10 Tips to More Effective Banners

by Nick Bullimore

Use these ten tips to create your own effective online advertising banners.

Get the most out of your Banner ad, and maximize your click-thru rate with Nick's Tips and Tricks...

Don't just sit around waiting for people to come to your site! You should be advertising it with banners! Use these Ten tips to create your own effective banner.

1. Create a banner immediately
If you do nothing else Utilize the most used phrase in cyberspace: Click Here. The key to effective advertising on the World Wide Web is getting potential customers to react, therefore the use of this strong clear cut statement which gives a call for action, together with an obvious immediate message, initiates the first and vital step clicking in your direction....

Equally words that tempt/entice the surfer into your world, such as Enter Here, Press Now! have shown that their use can increase response rates dramatically. Other good words to use are Free and This is (Your Last Chance) a feeling of urgency is created with the use of these words so make sure you can put credence to your claims. Flamers can take great offense at false claims and cause you all sorts of embarrassment so don't make these claims lightly prudence is required in their use...

2. Movement is the Key to Grab Attention.
ZD Net (a popular US Site) recently conducted a survey and found that animated ads generated 15% higher click thru rates than their counter parts, static banners, it was found that in some cases they were as much as 40% higher. Coupled with an intelligent but witty message and the appropriate design this form of advertising can work very well. As a seller of Ultra High speed Internet Access found out, combining a basic animation consisting of two scrolling bars filling up extremely slowly, together with a strong but simplistic message to make it go faster, 'Click Here'

This ad pulled an initial 19% response rate and was still averaging rates of 15% three and four months later. Most banner averages 2% so their use of this method is a clear demonstration of the power of animation. Take Note be very careful when using banner animation as if it takes too long to download, you will only encourage the interested party to move on elsewhere, so make sure to check your banners loading time (on average a surfer will move on after 6 seconds if your page does not load efficiently).



3. Audience Involvement
Net Media is one on it's own unlike other offline media the customer has to come to you when looking on the web.. the best way to achieve this result is invite your target market either him or her to participate in some activity carried on at your site. perhaps a Game, Quiz, Give-away, work on the premise that people like to play games. Simple games such as noughts and crosses have been found to increase click-through rates. However Competitions have been found to offer virtually no incentives and really should be avoided.

4. Something for FREE
Give something away FREE the internet is unique in that the majority of its users have an active dislike at to big business prying into their world. Offer Net users something Free to get them to respond to your commercial pitch. Ezines (e-mail newsletters) and product updates can work very well with a targeted group, screen savers can produce good results as they can be used with subliminal advertising. Free downloads can of beta software can and do create effective responses.

5. Don't Include Your Brand Name
AOL and recent Internet surveys by the Internet Advertising Bureau have found that Net users have a high level of recall of online ads coupled with increased brand awareness if the banner announces a new product or service, you should Not include the Brand Name. Viewers often assume they already know everything they need to know about the brand and totally ignore it. Please Pull them to You Don't Push them away... Quality information ...is the key..

6. A Must Change Your Banners Frequently
It is called Banner Burnout and it is rapid, after about only 200,000-350,000 impressions, the response rates can drop by half the second to the third time a punter sees the ad. Here is a Tip have at least three to four versions of a banner placed on various sites of importance. This enables you to note which of the four achieves the most response and where they are best positioned. Rotating banners and removing bad performers is tantamount to creating an effective and efficient banner campaign.

7. Target Your Market
Attach your banner to the most relevant key words, it will increase the chance of its location and your sites location in the search engine databases. Search engines are where most surfers start to look when wanting information, if possible you should consider possibly sponsoring certain keywords or phrases with various search engines. For Example this would enable a lawn mower manufacturer's banner to appear whenever the word 'garden' is entered.

Two other choices offered by the search engines are category sponsoring, which speaks for itself and Run of Site advertising (ROS) which best suits products with a broad appeal or brand builders. Advantages with Run Of Site advertising is cost, this method can be as much as 80-85% cheaper than targeted ads.

8. Grabbing People's Attention
There is nothing sells better than Sex and Intrigue. Recent surveys confirm that Sex on the Internet is the most popular topic followed closely by conspiracy theories.

This is not so surprising as in general the human race is naturally concerned first and foremost with its own reproduction or elimination.

With regard banner advertising, a number of well chosen words are going to tempt even the most ardent Net-boffin, put together with some complimentary sounds results should be imminent. Whether you use just the click of a mouse button or a repetitive drum roll, attention is your aim.

9. Yes Bigger is Better and Less is More
Somewhat of a contradiction in terms but the results do work. Keep your banner size small with regard to bytes say under 10k-15k this will speed download, and then use wider banners - either 468 or 500 pixels wide.

It is a known fact that smaller banners do not generate as many responses as wide ones, many of the design functions work far better in a wide format. I have found that Yellow and Green are my preferred colors to use when creating banners.

10. Location, Location
Obviously at the Top of the List are search engines as they are the most visited sites on the Net as this is how surfers negotiate their initial Net enquiries but the beauty of the Web is the diversity of it's members and their interests. Really and Truly there are only three ways of getting your banner on to the best and most appropriate sites: 1. Sit down, spend a lot of time searching out the best sites that fit your target market, 2. Use and Ad Network (Paid or Free it is your choice) or 3. Employ an Ad Agency.

Link Exchange is a good start, join up for Free or Pay they place your banner on sites that are deemed appropriate. They operate a 2-1 system one of your banners is placed on appropriate sites in exchange for two other advertisers banners on yours).

You must remember that You Don't have much control over the last two methods. For an instance Take double-click, although it has a high media profile it only represents about 75 Web sites among which are the search engines. Although it promises to deliver to a much sort after Targeted Audience, it depends on using ISP addresses as its main database. Taking this into consideration and how many users an ISP such as Demon represents you are grasping the problem with this kind of marketing.

Companies are looking toward sponsorship of specific web sites that carry relevant information and suitable material, this enables closer branding of content and product this being an alternative to the 'scattershot' technique. Although, editorial and subject targeting systems are rapidly being developed. The choice this will provide, marketing your banner to the exact person, who wants to see it just when they are ready to purchase your product is soon set to arrive.

Nick Bullimore is an Internet Consultant who can help you get Business Seeker Prospects for free. For more information by autoresponder simply click and send mail to businessleads@aweber.com?Subject=Free.Leads   Also take the time to check out his site at http://www.soft-promote.com/prodc.htm

 
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