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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 images.google.com 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.

 

 

 

 

  • Emre

    I use a program called ctrxtreme to create 100s of varitions of my ads, it’s cheap but supports even mobile sizes.