Something of a modern-day billboard, a banner ad is sure to be present on just about any site you visit from recipe blogs (often nestled within that long story before you can get to the actual recipe) to official news sites.
So who makes those things? And why? And how?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Table of Contents
- What Is Banner Ad Design?
- Are Banner Ads Effective?
- Types of Banner Ads with Examples
- Animated GIF
- Static Banners
- What to Consider When Designing a Banner Ad
- What Are the Benefits of Using Banner Ads?
- Who Should Use Banner Ads?
- How Much Does it Cost to Design a Banner Ad?
- How to Pick a Banner Ad Designer for Your Website
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Banner Ad Design?
So if banner ads are essentially e-billboards… How does that work?
Banner ads are those boxes of advertising that can be found on the side, in the middle, or at the top of a post or web page with the intent of creating brand awareness and getting clickthroughs, traffic, or purchases.
Banner ad design is the process of using specific marketing techniques as well as graphic design to craft banner ads that are more likely to attract clicks.
This can include the size, placement, fonts, colors, and any animation incorporated into the banner ads.
Are Banner Ads Effective?
Yes, they are.
If you do them right.
If your banner ad is designed well, eye-catching, and placed on a site where it can reach the right audience, banner ads can be one of the most effective ways to advertise on the internet.
In the interest of transparency, banner ads have become somewhat less effective as time has gone on. Many web browsers ignore all banner ads on a matter of principle, and the conversion rate isn’t all that great anymore.
Still, banner ads are worth the try and the small investment they require.
Types of Banner Ads with Examples
There is a multitude of different types of banner ads that companies can use.
Here are the highlights.
Animated GIF banner ads are an eye-grabbing way to use under 30 seconds of repetitive motion in your banner ad.
These include an animated, moving image or images to advertise your product or service.
Some GIF banner ads can use a sort of carousel or slides to show different photos one after the other, while others have animated moving parts in one image.
When to Use Animated GIF Banners
Animated GIF banners are preferred for just about any business, as they are more eye-catching and dynamic than static banners.
Businesses should use animated GIF banners to promote special discounts or deals, announce new products or services, or general brand promotion and recognition.
Static banners are regular ads placed strategically on high-traffic websites.
These types of banners are, by nature, simpler in design and may contain only an image and text.
They’re easy to create and control, but don’t have the interactive element offered by animated GIF banner ads.
When to Use Static Banners
Static banner ads can be used anywhere and by any business.
They are sometimes preferable to animated banner ads as they take less time and effort to create and can easily maintain quality on mobile versions of sites.
What to Consider When Designing a Banner Ad
To make the most of your banner ad, you need to plan ahead and think strategically.
Here are a few things to consider.
Banner Ad Placement
First, think about where the heck you want your banner ad to go.
This includes not only where on the actual page you want your banner ad to appear, but also what sites you want to place banner ads on in the first place.
Make sure that the site you want to advertise on is relevant to your site or product or has a high enough amount of traffic for your banner ad to be worth it.
When it comes to on-page placement, the top of the page is always the best, since it’s what your audience sees first. Sidebar and mid-page placement is also an option, which may work better with animated GIF banner ads than static ones.
Standard Banner Ad Sizes
Banner ads come in many different shapes and sizes and each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
Typical banner ad sizes are:
- Square- 250×250
- Small square- 200×200
- Banner- 480×60
- Leaderboard- 728×90
- Inline rectangle- 300×250
- Large rectangle- 336×280
- Skyscraper- 120×600
- Wide skyscraper- 160×600
- Half-page ad- 300×600
- Large leaderboard-970×90
- Mobile leaderboard- 320×50
Choosing a size for your banner ad can make a huge difference in the success and performance of your banner ad.
Keep it Simple
As tempted as you may be to become the Picasso of banner ads, don’t do it.
An over-complicated, over-designed banner ad will overwhelm your audience and have adverse effects on the success of your banner ad.
Even with animated GIF banner ads, try to keep as few elements as possible, just enough to engage the audience.
Use Buttons with a Strong Call to Action
What do you want your audience to do? Tell them.
And let them know that they will miss out if they don’t check out your site RIGHT NOW!
Having clearly defined buttons with calls to action that create a sense of urgency is paramount to the success (or failure) of your banner ad campaign.
Your audience can’t interact with your banner ad if they have no idea what it says.
Using a clear, readable font with a high-contrast background also makes your banner ad more accessible to those with reading-related disabilities. A more accessible ad means a more accessible click-through.
Consistency with Brand
Your customer shouldn’t click your banner ad only to be directed to a completely different-looking site.
Get out your brand guide. Make sure the font, color scheme, and overall message of your banner ad align with the brand you’re advertising. Stay true to yourself, friends.
What Are the Benefits of Using Banner Ads?
A few of the highlights:
Increase Brand Recognition
Getting your brand’s name and image out there as much as possible is key to growing your brand.
By advertising your brand with banner ads on high-traffic websites, you’re able to put your brand in front of more eyes.
Banner ads are pretty cheap compared to other forms of advertising like TV ads or press releases.
Marketing is hard. Banner ads are much easier to set up and leave up, allowing you to passively generate click-throughs and traffic.
If your customers are already on a site that’s related to your product or service, you’ve got them right where you want them. It’s a great way to ensure that your audience is getting reached, which drives up those conversion rates.
Who Should Use Banner Ads?
Banner ads are an easy, cost-effective way for just about any online business to get their brand name out there.
They are especially helpful for smaller businesses that are just starting out, as most of your customers will be new customers so reaching your target audience is all the more important. Plus, they’re cheap! Did we mention that yet?
How Much Does it Cost to Design a Banner Ad?
If you outsource your banner ad design (which is a solid idea if you don’t have experience in graphic design or marketing), you can expect your graphic designer to charge anywhere between $50-$400 for the ad.
You will also need to pay the site you’re advertising on a certain rate (PPC or pay-per-click rate) of anywhere from $20-$50 per 1,000 clicks.
How to Pick a Banner Ad Designer for Your Website
To pick a banner ad designer for your website, you need to first figure out your budget.
Once you have that in mind, check out freelancer marketplace sites like Fiverr or Upwork, or more highly-vetted sites like Toptal if you have it in your budget.
Check out the profiles and information on each designer to see if they specialize in banner ad design for your industry, as these folks will already have some base-level knowledge of what customers in that field are looking for.
You can also choose an unlimited graphic design service like Kimp or Graphically that can provide you with banner ad designs as well as unlimited requests for any other graphic design needs you may have in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find a banner ad designer?
You can find a banner ad designer on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork, or more highly-vetted sites like Toptal.
What's the difference between a banner ad and display ads?
Banner ads are a specific type of display ads, but the names are used interchangeably.
What makes an effective banner ad?
A strong call to action, a sense of urgency, correct placement, and a simple, attractive design are all components of an effective banner ad.
What should be included in a banner ad?
A banner ad should include a strong call to action, the name of your site, and some type of button or information to get to your site.