocked how many times these guys haven’t got a damn clue about what CPM is, or what online adveritising is – so more often than not you can get some VERY CHEAP BARGAINS here for premium traffic!

What is Media Buying anyway?

Well it all depends on what industry you are in (for example in the porn industry, media buying can be buying movies and/or picture sets from producers of the content); however as a general rule media buying is display advertising like banners, and text ads you see on sites everywhere.

Buying traffic direct vs relying on Google’s organic search results is a must for any business.

Take it from me, I was big time into SEO and ranking websites, but ever since January 4th, 2013 google has come out with a new algo update every 2 weeks or so making it harder than ever to grow a company based on search engine traffic alone.

Are You Hungry?

Typical sarcastic comment made by Canadians/Americans and other English native speakers when they ask, where are you from and you answer – Hungary. Right away, they say are you Hungry? HA HA HA, funny!!! …not.

What about the poor Turks then? “Where are you from?….TURKEY” … hahahaha are you a TURKEY? … gotta love these things