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How to Make a Compelling Banner Design – Main Suggestions

You think about getting a banner ad designed? Well, you should keep in mind that often the ad banner is the first thing that potential customers see that is associated with your company. So to increase the traffic to your website, raise brand awareness, and generate sales, you need to create and implement banners correctly. This powerful form of advertising could prove to be really useful in this regard.

Generally, banners are small rectangular boxes containing static or animated graphics, usually with textual elements, and appearing on all sorts of web pages. That is a kind of extended link that shares a basic function – it brings up a particular advertiser's website when a user clicks on a banner. To redirect however is only the half thing; the ad banner should not only take users to the website, it must compel them to buy something. Thus, it's deceptively simple to design a good banner with effective features. In this post we'll give you some basic guidelines you should abide by to be the creator of compelling web banners. Keep the following suggestions in mind.

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  • Fist of all include a good ad copy, keeping your wording short and concise. Make a strong emphasis on the benefits not features of your product or service, avoid pressure vocabulary but use call to action to urge to viewer to do something. Also try to leave space around the edges and not fill the banner space completely with text, which would only clutter the banner.

banner design tipsbanner design tips

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  • If you can use words that have been proven to attract people, use them. Besides, don’t forget about visually appealing punch line. Create a small catchy phrase that will make the viewer curious or bring out a smile.

banner design tips

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  • When it comes to the fonts, choose only one or two fonts for your ad banner design, the fonts have to complement each other. To easily get the right message across to the readers, make sure that the text on the banner is crisp and legible, and if required add color or effect to your text to make it stand out.

banner design tips

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  • If choosing the color for the banner ad, try sticking with a single color scheme that is high contrast, web-safe, and easy to read. If you use several colors, choose alternating colors as they have good contrast in both hue and value and produce the best combinations. Colors that are next to each other on the wheel possess similar contrast in both hue and value and are less comforting for the eye.

banner design tipsbanner design tipsbanner design tips

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The Outdoor Advertising Assoc. of America (OAAA) has conducted a research on the comparative visibility of full value color combinations. Below you can see the highest visibility color combinations that you can use in your banner designs – the results are ranked in a top-down prioritization order.

BLACK on YELLOW - BLACK

BLACK on WHITE - BLACK

YELLOW on BLACK - YELLOW

WHITE on BLUE - WHITE

GREEN on WHITE - GREEN

BLUE on YELLOW - BLUE

WHITE on GREEN - WHITE

WHITE on BROWN - WHITE

BROWN on YELLOW - BROWN

BROWN on WHITE - BROWN

YELLOW on BROWN - YELLOW

RED on WHITE - RED

YELLOW on RED - YELLOW

RED on YELLOW - RED

WHITE on RED - WHITE

banner design tipsbanner design tips

  • Consider the web page background color and better choose a color palette that blends or compliments (except for the dark backgrounds where you can also contrast the ad). This works well and is especially important when you place the banner ad within the content of the website.
  • If you want to have an animated ad banner (that is known to generate more CTR since moving elements attract the eye a lot more than static banners do), be moderate and use it cleverly. Animation should be simple not to annoy the viewers, so try to reduce the number of colors, make it tastefully done with frames rotating at a medium speed, and also display all the content in less than 10 seconds or else the banner loses its efficacy. Overall note that using lots of animation results in larger file sizes and takes more time to load the banner.

banner design tips

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  • In case you create animated banner ad, put the most important information first. You need to fast grab the attention of the viewers, so be sure to place the main message in the first few frames of your animated banner design. This will help arouse the interest of the viewers and entice them to click.
  • According to your individual design preference, you can also add some graphic shapes to your banner, for instance making it a bit rounded and smoothing over the corner pieces.

banner design tipsbanner design tips

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  • Think about adding a frame or a border around your ad banner as it can significantly improve the banner’s attention grabbing potential. The viewers simply tend to focus more on the things that are inside the frame. Herewith also your banners design would seamlessly fit the web page but remain highly remarkable.

banner design tips

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  • Banner ads also come in a variety of sizes. Try to choose the widest size suitable for the website as this tends to be most effective. Make sure however that your banner is displayed at the same width and height values as its actual size or otherwise it will cause blurring or pixelating the image.
  • Whenever you can express your message with graphics, however focus on just one topic for each banner. As websites usually contain more textual content, graphics on your banner, piquing curiosity and not being too obscure, will make your advertisement noticed.

banner design tipsbanner design tipsbanner design tips

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  • In addition, you should interlink the banner ad properly. Advertise a particular product or service in your banner, rather than your site generally, and don’t make people hunt for the information. When people click on the banner they should be taken to the web page that has the content they want. Therefore make a link of a banner with a specific web page, rather than your home page.
  • Be creative!

banner design tipsbanner design tipsbanner design tips

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  • If needed, include the fake factor – use various fake links, scroll bars, text boxes, submit buttons or whatever to make people click on the banner and be taken to the advertiser’s website.
  • On a more serious note, always place your banner on the websites that cater for your target audience. If you're not exposing your banner ad to your target audience none of the above tips will help you. Therefore place banner ads on pages with related content.
  • Always track results, since when you monitor the clicks rates and data gained after testing new advertising, you can see the effectiveness and if necessary make the design improvements. A single banner could be insufficient for your ad campaign; in this case you may try several banners. As the campaign progresses, you’ll determine which banner is more popular with users and generates better results in terms of CPMs, CTRs and CPCs.

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Employing these tips, you can see a significant increase in conversions. Take care to use to constantly improve your banner designs and tailor them to best fit the websites they will be appearing on.


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Lilian Rigo

Lilian is a young but very talented copywriter who does researches on various themes. It seems that she knows everything about TemplateMonster products and loves to do listings that could help users to find something they need. Design trends, typography, coding, website building - Lilian writes about all those topics.

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3 responses to “How to Make a Compelling Banner Design – Main Suggestions”

  1. social signals

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  2. Catherine says:

    As always, great article, great tips. Thank you!

  3. Helm Hosting Directory says:

    Very useful post. Even for a small piece of “artwork”, you should put a lot of thinking and work to make a banner appealing, to make it communicate your message and at last achieve a conversion.

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