In the early days of the World Wide Web, banner ads were the most popular and reliable revenue generators for marketers, webmasters and advertising companies alike. They were everywhere. However, in the wake of the dot-com crash and market saturation, prices paid for banner advertising click-through’s plummeted and banner advertising lost most of its appeal and effectiveness. 2m wide roller banner
In fact, in a recent survey I read, the majority of people surveyed said that they don’t even notice banner ads anymore. In other words, most people are completely blind to banner ads and rarely click on them.
Anyway, a few months ago, even though I knew most people didn’t pay any attention to them anymore, I decided to test out banner ads to promote the various affiliate programs that I belonged to. Why? Because if someone tells me something doesn’t work, I don’t just take their word for it. I prefer to investigate, and find out the facts for myself. And boy did I find out! No one clicked on my banner ads.
Being the stubborn, determined and competitive marketer that I am, this was unacceptable to me. I was determined to improve the click-through ratio of my banner ads. Anyway, after months of trial and error, I developed a reliable formula for improving the conversion ratio of banner ads. The formula is as follows:
1. Use short, hard-hitting, compelling sentences, and deliver your message quickly. For example: “Free Publicity For Your Website.” Click here. Notice how that ad gets right to the point? Don’t try to tell the whole story in your ad. Internet users are notorious scanners, and if your banner is too wordy you’ll quickly lose them.
2. Use action words and phrases in your banner. Action words include words like accelerate, discover, explore, help, increase, illustrate, join and target. Action phrases include “read this” and “click here.” Action words and phrases have a psychological effect on the reader. Also, offering something “FREE” in your message will attract readers to click on your banner.
3. Use bright colors in your banner ad. We’re conditioned to notice color. It’s one of the first things we notice about products and advertisements. Also, the way we view those colors psychologically triggers how we feel, think and react. Certain colors even influence us to buy.
Bright colors get people’s attention. And the first thing you need to do when advertising is get people’s attention. In my own tests, I discovered that bright colors like red and yellow are the most effective. Red commands attention, and creates a sense of urgency. Yellow speeds up the metabolism. It’s often used to highlight or draw attention to content. The combination of red, white and blue are also very effective. Blue inspires confidence, and white can have a calming, stabilizing influence on the viewer.
4. Use animated banners as opposed to static banners. When I tested static banners against animated banners, the difference was immediate and dramatic. The animated banners out-performed the static banners by as much as 1000%. Why? The animated banners caught people’s eyes. The animation got their attention. My test results are consistent with the results of tests conducted by ZDNet in 1996. ZDNet reported animated banner ads had higher click-through rates than static ads. In some instances, a 40% increase was found, suggesting animation increased user awareness.
5. Place your banners on websites visited by your target audience. For example, If you promote marketing services, place your banners on sites targeted at internet marketers and small business owners. Generally speaking, banners placed on targeted sites yield much higher click-through’s and return-on-investment (ROI). That’s because you are reaching people who are most interested in what you have to offer. A lot of marketers prefer to place their banners in front of a general audience. And while this approach will reach a greater number of eyeballs, depending on what you’re selling, it may also produce a much lower click-through ratio.